Muslim Refugee Detained In Quebec Faces Extradition To California On Rape Charge
By: Chris Morris
The spotlight on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is widening to include fresh allegations against the Christian Brothers in Dunedin.
An ODT Insight investigation, as part of the ongoing "Marked by the Cross" series, has uncovered allegations of historic sexual abuse, dating back to the 1970s, levelled against two Christian Brothers.
A Dunedin mother, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she blamed her son's suicide on the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of one of the men, Br Desmond Fay, in the 1970s.
Br Fay, who has since died, was the principal at the Christian Brothers Junior School in Rattray St and later taught at St Edmund's School in South Dunedin. While at the Christian Brothers Junior School, Br Fay had regular contact with a boy he used to invite to help around the school after-hours.
The contact, which the mother said escalated from grooming to sexual abuse over time, continued from the time the boy was 7 until he revealed the abuse to his family aged 11, the mother said.
The mother said she received a tearful confession days later from Br Fay, who told her he "only wanted to teach [her son] how to love".
For a supposed 'Man of God' he had a perverse definition of love.
But, rather than go to police, the family had accepted a plan to send Br Fay overseas, on condition that he have no further contact with children, she said. That followed the intervention of a Dunedin Catholic priest, Fr Kevin Kean, who negotiated with the family to "get this settled", the mother said.
Br Fay was moved first to the Cook Islands, and later to Africa, but his activities while overseas were not known, she said. He returned to New Zealand in the 1990s and died in Christchurch more than a decade later.
The mother said her son eventually committed suicide in 1987, aged 21.
A former pupil of Br Fay's at St Edmund's School told ODT Insight he also recalled the Christian Brother's fierce temper and his special interest in the school choir. That included giving extra lessons in his classroom to a chosen group of boys he called his "selected voices".
And, after a long absence, Br Fay was photographed by the ODT, back in Dunedin for a Christian Brothers reunion, on Christmas Day 2004.
Separately, a Dunedin man has given ODT Insight a copy of his police statement, alleging he was abused by a Christian Brother teaching at St Paul's High School in 1971-72.
Detective Mark Lodge, of the Dunedin police child abuse unit, confirmed when contacted a fresh complaint had been received, but he could not comment further.
The alleged victim was also among four Dunedin boys whose complaints had earlier led to the conviction of Fr Magnus Murray, a former Dunedin Catholic priest jailed in 2003 for sexual offences against the boys between 1958 and 1972.
The complainant said he had been repeatedly molested by the Christian Brother in the showers of two Dunedin sports clubs and while being taught to drive a car by the man. The alleged offender, who is still alive and residing in a Christian Brothers facility in the North Island, cannot be named for legal reasons.
All records had been transferred to Melbourne when the New Zealand province of the Christian Brothers was amalgamated with those in Australia and the Pacific, to form a new Oceania province, in 2007.
Br Perkins had only returned to New Zealand two years ago to take up his role, which focused mainly on ensuring the remaining brothers' health needs were met. He never knew Br Fay, but was "flabbergasted" by the more recent police complaint against the second Christian Brother, whom he knew well.
Br Perkins said he had spoken to the alleged offender about the allegations, and "the only comment he made is to categorically deny any such abuse". A Christian Brothers spokesman, speaking from Melbourne yesterday, said the order did not want to answer ODT Insight questions "at this time".
The Dunedin mother whose son committed suicide stressed she did not blame the Catholic Church, despite the behaviour of Br Fay and Fr Kean. She did not want to go to police because her son "was ashamed about [the abuse] and would not have wanted everyone to know".
Instead, following her son's suicide, she met Monsignor the Rt Rev John Harrison — at the time a priest in the Dunedin diocese — to see if he could help her get the Christian Brothers to take action against Br Fay. The Christian Brothers declined to do so, she said, and Fr Harrison felt his hands were tied, as the diocese had no jurisdiction and then-Bishop Len Boyle was in hospital at the time.
She tried again in the 1990s, and Fr Harrison arranged meetings with Bishop Boyle to see if they could press the Christian Brothers to take action. Bishop Boyle asked the leader of the Christian Brothers' New Zealand province, Br Michael Scanlan, to attend two meetings in Dunedin.
At the second meeting, Br Scanlan told her Br Fay admitted the allegations and would be kept away from children for his remaining days, she said. Bishop Boyle told her "you've only got to raise your finger now and he'll go to court, and go straight to jail, because it's admitted", she recalled.
Bishop Boyle should have raised his finger and sent the pervert to jail if there really was zero tolerance.
"The bishop made it very clear to me ... there is total zero tolerance of this within the church now."
Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley and Msgr Harrison would not be interviewed or answer ODT Insight questions this week.
Instead, in a brief statement yesterday, Bishop Dooley would only say he had no jurisdiction over the Christian Brothers, but that his "first concern is for the victims and their families who have suffered abuse at the hands of people they should have been able to trust".
He encouraged anyone who had suffered abuse to come forward, either to the police or the Church's National Office for Professional Standards. The allegations against the two Christian Brothers appear to be the first of their kind involving the Catholic religious order in New Zealand.
I seriously don't believe they will be the last. Christian Brothers have been involved in some horrible child sex crimes all over the world.
