Sex victim to pursue clergyman

A MAN who was sexually abused by an Anglican clergyman in Lismore more than 30 years ago wants to sue him for damages in the NSW Supreme Court.

Shane Rich, 46, was abused by Allan Kitchingham at the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore in 1975. Kitchingham pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault in 2002 and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' jail.

Mr Rich now wants to sue the former clergyman for damages and is seeking an extension of the time in which he is eligible to commence legal action against him.

His barrister, Frank Tuscano, submitted a psychologist's report and a doctor's report to Justice Clifton Hoeben and argued Mr Rich's life had been 'completely out of control for a very long time'.

He said Mr Rich had a x disability and had suffered serious drug and alcohol problems.

Justice Hoeben said whether or not an extension was granted would depend 'very much' on evidence given by Mr Rich, and whether he was found to have a disability which meant he was 'not capable of making informed decisions for 20 years or so'.

Kitchingham's lawyer, Peter Braham, said Mr Rich had made a successful application for victim's compensation in 2002.

Mr Braham said his client would argue there were 'other causes' for Mr Rich's mental disability, including a matron at the boys' home 'administering pony whippings' and intercepting mail from his family.

There were 'other significant traumatic events' in Mr Rich's childhood apart from the abuse at the hands of Kitchingham, he said.

The court heard a claim against the Anglican Church had already been settled.

Justice Hoeben is expected to decide how the hearing will proceed next week. Write jump_to

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