Neville Gilbert Betteridge

Posted: June 22, 2014 by Serendipity in NSW, Photo
Tags: , ,

Betteridge - Neville Gilbert - Photo.

 

UPDATE: MAY 2016

Betteridge has been arrested at his Moooloolba home & extradited to NSW. He is accused of numerous child sex offences dating back to his time as a teacher in the Blue Mountains in the 1960s. He has been refused bail.

 

UPDATE:  OCTOBER 2014

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25222668/man-convicted-of-child-abuse-applies-to-court-to-keep-pursuing-victim-mark-wurth-for-legal-costs/

Man convicted of child abuse applies to court to keep pursuing victim Mark Wurth for legal costs

By the National Reporting Team’s Lorna KnowlesOctober 9, 2014, 7:10 pm

A man convicted of child abuse is fighting a court ruling that his victim should not be forced to pay his $20,000 legal bill.

Mark Wurth was repeatedly sexually abused by his geography teacher and housemaster, Neville Gilbert Betteridge, at the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the 1970s.

In 2004, Betteridge was convicted of indecently assaulting Mr Wurth and given a three-year suspended jail term.

Seven years later, Mr Wurth sued Betteridge and the Anglican Church, which ran the school, for damages and the church paid him an out-of-court settlement.

But when he tried to withdraw his claim against Betteridge, his abuser demanded he first pay his $20,000 legal bill.

“I was just, you’re joking? You know? Like when does a victim pay a perpetrator’s costs?” Mr Wurth said.

“I was shattered and depressed, and then the more I thought about it, it made me more despondent with the legal system that they can be allowed to do this.

“It’s very similar to how I felt when he was abusing me as a kid.

“I have no control. I’m just made to do what he says. There’s nothing I can do.”

In July, a Supreme Court judge ruled that any attempt by Betteridge to pursue his victim would be a “conspicuous waste of emotional and financial resources” and made no order as to costs.

But Betteridge is now seeking leave to appeal that decision, arguing the judge considered irrelevant matters and made manifest mistakes.

Church calls on abuser to drop the claim 

The Anglican Church has called on Betteridge to drop the claim, but his barrister, Paul Glissan, told the ABC he was entitled to seek costs under court rules.

New South Wales Greens MP David Shoebridge said while the appeal was legal, it was morally questionable.Â

“When you take one step and have a look at what this man’s been through, he’s already been the subject of appalling sexual abuse and what’s happening to him now in the legal system has all the hallmarks of secondary abuse,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“This is a man who should be getting support from the legal system, not facing these endless appeals.”

Mr Shoebridge said the case highlighted the need for law reform to better protect victims of child sexual abuse.

“The core problem that this case demonstrates is there is no simple, straightforward remedy for the victims of child sexual abuse,” he said.

“Whether it is against the Catholic Church, where there’s byzantine trust structures that defend church property, or here where it is against part of the Anglican Church, and it’s the failure to be able to identify a very clear legal entity to sue.

“There must be a clear path to compensation.”

The application seeking leave to appeal will be heard early next month.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-17/judge-says-abuse-victim-doesnt-have-to-pay-abusers-legal-bill/5529426

Judge says abuse victim Mark Wurth does not have to pay abuser’s $20,000 legal bill

Updated Wed 18 Jun 2014, 12:23am AEST

A judge has ordered that a victim of child sexual abuse should not be forced to pay his abuser’s $20,000 legal bill.

Mark Wurth was repeatedly sexually assaulted by his housemaster, Neville Gilbert Betteridge, at the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the 1970s.

Years later he sued his abuser and the Anglican Church, which ran the school, for damages.

The church paid him a confidential settlement and Mr Wurth then offered to withdraw his action against Betteridge.

But as the ABC reported exclusively in April, Betteridge demanded that Mr Wurth first pay his $20,000 legal bill.

Yesterday a NSW Supreme Court judge found Mr Wurth should not be forced to pay the bill.

Justice Ian Harrison said it would a “conspicuous waste of emotional and financial resources” to allow the court case to proceed any further.

He said Mr Wurth had suffered significant stress and anxiety and did not want to go to trial.

“This may be because the prospect of doing so is emotionally difficult for him or because there is no prospect of a successful monetary or financial outcome,” Justice Harrison said.

He granted Mr Wurth’s application to discontinue the case and made no order as to costs.

“I am relieved that this is over and I don’t have to be subjected to any cost claims from Neville Betteridge, a predator,” Mr Wurth said.

“However, I was letting Neville Betteridge off any further litigation due to him having no finances, so I have been put though a lot by his legal team in their grubby grab for money.”

Mr Wurth was 14 when he was first assaulted by Betteridge.

“He was coming into the dormitory through the infirmary of a night and taking me from my bed back to his room,” Mr Wurth told the ABC earlier this year.

“He was a very big drinker. Cigarettes and alcohol were involved every single time.”

In 2004, Betteridge was convicted of two counts of indecent assault on Mr Wurth and was given a three-year suspended jail term.

Seven years later, Mr Wurth sued the Anglican Church Diocese and Betteridge in the NSW Supreme Court.

Legal action ‘felt very similar’ to childhood abuse

After the church settled and he offered to withdraw the case against Betteridge, Mr Wurth was shocked to receive a letter from Betteridge’s lawyers, demanding that he pay their client’s legal costs.

“I was just [saying] you’re joking, you know, like when does a victim pay a perpetrator’s costs?” Mr Wurth said.

“Then it got into the legalities of the whole thing and I just found it traumatising again that he’s demanding I do that.

“It feels very similar to how I felt when he was abusing me as a kid. I’ve got no control. I’m just made to do what he says, in effect. There’s nothing I can do.

“The settlement I got from the Anglican Church is just getting eaten away. It seems like the settlement was just here to feed the legal profession.”