The Congregation of Christian Brothers, known as the Christian Brothers, was founded in Ireland in 1802 to promote the education of disadvantaged youth, and spread to Dunedin with the establishment of the Christian Brothers Junior School in Rattray St in 1876.
In Australia, a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard 22% of Christian Brothers were alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse.
The inquiry also heard 60% of abuse survivors — those prepared to speak to private sessions of the royal commission — were abused within faith-based institutions, of which two-thirds were Catholic.
In New Zealand, the Government is still considering whether to include faith-based institutions in its pending royal commission into historic abuse.
And it is almost pointless if they do not! The government does not need to protect the church; it doesn't deserve it and the church is extremely good at protecting itself. Lousy at protecting children.
A decision is expected shortly.
A 56-year-old paedophile who distributed child abuse images despite already being a registered sex offender is now behind bars.
Passing sentence at St Albans Crown Court yesterday, Judge Philip Grey handed Kirkwood a 44-month jail term.
Speaking to the Comet after the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman said: “The abhorrent trade in these sickening images is fuelled by despicable sex offenders like Kirkwood, who show no regard for the victims of the abuse carried out to create them.
“It’s vital he undertakes treatment in prison to lessen the risk of further offending, while government, social media companies and service providers must commit all the resources they can to prevent indecent images being distributed online.”
Kirkwood admitted the charges before Hatfield magistrates in June. He pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing indecent photographs of children, breaching the Sex Offenders Act by failing to notify police of his change of address, and breaching a sexual harm prevention order imposed in 2015 by failing to register his laptop with police.
A paedophile with a twisted interest in babies and toddlers has been jailed after being found with more than 630,000 child abuse images.
Mark Ferguson, 56, appeared respectable and was married with children and the partner in an electronics company. But a court heard how Ferguson used the online moniker Odeap, paedo backwards, and made contact with a serial child rapist in South America, who he encouraged to send him videos.
He has now been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for possessing and distributing indecent images of children. Sending him to prison for 45 months, Recorder Jo Kidd told him: ‘Your particular interest seems to be very little girls and by little girls it seems there’s a pattern of a specific interest in toddlers and babies. It’s difficult to imagine more disgusting images.’
The court heard how Ferguson used the website Gigatribe to share and receive images with fellow paedophiles all around the globe. The judge told him: ‘You possessed then distributed a phenomenal amount of indecent images of children, including the most depraved and disgusting possible.’
The man Ferguson was communicating with in South America has also since been jailed for 23 years for attacking young family members. Recorder Kidd said: ‘You denied in the pre-sentence report that you were motivated by a sexual interest in children. However the name you used was paedo backwards. ‘Mr Ferguson, you are a paedophile.’
In fact, he is an infantophile!
Ferguson, of Baulkham Hills, Houghton-le-Spring, had no previous convictions but caught the interest of the National Crime Agency in January when he shared 213 images online in six minutes.
In February, officers searched his house and found more than 630,000 indecent images. Given the vast amount, they could not all be analysed individually but a sample revealed an even split between the three categories of seriousness.
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said Ferguson had classified and categorised the material as well as classifying other Gigatribe users, depending on how much he trusted them. Mr Wardlaw said: ‘The Crown say in terms of collection and distribution this was calculated, organised and systematic and over an extremely long period of time. ‘It was worldwide distribution with thousands of recipients.’
Ferguson pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images and three of distributing them. As well as jail time, he must sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order. Vic Laffey, defending, said he had expressed ‘shame’ and ‘accepts his behaviour, to use his word, was repugnant’.
Jaede sexually abused the girls, who were 11 and 12 at the time, between 2014 and 2016.
Chief Judge Michael Evans sentenced him to 12 years and 18 days in prison, with a non-parole period of nine years, seven months and 21 days.
Judge Evans said Jaede took advantage of his position and abused the trust of the children in his care. Your actions have fundamentally altered the childhood of two young girls, to their detriment," he said.
"The memories of your actions are something that your victims will now have to live with for the rest of their lives. They were supposed to be protected from the likes of you."
Jaede had initially denied the offending and claimed he had been unfairly targeted because of his gender, but pleaded guilty 11 days before his trial was due to start.
Outside court on Friday, the mother of one of the victims said she was "so, so angry" at the sentence, which she believed to be inadequate.
"They took her vulnerability, they took her youth, they took her from me because she now just wants to closet herself in and try to mend," she told reporters.
"Nine years goes by in a flash."
Police on Friday announced the Subiaco man had been charged with three counts of indecent assault on a female over a series of incidents alleged to have taken place between 1969 and 1972, while the man was a priest at a Catholic Church in Carlisle.
It is alleged the man indecently assaulted a young girl over the period of three years; the girl was just six years old at the time of the first offence.
The man was first charged with historic child sex abuse offences in April over a series of alleged incidents involving seven children — both girls and boys — believed to have taken place between 1979 and 1992, when he was a priest at a Shenton Park Catholic church.
Police in July laid even more charges against the man over a series of alleged incident assaults on another young girl in 1970, again while he was a priest at the Catholic Church in Carlisle.
The man is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday, August 17.
Police are continuing their investigation into the alleged incidents, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online.