Lismore Marist Brothers child sex abuse case wait continues

IT'S been just over a year since the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse heard the harrowing stories from victims of paedophile Marist Brothers at St Carthage's in Lismore in the 1980s, but it's still unclear when the commission will hand down its findings.

Over eight days from June 10 to August 7, evidence was given from 17 witnesses in an attempt to establish the Marist Brothers' response to allegations of child sexual abuse against Brother John "Kostka" Chute and Brother Gregory Sutton.

Former St Cathages assistant principal Jan O'Grady told the commission she long suspected Brother Gregory Sutton was a poison to St Carthage's Primary School but had her warnings ignored by the Marist Brothers and the Lismore Catholic Education Office.

She said she first became concerned in 1985 when she saw the same group of about five or six children hanging about Sutton in the playground and frequently going into the store room with him to apparently collect sporting equipment.

During the hearing, a former deputy principal of Trinity Catholic College, St Carthage's sister school, 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 commission also heard evidence about John "Kostka" Chute, who taught at both St Carthage's primary school and St Joseph's (now Trinity Catholic College) school in Lismore in the 60s, who was sentenced to six years jail for child abuse in 2009.

Reports for 10 case studies have been handed down. The Marist Brother case study is listed at case study 13.

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