Former priest jailed for child pornography offences

By Stephen Moynihan
Magistrates Court Reporter
August 17, 2005

A former Anglican parish priest was yesterday sentenced to at least seven months in jail after he pleaded guilty to child pornography offences.

John Martin Crump, 59, of Mount Waverley, appeared in Ringwood Magistrates Court to face two charges of producing child porn and one of possessing child porn.

Crump was the vicar of St Philip’s Anglican church in Mount Waverley when he was arrested and charged by police last September during the nationwide Operation Auxin, targeting child porn producers and users.

After his arrest Crump made full admissions, resigned from the church and is now working as a truck driver.

Crump entered the priesthood in 1985 and was about to be transferred to South Australia when he was charged.

Paul Galbally, for Crump, told the court yesterday that his client had lost his vocation and brought shame on himself, his wife and three adult children.

Mr Galbally admitted that his client should be punished to “send out a strong message of condemnation” but he urged the magistrate to consider a suspended sentence.

Mr Galbally said Crump was being treated by a psychiatrist and had a history of heart problems and was suffering with diabetes.

A prosecution summary released by the court said Crump used his credit card to join a child porn website in August 2002 and downloaded images onto his computer.

On September 28 last year police raided Crump’s home next to the church and seized his computer and compact discs. Officers found more than 3500 images of child porn, most of males.

Magistrate Lance Martin viewed a selection of the images, describing them as “vile”, and said a suspended sentence would not reflect the gravity of Crump’s offences.

He jailed Crump for 16 months, ordering him to serve a minimum of seven months, and put him on the Sexual Offenders Registry.

He released Crump on bail after Mr Galbally said his client would appeal against the sentence in the County Court in November.


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