Posts Tagged ‘Catholic’


Francis William Cable - Photo4

Former Marist Brother Francis William Cable, aka Brother Romuald, admits sexual abuse


March 19, 2015, 10 p.m.

A FORMER Hunter Marist Brother who called a 12-year-old student ‘‘the anti-Christ’’ before raping him half a century ago is in custody after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 17 boys and teenagers, and being found guilty of offences against two others.

Trials against Francis William Cable, 82, known as Brother Romuald when he taught at Marist Brothers schools at Hamilton, Maitland and Pagewood in the 1960s, were expected to run for several months after he pleaded not guilty to nearly 60 indecent assault and buggery offences in the 1960s and 1970s.

But he entered guilty pleas to multiple offences in Sydney District Court on Thursday after a jury in the first trial found him guilty of 13 offences against two boys, including buggery, on Tuesday.

Men cried with relief and outrage after the guilty pleas were confirmed. One victim, who was called ‘‘the anti-Christ’’, beaten on the head and digitally and orally raped by Romuald at the age of 12, cried as he said: ‘‘I don’t trust any man.’’

‘‘He was violent. He used me for sex. He was a mongrel of a bloke and I was just a child.’’

Three of his victims who cried while recounting the terror they experienced at school because of Romuald said they had no time for anyone who expressed sympathy for him because of his age, or the likelihood that he would die in jail.

‘‘He sexually abused me more than 50 years ago and I’ve had to live with that for most of my life,’’ said one of his former students, 67.

‘‘He’s been able to live his life without anyone knowing what he did. He probably thought that at 82, ‘I’m fine. I’ll get away with this’, but that’s not right. Child sexual abuse has a devastating impact on your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how old they are, the silence that allowed this to happen has to end.’’

Romuald sexually abused a number of children who had suffered deaths in their families, or where family members were known drinkers, or where the children had physical problems.

He sexually abused children behind his desk in classrooms at Maitland, Hamilton and Pagewood while other students were in the room. He gained access to boys and teenagers outside school by coaching sports, taking them on Duke of Edinburgh Award camps and activities, running army cadet groups, and organising father-and-son weekend camps where the fathers brought kegs of beer.

At one of the father-and-son weekends, Romuald indecently assaulted a 13-year-old boy while they were swimming in Myall Lakes.

An agreed statement of facts tendered to the court said the boy told his father on the trip home.

‘‘His father did not believe him and told him he was lying,’’ the facts said.

Romuald committed multiple offences at Newcastle, Merewether and Maitland baths, and Heffron Park baths in Sydney while swimming with boys and teenagers.

Other offences occurred at Bar Beach, also while swimming.

In 1972 Romuald took a form 2 Hamilton Marist Brothers class to Merewether Baths, where they used the change rooms.

‘‘The offender was walking around in the change rooms with an erection. He was encouraging the boys to remove their clothes, telling them to take their swimmers off,’’ the statement of facts said.

Romuald indecently assaulted boys at the Hamilton and Maitland schools while teaching them sex education, which he taught in one-on-one sessions. He also befriended women who were alone because their husbands had died, or left, or worked for long periods away from home, and indecently assaulted their sons during regular visits.

Romuald indecently assaulted one boy in his mother’s laundry, telling him it was ‘‘sex education’’.

One of his victims, 58, said his life had ‘‘gone completely pear-shaped’’ because of the abuse he experienced at Hamilton Marist Brothers.

‘‘I was going to be an engineer but after the abuse I just couldn’t stay at school. I got out,’’ he said.

‘‘I hate the Marist Brothers. I can’t understand how they did all that stuff. The Brothers at that school were friends of my parents. I look back and see what a mess my life has been and I realise, I was running away.’’

Francis Cable (Brother Romuald) will be sentenced at a later date.

‘He’s an old man, he can’t hurt me any more’

A MAN sobbed on Thursday when told he would not have to give evidence against Francis William Cable, the man he knew as Brother Romuald at Marist Brothers Hamilton.

‘‘I feel cheated,’’ he said, while apologising for not being able to control his sobs.

‘‘I’ve lost my chance to say: ‘You hurt me’. I’m really beaten up. I’ve got to get this bear off my back because it’s been 40 bloody years.’’

The man was 13 when Romuald repeatedly indecently assaulted him in class, and left him terrified  of  when the next incident would occur.

‘‘For all this time, I’ve pictured myself as three feet tall, and he’s six feet four, and I’m powerless. I need to look at his face and know he’s a bent-up old man and he can’t hurt me any more. I need to be able to tell him that: ‘You can’t hurt me any more’.’’

