Ex-Trinity teacher out of Cambodian jail after 461 days
FORMER Trinity Catholic College teacher, Garry Mulroy, has arrived back in Australia after spending 461 days in a Cambodian prison.
The Lismore man, 64, had been found guilty of the indecent assault of six young boys and was jailed for two years in May 2019.
But the prosecution and Mr Mulroy's defence both appealed to a provincial court, and judges upheld the acquittal and reduced his sentence to one year.
Having already served 15 months in prison, he was released.
On his arrival in Sydney this week, he told media he had been the victim of an extortion racket.
"I taught legal studies in New South Wales for 27 years and when I finally looked at what the (Cambodian) police did, it was simply a joke," he said, according to a report by ABC North Coast.
"Why weren't the police interviews recorded? Why weren't parents called?
"It was all just bullying and a giant set-up."
Copies of an independent report by risk management consultant Ross Milosevic, including affidavits from people who knew the children, found no evidence to support the charges and that police interviews were made "under extreme duress, intimidation and extortion".
"I can honestly say these boys were never abused by the accused. The boys' honesty and demeanour showed no attitude that they were ever mistreated or abused sexually in any way," a witness says in the report.
The Guardian has reported that Mr Mulroy said the indecent assault conviction was reached to save face among Cambodians who had tried to extort $100,000 from him, and that his release has been "shrouded in secrecy amid fears of retribution".
It is understood Mr Mulroy will return to Lismore after completing his quarantine in Sydney.
When Mr Mulroy was first arrested in February last year, Trinity principal Brother John Hilet said the school community was shocked.
He said Mr Mulroy had a positive reputation among staff and past students.
"It literally came out of nowhere for us," he told The Northern Star at the time.
"I've spoken to a large number of ex-students who saw Garry as being a pivotal person in their upbringing."
Br John confirmed Mr Mulroy had been involved with the school's trips to Cambodia, where they worked with local organisations, both during his employment at Trinity and in a volunteer capacity since moving to Cambodia several years ago.
Mr Mulroy had worked at Trinity for some 35 years and left the school about five years ago.