News

Marist head did not think sexual abuse was a crime

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse meeting in Canberra.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse meeting in Canberra. Aap

A FORMER deputy principal of Trinity Catholic College has admitted he took no action after learning Brother Gregory Sutton had been "kissing and hugging" students, saying he did not, at the time, think the sexual abuse of children was a crime, the royal commission has heard.

Brother Anthony Hunt was questioned over how he could have been in charge of about 600 students as deputy principal of the Lismore Catholic college from 1985 to 1988 but not have considered the students to be at risk of sexual assault from predators such as former Brother Sutton.

"It's the word 'crime' that is difficult for me looking back to that time," he said. "I would have regarded it as a very serious matter but I have to say, yes, the word 'crime' did not enter into my awareness."

When questioned by the counsel assisting the commission, Brother Hunt said he knew theft was a crime and was aware of the term child sexual assault but had not heard the word pedophile before.

As well as deputy principal, Brother Anthony Hunt was also the Lismore Marist Brother Superior from 1984 to 1988 and thus responsible for the other brothers, including Sutton who has since been convicted of sexual offences against children.

Between 1985 and 1986, Brother Hunt attended several meetings with St Carthage's principal Sister Julia O'Sullivan, the school counsellor and the assistant principal Jan O'Grady over concerns Brother Sutton was behaving inappropriately towards students.

Brother Hunt told the royal commission he understood "inappropriate behaviour" to mean "kissing and cuddling", however he failed to take any action on the allegations.

"Essentially I saw the matter as in the hands of the school principal and executive with our own authorities, our own provincial superiors," he said.

Sutton's time at the school came to an end shortly after an event in April 1987 involving a 10-year-old girl referred to as ACU.

The commission heard Sutton took the girl on car trips and described her in his diary with phrases such as "Isn't she magnificent!" and "What an afternoon".

After the discovery of the incriminating diary entry, Brother Hunt said he never referred the matter to police or child welfare officers because he believed it was "in the hands of the school authorities" despite acknowledging it may have indicated Sutton was involved in some form of child sexual abuse.

Topics:  gregory sutton marist brothers royal commission



Kids as young as 9 are becoming drug addicts

PRESSURE: A group of teenagers in the South Burnett are turning to anabolic steroids to achieve their beach body.

Photo Jordan Philp / South Burnett Times

Long term policy needed to break cycle of addiction

Assange speaks out: 'I want people to know the truth'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Former Northern Rivers local's statement after years of detention

Going organic: $4m university research centre announced

Southern Cross university and NSW Dept Primary Industries celebrate their coming together to create the Centre for Organics Research at the Lismore campus. L-R Prof Graham King, Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Shoemaker, Dr Phil Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Prof Geraldine Mackenzie, Chancellor Nick Burton Taylor AM, Hon Thomas George MP and Lorraine Gordon.

Shedding its hippy roots, organic food goes under the microscope

Local Partners

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Festival sale will 'ruin' Byron Bay: LETTER

The Falls Festival at North Byron Parklands.

"Byron will be ruined and ratepayers will carry the costs"

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!