The man, who cannot be identified, said Romuald was a ‘‘big, evil, scary man who used to turn up out of nowhere’’ for many former students.

‘‘There are more victims … who wouldn’t make statements to police. I personally approached four. They said he had abused them but they just couldn’t make a statement. That’s the power this stuff has over you.

‘‘You cap it and seal it away and think you’re OK, and then it hits you.’’

The man said his family had not supported him. When he rang them in distress after the guilty pleas on Thursday, his parents tried to change the subject.

Another victim who was 13 when he was repeatedly assaulted by Romuald said he was staggered by the failings of the Catholic Church and the Marist Brothers to protect children at the Hamilton and Maitland schools.

‘‘Of course I hate the bastards for it.’’


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Humphreys – Glenn Michael - Photo



Humphreys has been arrested in Western Australia after he finished serving his sentence there. He has been extradited to NSW to face further charges.



WA priest jailed for sex offences

  • October 15, 2014 2:17PM

A CATHOLIC priest will spend at least 11 months behind bars after being convicted of abusing a West Australian teenager more than 30 years ago.

GLENN Humphreys, 61, was found guilty of abusing a boy between 1983 and 1986 when the boy was aged 15 to 17.

A District Court jury found Humphreys guilty of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, but acquitted him of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

During sentencing submissions on Wednesday, defence lawyer Seamus Rafferty argued there was an “immature context” to the offending rather than any form of grooming.

Mr Rafferty said his client was struggling with his sexuality at the time and there was an “adolescent quality” to the hugging and touching that made the case “exceptional”.

“There clearly was a fondness between these two people,” he said.

Mr Rafferty said his client was “deeply remorseful” and had engaged in rehabilitation, which Judge Philip Eaton accepted.

Judge Eaton also accepted that Humphreys was a low-risk of re-offending but said the pair formed a “grossly inappropriate” relationship and general deterrence was important.

He sentenced Humphreys to 22 months in prison, with a minimum of 11 months before he will be eligible for parole.

Priest guilty of assault on teen

Elle Farcic The West Australian

August 22, 2014, 5:25 am

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy on church property in Perth 30 years ago.

Glenn Humphreys was accused of abusing the teenager between 1983 and 1986 while he was assistant priest at a church in Perth’s south.

After six hours of deliberation, a District Court jury last night convicted Humphreys of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

He was acquitted of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

The court was told Humphreys had assaulted the boy in the church’s presbytery and in a bathroom at a nearby primary school.

He admitted having an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with the boy but argued their actions were consensual.

Giving evidence this week, Humphreys said he accepted he took advantage of a vulnerable young person.

He admitted he started to feel a sexual attraction to the boy in the second half of 1985, shortly before he took him to Quinns Rocks for a holiday.

“It didn’t dawn on me at the time that there was anything unusual with that,” he said.

“It was only a little break from the parish, that’s all.”

His victim, now aged 45, lives overseas but came to Perth to give evidence.

The man told the court one of the hardest things he had done was reporting the abuse to police in 2012.

He said the abuse left him confused and shocked, describing some of the incidents as “highly traumatising”.

Humphreys moved to Perth in January 1983 after a stint at an Eastern States school.

Two men who were allegedly abused by Humphreys at the school in the mid-70s and early 80s also gave evidence during the trial.

The men testified Humphreys would put on music, often by his favourite artist Barbra Streisand, before touching them inappropriately.

Two years ago, Humphreys sent his Perth victim a letter of apology and asked for his forgiveness.

Prosecutor James Mactaggart said Humphreys blatantly abused his position of trust.

Humphreys will be sentenced on October 15.


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16 Dec 2014 – 7:44pm

Vic pedophile priest to walk free in weeks

An 88-year-old Catholic priest who sexually abused an alter boy in Melbourne in the 1970s will walk free from jail within weeks, after successfully appealing the length of his sentence.

The now-retired priest, James Henry Scannell, had served 138 days of his two year sentence when the Victorian Court of Appeal reduced his jail time to 15 months, with 10 months of this suspended.

Scannell was found guilty of a single charge of buggery by a Victorian County Court jury in July, and he continues to deny committing the assault.

The joint ruling by Justices Mark Weinberg, Phillip Priest, Lex Lasry on Tuesday rejected Scannell’s bid to have his conviction overturned but did allow a reduction in his prison term.

Scannell’s was originally required him to serve at least 12 months before being eligible for parole.

Under the reduced sentence, he will be released within weeks.

Scannell committed the abuse during a sexual education lesson more than 40 years ago.

He was asked by a long-time friend and member of his East Kew parish to discuss puberty with the boy.

Instead, Scannell, wearing only a dressing gown, led the boy into his bedroom, stripped him naked and sexually abused him.