Betteridge’s barrister Paul Glisson said his client was entitled to seek costs under part 42, rule 19 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

“Mr Betteridge has a right to get his costs under the rule, unless the court orders otherwise,” Mr Glisson said.

“Mr Wurth has been compensated by the Victim’s Compensation Tribunal and by the church and he has decided to bring an action against a 70-year-old pensioner with no assets.”

The Anglican Church had called on Betteridge to drop his claim against Mr Wurth, describing the predicament as “absurd”.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-14/ex-teacher-who-abused-student-pursues-victim-for-compensation/5389200

Former Blue Mountains teacher who sexually abused student pursues victim for $20,000 in legal costs

Updated Tue 15 Apr 2014, 6:48am AEST

A former school teacher who sexually abused his student is now pursuing his victim for almost $20,000 in legal costs.

The teacher, who was employed at the Blue Mountains Grammar School in the early 1970s, was convicted for molesting his former student, but he now wants him to pay his legal bill.

Mark Wurth was repeatedly abused at the school by the then-house master and geography teacher, Neville Gilbert Betteridge.

“He was coming into the dormitory through the infirmary of a night and taking me from my bed back to his room,” Mr Wurth told the ABC.

“He was a very big drinker. Cigarettes and alcohol were involved every single time.”

In 2004, Betteridge was convicted of two counts of indecent assault on Mr Wurth and was given a three-year suspended jail term.

Seven years later, Mr Wurth decided to sue the Anglican Church Diocese, which ran the school at the time, and Betteridge for damages.

The church paid Mr Wurth an out-of-court settlement and Mr Wurth then offered to withdraw the action against Betteridge.

He was shocked to receive a letter from Betteridge’s lawyers demanding that he pay the former school teacher’s legal costs.

“I was just [saying] ‘You’re joking, you know, like when does a victim pay a perpetrator’s costs?'” Mr Wurth said.

“Then it got into the legalities of the whole thing and I just found it traumatising again, that he’s demanding I do that.

“It feels very similar to how I felt when he was abusing me as a kid.

“I got no control. I’m just made to do what he says, in effect. There’s nothing I can do.

“The settlement I got from the Anglican Church is just getting eaten away. It seems like the settlement was just here to feed the legal profession.”

Betteridge declined to comment, but his barrister Paul Glisson said his client was entitled to seek costs under part 42, rule 19 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

“Mr Betteridge has a right to get his costs under the rule, unless the court orders otherwise,” Mr Glisson said.

“Mr Wurth has been compensated by the Victim’s Compensation Tribunal and by the Church and he has decided to bring an action against a 70-year-old pensioner with no assets.”

The Anglican Church is calling on Betteridge to drop his claim against Mr Wurth, describing his predicament as “absurd”.

“We would like to express our total abhorrence of sexual misconduct or any form of abuse involving children. In this case, the pain and distress of these incidents are obvious long after the events took place,” a spokesman said in a statement to the ABC.

“We hope that the settlement we have reached on Mr Wurth’s claim may provide a measure of closure for him.

“However, it seems absurd there is now an action by the perpetrator to recover costs from the victim in relation to the separate claim made against him.

“We would urge that this action be dropped and Mr Wurth be spared further anguish in court proceedings.”

Anglican Church using Ellis defence, says MP

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has been supporting Mr Wurth through his legal case.

Mr Shoebridge said before settling, the Anglican Church had relied on the so-called “Ellis defence”, arguing it was not a legal entity which could be sued.

“I am pretty sure most people would have thought some of these legal defences are being limited to the Catholic Church,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“What we have seen here, astoundingly, is the Anglican Church using the exact same legal shenanigans, legal ruse, to avoid paying fair compensation. They are saying that the school doesn’t exist in law.”

He was also alarmed that the Church said it did not have insurance to cover Mr Wurth’s claim.

“It is surprising the State Government hasn’t recognised the extent of the problem and be demanding all private schools, all Catholic schools, all independent schools as a basic element to their registration have adequate insurance or adequate assets to meet these claims,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“Because without that comfort it is difficult to see how anyone can rest assured when they leave their kids over the school day.”

Push for law reform for child sexual abuse victims

Senior Sydney barrister, Dr Andrew Morrison SC, is also pushing for law reform to protect victims of child sexual abuse.

Dr Morrison is head of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, which has made a submission to the royal commission on child sexual abuse titled Obstacles in the Way of Bringing Common Law Claims.

“There must be a legal entity capable of being sued, in respect of all organisations, of substantial size, which care for children,” Dr Morrison said.

“There must be in respect of organisations such as the Catholic Church, which has avoided its liability through the Ellis defence in the past, a period when the limitation problem is lifted to allow former claimants to sue.

“The legal entity which is created must exist retrospectively so that unlike the offer that Cardinal [George] Pell made at the royal commission that would create an entity for the future, the thousands of victims who have come forward to the royal commission will have a remedy.”

 

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Comments
  1. Anne Wills says:

    Good on you judge. About time their were some sensible judgements from the judiciary.

  2. allan says:

    like all victims settlement of this form the church has abused the forfeiture to a priest sums of undisclosed sums of money yet he is happy and now he gets greedy to make a advancement of more what a pitiful pig no different to the Newcastle church of England they protect their own people what of the innocent kids what of the mongrel police that don’t take statements or record this so so sad that i ask a ex children home was abused got jack crap for my pain and suffering the loss of education as i got too loud and then kicked to the streets omg what are these people animals

  3. Kew says:

    If we’re looking for remorse, it’s clearly not going to be found with this despicable old Betteridge.

  4. Schwahelian Jungle Boy says:

    This grub killed himself in Lithgow Gaol recently. Name was not reported as I suppose nobody really cares.

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