Wilfred Edwin Dennis

Posted: October 27, 2012 by Serendipity in Photo, South Australia
Tags: , ,

Pic: Tom Lee –  Source: AdelaideNow

Picture: Tom Lee – Source: AdelaideNow



Paedophile priest Wilfred Edwin Dennis jailed again

  • AAP
  • February 02, 2011 12:12PM

A PAEDOPHILE priest already jailed twice for child sex offences faces the prospect of dying in prison after being ordered to serve an extra nine years for more abuse.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis came before the South Australian District Court today to be sentenced for offences against boys involved in an Anglican Church youth group in Adelaide’s north in the 1970s.

The boys were aged between 14 and 16 at the time while Dennis, now 75, was in his early 40s.

Judge Paul Rice said Dennis had already served a jail sentence in the 1970s for similar offences against altar boys and it was remarkable that the Anglican Church allowed him to return to his duties.

Dennis was also jailed for 20 months in April last year for other historical sex offences against young boys in his care.

Judge Rice said he was mindful that, given the man’s age and failing health, any sentence he imposed could result in Dennis never being released.

But he said the victims had come under the priest’s care and protection for spiritual guidance, not to be preyed upon and abused.

“Your course of conduct has had a profound effect on the victims,” the judge told him.

“You breached their trust, the trust of their parents and the Anglican Church.”

Judge Rice ordered Dennis serve a nine-year sentence and extended the man’s existing 12-month non-parole period to six years.

He decided against declaring Dennis a serious repeat offender, a move which would have left him open to a longer prison term, despite finding that he qualified for such a declaration.

Dennis will be aged 80 before he can hope to be released.




Parole officer praises paedo priest

  • Nigel Hunt, Emily Watkins
  • From: Sunday Mail (SA)
  • December 18, 2010 2:26PM

AN ex-parole officer has admitted providing a reference for a paedophile priest to be reinstated.

Paedophile priest Wilfred Dennis was reinstated by the Anglican Church after one of the state’s most senior parole officers wrote a glowing letter of endorsement direct to the then Archbishop of Adelaide, it has been revealed.

The reference, which has been obtained by the Sunday Mail, urges former archbishop Dr Thomas Thornton Reed to “give favourable consideration” to returning Dennis to the ministry following the completion of his parole.

The reference was written by Robin Durant, then the senior probation and parole officer with the Adult Probation and Parole Service, which is now known as the Community Corrections Division of the Correctional Services Department.

When Mr Durant retired a decade ago he was head of the CCD. He is now a relief member of the Parole Board of SA.

Mr Durant wrote the reference on May 26, 1971 – just two days before Dennis’s supervision period was due to expire.

In 1970, aged 35, Dennis was found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting two altar boys. He was jailed for six months with a further six months supervised parole.

Durant, of Brighton, confirmed to the Sunday Mail he wrote and signed the letter, saying: “That’s definitely me, but I wrote hundreds of those.”

When asked if he remembered Dennis or seen stories about him in the news, Mr Durant said he had not – and would not comment further.

In the reference Mr Durant says he had been requested by Dennis to write and inform Archbishop Reed that his supervision period was about to expire. Although he penned the reference, Mr Durant admits in the reference that his own contact with Dennis has been limited to “the latter months of his supervision” and provides no detail on what, if any, rehabilitation initiatives Dennis had been subject to.

“I have, however, been most favourably impressed with his attitude and sincerity in re-establishing himself within the community and his wish to continue to serve his fellow man,” Mr Durant states.

“I am aware that he hopes to eventually return to the Ministry and I trust that you might give favourable consideration to this at the appropriate time.”

As a direct result of the reference Dennis was returned to the ministry in late 1971, which again placed him in direct contact with young boys.

Between 1975 and 1976 Dennis abused another altar boy and between 1977 and 1978, abused another two altar boys. Dennis, now 75, is still serving a 20-month sentence for his second bout of offending, but has not been sentenced for the 1977-78 offences after being found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and four of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In the District Court on Wednesday Judge Paul Rice slammed the Anglican Church for reinstating Dennis, stating it appeared the church had “swept” his previous sex offending “under the carpet”.

Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver said there was “no way” any church employee convicted of sexual offences would be reinstated today.

“We have very strict child-protection processes in place and our screening and selection criteria for clergy and lay workers has been tightened considerably,” he said.

It is understood the church, which has paid more than $5 million in compensation to abuse victims in recent years, is negotiating compensation with Dennis’s victims.



Paedophile priest Wilfred Dennis found guilty of more offences

  • Sean Fewster, court reporter
  • adelaidenow
  • October 22, 2010 4:22PM

HE vowed to spend his life caring for all God’s children instead, Wilfred Dennis’ deviant existence has been about abusing them, and destroying their innocence.

Already jailed twice for sexually assaulting altar boys, Dennis was today found guilty of seven more offences committed between 1975 and 1979.

Dennis, 75, had pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault and unlawful sexual intercourse.

Today, District Court Judge Paul Rice acquitted Dennis of one offence, but found him guilty of the remaining counts.

He remanded Dennis in custody for sentencing submissions in December.

Dennis is currently serving a 20-month sentence for sex offences, and served a six-month term in the 1970s for like crimes.



Former Anglican Church pedophile priest jailed for second time

  • Sean Fewster, Court Reporter
  • adelaidenow
  • April 08, 2010 11:15AM

HIS jail term will last just 20 months but, for a paedophile as old and sick as Wilfred Dennis, that could be a life sentence.

The District Court this morning jailed the former Anglican Church priest, 74, for one count of carnal knowledge.

Judge Sydney Tilmouth had earlier found him guilty of having sex with his parish’s altar boy between 1975 and 1977.

It is the second time Dennis – who left the Anglican Church to become a priest with a splinter group – has been jailed for sexually assaulting boys in his care.

He served a six-month sentence, in 1970, for crimes against two altar boys in 1968.

In sentencing, Judge Tilmouth said the “striking similarities” between Dennis’ offences – and the short time between them – made them too serious for anything but immediate imprisonment.

“An even more disturbing feature is that Justice (Roma) Mitchell sentenced you (in 1970) in the belief that you would not be able to follow this calling, as a Minister of religion, in the future,” he said.

“She expressly extended leniency to you on the basis that you would lose your Ministry.

“For some unaccountable and presently unexplained reason, upon release you in fact returned to the Ministry.

“You remain as much now in a state of self-denial as you were all those long years ago.”

During the trial, the splinter group’s archbishop, John Hepworth, claimed Dennis had admitted abusing more then 40 boys while he was with the Anglican Church.

Throughout his latest trial Dennis denied any wrongdoing, saying his victim had asked him about masturbating after other boys at school had told him about it.

He said he told the boy what masturbation was and allowed him to masturbate in his shower.

Judge Sydney Tilmouth ruled Dennis’ testimony was “bizarre” and “unconvincing”.

Today, he noted Dennis’ poor health – including two heart defects – but said it was not enough to warrant a suspended sentence.

“You are soon to turn 75 so the court must sentence you, effectively, in the twilight years of your life,” he said.

“Because of the serious nature of the offence, because it involved a gross breach of trust and because it is a repeat offence, a deterrent prison sentence must be imposed.”

He imposed a 12-month non-parole period.


Join us on Facebook






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s