O’Grady – David John - Photo2



Unrepentant pedophile struck off nurses’ register

Kate Benson Medical Reporter

June 1, 2009

A SYDNEY man once described by a judge as “a pedophile by preference who has difficulty relating to adults” has been struck off the NSW nurses’ register.

It is the second time in his 33-year career that David John O’Grady, a former psychiatric nurse, has lost his nursing registration over child sex charges dating back to 1988. He has been convicted nine times for indecently assaulting children.

Mr O’Grady, 54, was the pedophile at the centre of the $1.7 million civil suit brought against the Catholic Diocese of Sydney in 2003 by a former choir boy, who had claimed David Russell, the director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral, had walked in on a naked Mr O’Grady sexually abusing him and another boy in the lounge room of Mr Russell’s Stanmore home in 1982 but had closed the door.

Mr Russell was sacked by the Archbishop, George Pell, over the incident but was later reinstated when the Industrial Relations Commission found no evidence to support the claim.

Mr O’Grady was convicted after the District Court was told he had “gratified himself with the boy’s penis and ejaculated over him”, causing the boy serious mental health problems.

The boy, aged 11 at the time of the assault, did not report the incident to police until he was 17, and later committed suicide.

Mr O’Grady was first convicted of seven counts of indecently assaulting children in 1988. A sister and brother, aged 10 and 12 when the abuse began, told police he had touched their genitals several times over two years.

Mr O’Grady was sentenced to 18 months’ periodic detention and was struck off the nurses’ register the next year, but successfully reapplied in 1992 after a psychiatrist said he had received “extensive treatment” and did not present a threat to staff or patients.

In 2004, police found 33 images of boys in sexually explicit poses on Mr O’Grady’s home computer when they raided his Ashfield flat. Charges that followed were later dismissed, but the NSW Nurses and Midwives Tribunal found it to be “another example of seriously unacceptable behaviour in the context of the fitness to practise nursing”.

In 2006, he was again convicted of indecently assaulting a child after his cousin reported he had been molested on a camping trip between 1978 and 1979 when he was seven.

He was put on a good behaviour bond and given a suspended sentence of 18 months’ jail, with an additional term of six months.

In Friday’s hearing, the tribunal found that Mr O’Grady, who has not worked as a nurse since 2005, lacked insight and had shown no remorse. It found his list of child sex charges “were not isolated episodes, atypical or uncharacteristic”.

“He considers himself to be the real victim,” it found.

He cannot reapply for registration for five years.


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