Sentence doubled for paedophile church worker

Updated Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:26pm AEST

A former Hunter Valley church worker has had his sentence doubled for sexually abusing 20 boys.

Earlier this year, former Anglican church youth worker, James Michael Brown, was sentenced to 10 years jail with six years non-parole for abusing the boys between the 1970s and 90s.

He admitted giving boys as young as eight alcohol before abusing them, mainly at Kurri Kurri.

Victims were outraged by the sentence and the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed.

Today the Court of Criminal Appeal doubled Brown’s sentence to 20 years jail with 12 years non-parole.

One of his victims, Phil, is thrilled.

“Finally someone listened too us – that it’s not alright to go raping children,” he said.

Another victim, Ray, welcomes the sentence but says the pain continues.

“It’ll never be closure because you never forget it,” he said.

Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop, Brian Farran, has previously expressed deep regret for the abuse.

Anger at Church as worker is jailed over abuse

Posted March 02, 2012 14:44:20

Anglican Church officials in the New South Wales Hunter Valley have been accused of ignoring sexual abuse allegations against a former youth worker, who has been jailed today.

Sixty-two-year-old James Michael Brown, known as Brother Jim, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for sexually abusing 20 boys.

Brown showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.

He pleaded guilty to 27 offences, including indecent and sexual assault and buggery.

They were committed against 20 boys between the 1970s and 90s.

East Maitland District Court heard most of the offences happened in Kurri Kurri while Brown was an Anglican church youth worker.

Boys as young as eight were given alcohol or drugs before being assaulted.

During sentencing Judge John North said Brown had a tried and tested modus operandi when it came to procuring young boys for his sexual gratification.

Outside court one of his victims Ray said he was angry at church officials for ignoring his complaints in 1985.

“You’ve got people who have committed suicide,” he said.

“The Anglican Church is involved and they should be held responsible.”

Phil said there was no justice.

“Definitely not, not for the way he pried on us,” he said.

Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop Brian Farran, has expressed deep regret for the abuse and is urging people affected to access support services.

Brown will be eligible for parole in 2017.

The Crown will appeal against his sentence.

Court hears 20 families fractured by child sex abuse

Updated November 25, 2011 16:21:50

The District Court has heard that 20 child sex victims of a former Hunter Valley Anglican church worker have had fractured lives as a result of the abuse.

61 year old James Michael Brown abused his victims after giving them access to video games, quad bikes and holidays, while he was a church youth leader.

Brown has pleaded guilty to 26 offences which mostly happened in Kurri Kurri.

He has apologised for the abuse that spanned 22 years to 1996.

During sentencing submissions his barrister Paul Rosser said Brown was contrite.

Mr Rosser said his client has been delusional and did not see himself as a paedophile and just thought that he was gay.

He told the court Brown has a low to medium risk of re-offending given that it has been 15 years since he has abused a boy.

Mr Rosser said there will also be significant physical limitations on Brown’s capacity to re-offend because of the age he will be when he is released.

The Crown says Brown has shown no remorse and remains a risk.

The prosecutor said he has no insight, empathy or understanding in relation to his actions.

East Maitland District Court has heard that all of the victims have suffered extensively, with many addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The Crown says the men have been affected in their fractured families and there has been extra fracturing for those victims who were not believed when they complained about the abuse.

Brown has been refused bail and will be sentenced in February.

Former youth worker charged with 68 child sex offences

Posted Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:03pm AEST

Newcastle’s Anglican Diocese has again talked up its commitment to stop child sexual abuse in the wake of a former youth worker being charged with abusing several boys.

James Michael Brown, 60, is now facing 68 child sex offences after a further 28 charges were formally laid in Maitland Local Court yesterday.

Police allege Brown abused eight boys in the Lower Hunter and Bathurst between 1974 and 1991.

He was employed by Newcastle’s Anglican Diocese as a youth worker at the time and was also a member of the management committee at the St Alban’s Childrens’ Home at Aberdare, near Cessnock.

Brown’s case was heard briefly in Maitland Local Court yesterday and adjourned to October.

In a statement, Newcastle’s Anglican Diocese says it has invested significant resources and is strongly committed to addressing the issue of current and historical child sexual abuse cases.


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