Hampton – Bebe Thomas - Photo3



Ex-Marist brother guilty on sex charges

December 1, 2010 – 4:24PM

A former Catholic Marist teaching brother, now living in Queensland, has been found guilty of 11 sex offences by a jury in New Zealand’s High Court.

Bede Hampton, 62, was on trial for a week on alleged sex offences against two teenage boys at a Masterton Catholic boarding school in the early 1970s.

The jury of eight women and four men returned with their verdicts shortly after 3pm local time (1300 AEDT) after retiring on Monday to consider 23 individual charges.

They found Hampton guilty on 11 charges — 10 of indecent assault and one of committing an indecent act.

Hampton was found not guilty on two counts of sodomy, three charges of indecent assault and five charges of committing indecent acts.

The jury could not reach agreement on two counts of committing an indecent act.

Justice Forrest Miller remanded Hampton on bail to a residential address before sentencing on December 17.

Hampton returned to New Zealand from his home in Australia voluntarily to face 26 counts. He pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault on one of the boys and a third was dismissed.

The alleged offending happened while he was teaching at St Joseph’s College in Masterton. The school has since closed.

Hampton was then in his mid-20s and the complainants in their early teens.

Within a few years Hampton had left the Marist order and his teaching career.

Now an interior decorator based in Queensland, he is married with two adult children.

The two former pupils made their separate official complaints to the Catholic Church and the police less than 10 years ago.

One of them — who left the college at the end of fourth form — now also lives in Australia.

Hampton’s lawyer, Chris Stevenson, asked that sentencing be deferred to the New Year, but Justice Miller said Hampton was not going back to Australia before sentencing, and that his sentence would have to be served in New Zealand.



Ex-brother ‘horrified’ by sex allegations

The Dominion Post

Last updated 05:00 26/11/2010

A former Marist brother charged with sexually assaulting two pupils more than 30 years ago says he did not do most of what is alleged against him.

Bede Thomas Hampton, 62, told a jury in the High Court at Wellington yesterday that for years he had carried the burden of what he had done wrong – but some of the claims made were impossible and ridiculous.

As a 12-year-old he had been touched indecently, he said. “I was terrified of what happened to me and there I was doing the same thing.” He said he had no idea why it happened.

Hampton, who is now married with children and living in Australia, pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault involving one boy and acknowledges an incident happened with another but said he did not know if it was a crime.

He has pleaded not guilty to 24 other charges, including two of sodomy, arising from his time at St Joseph’s College in Masterton in the 1970s. He said he did not even understand sex at that time and first had intercourse after he left the Marist brothers when he was 29.

He said he was horrified to hear he was accused of sodomy. “I said sorry for what I did if I hurt [a complainant], but I never did anything like that.”

Two former pupils called to give evidence for the defence said they knew nothing about events alleged by the complainants.

The trial resumes on Monday.


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