The victim came forward in 2010 when he learnt Scannell was to conduct his aunt’s funeral.

Victorian Catholic priest, 88, jailed for two years for raping boy

By court reporter Peta Carlyon

Thu 7 Aug 2014, 3:55pm

An 88-year-old Victorian Catholic priest has been sentenced to two years in jail for raping a boy more than 40 years ago.

James Scannell was convicted in the Victorian County Court of one charge of raping the 12-year-old while he was working in Kew in the early 1970s.

The court heard that Scannell had always denied the offence and had shown no remorse.

The priest suffered from a series of serious health problems, including a heart condition and cancer, the court heard.

Scannell joined the church as a Marist Brother in 1945 and served as a priest for almost 50 years, working in parishes around Melbourne, including Warburton, Brighton, Flemington and Geelong.

His lawyer told the court his client dedicated his life to serving the community and had set up an important education program for autistic children.

But Judge David Parsons said Scannell was guilty of a serious breach of trust and that he had no choice but to sentence the elderly priest to an immediate term of imprisonment.

Although Scannell was suspended last year, the church had yet to revoke his religious orders.

His credentials for working with children were only revoked last year.

Bernard Barrett, a representative from victims’ advocacy group Broken Rites, said Scannell’s victim had waited a long time for justice.

“The guilty parties covered this up all these years,” he said.

Dr Barrett said the conviction raised serious questions about whether the Melbourne Archdiocese knew about Scannell’s offending and what they would do in response to his jailing.

“[Scannell] has been a priest in the Melbourne Archdiocese for 50 years, including working with disabled children,” Dr Barrett said.

“Questions need to be asked of the Melbourne Archdiocese about how and why this sort of thing could have happened and how it’s taken all these years for it to come out.

“Why is it that victims always feel as though they must remain silent, when the offender is a priest or some sort of church person?

“He’s still listed in the current edition of the Annual Australian Catholic Directory, as Reverend Father Scannell, past or emeritus, a distinguished priest.”

Scannell will be eligible for parole in 12 months.


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John Skehan

Posted: May 4, 2014 by Serendipity in NSW
Tags: , , , ,



John Skehan (75) pleaded guilty in Broken Hill local court to historic charges dating back to his time

as principal of the Marist Brothers College.

Ex-teacher convicted of child sex assault

Posted March 17, 2010 12:00:00

A former Catholic school teacher in Broken Hill, in far west New South Wales, has been given two 18 month suspended jail sentences for indecent assault.

John Skehan was convicted of two charges of indecent assault on a young child, which occurred during the 1970s.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy told the court, the offence has left the victim with very substantial psychological scars and the incidents were a misuse of trust between the victim and defendant.

He says if Skehan breaches his good behaviour conditions, he will be re-sentenced and could face up to three years in prison.


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Mamo – Edward - Photoa



A former Catholic brother who smiled after abusing boys at a Victorian college more than 30 years ago has been jailed.

Edward Mamo, 71, was working as a groundskeeper, bus driver and sports coach when he abused 14 teenagers in the laundry room of Monivae College at Hamilton in the 1970s and 1980s.

He used a strap or cane to whip some over their bare buttocks and grabbed the genitals of others.

Mamo will spend 12 months behind bars after being handed a jail sentence of 34 months, suspended for 22 months, in the County Court of Victoria on Friday.

The court heard Mamo would punish boys for smoking cigarettes, even though he wasn’t authorised to carry out corporal punishment.

He told them he would refer them to the college’s director if they didn’t accept punishment from him.

Mamo was seen to smile after assaulting some victims at the college, which was operated by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the court heard.

He bizarrely attempted to console one victim as he struck him, and then rubbed the welts he left on the boy, Judge John Smallwood said.

Mamo used the calculated physical assaults for his own sexual gratification, the court heard.

“What has occurred here is a gross breach of trust,” Judge Smallwood said.

The victims, aged about 13 to 15 at the time, felt betrayed by the college.

Many had lost their faith, and battled psychological and social trauma after Mamo’s abuse.

“It seems extraordinary you could have continued to offend in this way, over years, without anyone doing anything about it,” Judge Smallwood said.

Mamo had pleaded guilty to 21 counts of indecent assault.

He was in 2013 jailed for very similar offending at the same college, having pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault on seven schoolboys over a four-year period also in the 1970s.

Mamo will serve out his prison time in protection and will be on the sex offender register for life.

The maximum penalty at the time of the offending was five years in jail.

Boys assaulted under guise of corporal punishment

By court reporter Sarah Farnsworth

Updated Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:38pm AEDT

A Melbourne court has heard a former Catholic brother abused boarding school students under the guise of discipline.

