Victims of abuser sought

Natalie O’Brien | February 14, 2009

Article from:  The Australian

FORMER students and colleagues of a Marist brother found guilty of sexually abusing children have been asked to come forward as investigations widen into the activities of the man, who taught at almost a dozen schools across NSW and Queensland.

It is feared that there may be many unknown victims of Ross Francis Murrin, who taught with the order for 26 years and is already serving a jail term for abusing eight primary school boys in 1974 at the Marist Daceyville school in Sydney’s east.

Murrin, 53, is to be sentenced next month in the NSW District Court after pleading guilty to the latest charge of sexually abusing a boy in his care at St Gregory’s college in Campbelltown, in Sydney’s southwest, in the mid-1980s.

The Weekend Australian has been told that more alleged victims have come forward, claiming the Marist brother also abused them while he taught at a Marist college in Cairns.

Porters Lawyers principal Jason Parkinson, who acted for the St Gregory’s victim, has called for students and teachers at the school in Cairns, St Augustine’s – where Murrin taught before being transferred to St Gregory’s – to come forward. Mr Parkinson said they had already received some information about Murrin’s time at St Augustine’s, where he had duties caring for boarding school students.

He has placed a newspaper advertisement in Cairns asking for anyone with information about Murrin to contact him.

“Murrin was transferred every one or two years after the Daceyville offences, so it is a fair bet that he offended at other schools as well,” Mr Parkinson said.

Mr Parkinson has launched actions for damages against the trustees of the Marist Brothers, key Marist officials and the Catholic Church Insurance office on behalf of the St Gregory’s victim.

He has also acted for more than 40 people who claim to have been abused at the hands of members of the Marist Brothers.

Marist Brothers spokesman Alexis Turton said yesterday he had already released a statement apologising to Murrin’s victims.

Murrin was an 18-year-old teacher when he indecently assaulted the eight boys aged between nine and 11 at Daceyville.

But his crimes went unreported until 2002 when two of his victims came forward. He was then admitted into a special program for sex-offending clergymen by the Marist Brothers.

Murrin pleaded guilty last year to the 1974 offences; the NSW District Court was told that the abuse often happened in the classroom when Murrin asked students to sit on his lap in front of the class. Murrin also admitted to the court he had molested other children – offences for which he had not been charged.


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