Raymond Frederick Ayles

Posted: October 15, 2012 by Serendipity in Photo, South Australia
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Priest who abused boy loses court appeal

February 28, 2008 – 1:08PM

A former Anglican priest convicted of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy has lost his appeal to the High Court.

Raymond Frederick Ayles was sentenced to four years’ jail after pleading guilty to two of six counts of indecent assault but not guilty to the four other counts and two counts of buggery.

The charges date back to 1971, and took place between then and 1973, when Ayles was a priest at Para Hills in Adelaide and the victim was from a family of his parishioners.

The victim’s testimony during a SA Supreme Court trial, which raised doubts about the exact period the assaults took place, prompted Judge Andrea Simpson to amend details of one count of sexual assault.

She subsequently convicted Ayles on the amended count.

Ayles appealed to the SA Court of Criminal Appeal, arguing that Judge Simpson did not have the power to amend the charge without an application from the prosecutor.

The effect was to substitute a new charge that went beyond the power of amendment, he argued.

The appeal court, in dismissing the appeal, found Judge Simpson did not need to wait for an application from the prosecutor to amend the charge because, as a judge, she was responsible for correcting the pleadings.

Ayles subsequently appealed to the High Court where three of the five judges ruled against him on Thursday.

The majority held that Judge Simpson’s correction did not constitute unfairness or was miscarriage of justice.


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