Edward Mamo, 68, who now lives in Sydney, has pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault against students at the Monivae College in Hamilton, Western Victoria, between 1976 and 1980.

He worked at the college as a member of the support staff.

The Victorian County Court heard Mamo took many of his victims into a basement laundry, would make them strip from the waist down and hit them with a leather strap.

Mamo’s lawyer said while his plea of guilty was offered as an apology to his victims, Mamo also maintained he was punishing the boys for being naughty.

Judge Julian Leckie said it was clear the punishment was intended to be sexual, and that Mamo was indulging in “some perverted sexual desire”.

Prosecutor Keiran Gilligan told the court Mamo should be jailed for between three and four-and-a-half years.

He accepted Mamo wanted to apologise for the hurt had caused, but argued he had also pleaded guilty to save the Catholic Church from the adverse publicity of a trial.

Mr Gilligan said Mamo’s actions were sinister and involved the physical coercion and exploitation of “soft targets”.

Judge Leckie said a 12-month jail term was the mean sentence range for abuse in the 1980s.

But he added most sexual abuse cases never made it to court.

“There was a cloak of [victims] not being believed, so not much happened,” the judge said.

“We now see what did take place and are dealing with all that.”

Mamo’s lawyer submitted he should receive a suspended sentence due to his age, low risk of reoffending, and the contribution he has made to society.

Judge delays paedophile’s sentence at County Court hearing in Warrnambool


Dec. 19, 2012, 4 a.m.

THE fate of former religious brother Edward Mamo will be decided in the new year.

Judge Julian Leckie adjourned yesterday’s plea hearing in Warrnambool until February.

Mamo, 68, pleaded guilty in the County Court on Monday to seven charges of unlawful and indecent assault of a child under the age of 16.

On Monday the victims, who were boys at the time the offences occurred, told the court of being taken into a dark basement at Hamilton’s Monivae College and being indecently assaulted by Mamo from 1976 to 1980.

Judge Leckie said he had memories of sentencing practices from when the offending occurred and since then sentencing practices had changed significantly.

He said in the 1980s the indecent assault of a boy under 16 by a person in a position of trust would be dealt with differently.

Mamo was aged between 31 and 35 when the incidents took place and was a brother of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Australia, which operated Monivae College. He undertook laundry duties, ground works, was bus driver and coached hockey at the college.

On Monday the court heard of one incident when Mamo had ordered a victim, who was 11 at the time, to the laundry room for punishment and was instructed to drop his shorts and underpants and to bend over an old tea chest in the middle of the room. As the boy did so Mamo produced a thick leather strap and hit him 10 to 12 times.

Prosecutor Justin Lewis said on another occasion Mamo was strapping the same victim over the tea chest when the boy turned to see Mamo had one of his hands down the front of his pants. Mamo saw the boy looking and yelled at him to face the front.

In victim impact statements read to the court, the men told of fear, humiliation and disbelief that someone wanted to do this to them. One said he had lost trust in all human beings.

Defence counsel Peta Murphy said Mamo offered his plea of guilty to the victims as an apology for the hurt they had experienced.

The plea hearing was adjourned until February 20 in the Country Court,  Melbourne.

Abuser offers guilty plea as apology

December 18, 2012

Clare Quirk

VICTIMS of paedophile and former religious brother Edward Mamo wept in a Warrnambool court yesterday as they recalled the horror of his crimes.

The men, who were boys when the offences occurred, told of being taken into a dark basement at Monivae College in Hamilton and being indecently assaulted by Mamo, now 68, from 1976 to 1980.

Mamo, now of Sydney, pleaded guilty in the County Court to seven charges of unlawful and indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 on Monday. He sat emotionless throughout the plea hearing.

Mamo was aged between 31 and 35 when the incidents took place and was a brother of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Australia.

At the time, Mamo undertook laundry duties, ground works, was bus driver and coached hockey at the college.

The court heard of one incident when Mamo had ordered one victim, who was 11 at the time, to the laundry room for punishment and instructed him to drop his shorts and underpants and to bend over an old tea chest in the middle of the room. As the boy did so Mamo produced a thick leather strap and hit the boy 10 to 12 times.

Prosecutor Justin Lewis said on another occasion Mamo was strapping the same victim over the tea chest and the boy turned to see Mamo had one of his hands down the front of his pants. Mamo saw the boy looking and yelled at him to face the front.

In victim impact statements read to the court the men told of their state of fear, humiliation and disbelief that someone wanted to perform these acts with them.

One man said he had lost trust in all human beings and Mamo’s behaviour cost him his belief in the Catholic God.

Defence counsel Peta Murphy said Mamo offered his plea of guilty to the victims as an apology for the hurt they had experienced and the harm that had occurred.

Judge Julian Leckie said he expected to sentence Mamo later this week.


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Catholic brother avoids jail over sex assaults

June 17, 2005 – 12:09PM

A Marist brother who indecently assaulted seven students more than 30 years ago has avoided jail in Victoria.

Brother Gerard McNamara, of Mt Macedon, worked at St Paul’s Catholic College in Traralgon as a principal and sports master in the early 1970s when the offences took place.

The 67-year-old, who pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault, received a 36-month jail sentence fully suspended for two years, at the Victorian County Court today.

The court had heard the assaults, which were not reported until 2003, mostly took place in a sports equipment shed where he massaged the students, aged between 11 and 14 years, after they suffered sport injuries.

In sentencing, Judge Jim Duggan said a suspended jail sentence was appropriate because McNamara’s crimes were “at the lower end of the scale”.

“The nature of the offending, what you actually did to these victims, wasn’t as bad as unfortunately is often the case,” he said.

Judge Duggan said he also took into account that McNamara had “voluntarily desisted” from the behaviour since the offences and he had made a substantial contribution to the welfare of society as a Marist brother.

Marist brother on sex count

By Daniella Miletic
June 4, 2005

A word or glance from Marist brother Gerard McNamara was enough to make some students at St Paul’s Catholic College so filled with fear they would wet their pants.

It was well known among students that the Catholic headmaster “spent time alone with boys”, and each dreaded an invitation from McNamara to the storage shed – the shed where he would “massage” students who had injured themselves in a sports lesson.

In the County Court yesterday, McNamara, 67, admitted he had sexually assaulted seven young boys more than 30 years ago at the college in Traralgon, Gippsland.

In a courtroom room filled with his family and friends – but no victims – he pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecent assault on pupils aged 11 to 14 in the early 1970s.

The court was told that McNamara would instruct his victims to go to the shed, where the school’s sports equipment was stored, for a remedial massage after they had injured themselves in a sports lesson.

On two occasions he took his victims to a room inside the college.

McNamara, of Mount Macedon, had the various roles of principal, deputy principal, sports co-ordinator and discipline co-ordinator at the time of the offences.

Prosecutor Boris Kayser said that the boys were taken into the shed and asked to lie on a table and take their clothes off from the waist down.

He would then inappropriately massage them, and would sometimes use a strong-smelling heat balm around the genital area.

In victim-impact statements tendered to the court, one victim said that to this day the smell made him feel ashamed, and would evoke memories of the experience.McNamara’s defence lawyer, Russ Hammill, told the court his client’s behaviour should be measured against a life that “in all other respects has been the epitome of his faith”.

He said McNamara had “considerable remorse” and had entered an early guilty plea.

“He is an example of a good man who has behaved badly,” he said.

Judge Jim Duggan released him on bail for sentencing on June 17.


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Secret life: high school teacher’s huge child-porn cache

By Steve Butcher

Dec. 20, 2012, 12:52 p.m.

A highly regarded school teacher of 30 years has been jailed for possessing child pornography to which he had become addicted.

A Melbourne magistrate today said that Adrian Michael Fennessy, 53, had never had an adult relationship and had a separate life from his role as a teacher.

The magistrate Peter Reardon described as “staggering” the amount of pornography that Fennessy possessed, but noted that 2 per cent was in the worst category.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard that Fennessy had downloaded more than 16,000 images, traded pornography on the internet and used different email accounts to access chat rooms.

Prosecutor Luisa Dipietrantonio said that through the chat rooms Fennessy had developed the alias “Mary” – a 16-year-old – through which he lived out fantasies of being her.

Ms Dipietrantonio said that after Fennessy was arrested in March 2011, when he was teaching at Santa Maria College, a Catholic girls school in Northcote, he admitted his reason for possessing pornography was to “get off basically”.

Defence barrister Phil Skehan today said that such offenders were often lonely, shy and insular people who were otherwise of good character.

In his sentencing remarks, Mr Reardon noted that a number of character references spoke highly of Fennessy as a teacher and a person.

Mr Reardon said that on his arrest, Fennessy had rung the principal because he was concerned for the school itself.

He had also undertaken therapy organised by the archdiocese of Melbourne.

“You were a good teacher,” Mr Reardon told him, “but you led a separate life…”.

He had reduced the sentence he would have otherwise imposed because of his previous good character, lack of prior convictions, co-operation with police and that he was remorseful.

Fennessy was jailed for 12 months with a minimum term of four months with the balance suspended for two years.


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