Source: The Journal
Date: 4 October 2016
An Irish serial paedophile has been deported to Ireland by mistake and appears to be at large.
The former teacher, who had worked at the prestigious Geelong Grammar school, had just served a sentence for child sex attacks.
He was kicked out of Australia after his release although police wanted to hit him with more serious charges, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Irish citizen was accused in a federal child abuse royal commission of indecently touching a child at an elite school while performing a sex act in church.
He was also accused of assaulting a six-year-old boy and of telling pupils to perform sexual acts.
Asked by TheJournal.ie if they are aware of his location or had been contacted by their counterparts in the antipodes, An Garda Síochána said it was strictly a matter for the Australian authorities.
The man had served time in a Queensland prison on child abuse charges, but was deported upon release, after Victoria Police failed to flag their investigation with the Department of Immigration.
Geelong is a prestigious school, and hosted Britain’s Prince Charles for two terms in the 1960s.
The Irish citizen was accused in last year’s federal child abuse royal commission of fondling the penis of a pre-teen Geelong Grammar boy while masturbating in church, stroking a six-year-old student’s penis in bed, and instructing senior students to perform sexual acts in underground rooms.
The man, a former Geelong Grammar student, has been convicted of child abuse offences on four separate occasions, and was set to face new charges over alleged abuse at the prestigious school between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, and in 1980.
Victims now fear it could take years before the man is brought to justice.
There is also a risk that an extradition bid could be rejected if it is found the 74-year-old, whose name was suppressed by the royal commission, is mentally or physically unfit to face trial in Australia.
The victims are also concerned about the man’s possible contact with children in Ireland.
His visa was cancelled under tough laws introduced by former immigration minister Scott Morrison in late 2014. Under the changes, non-citizens convicted of paedophilia or jailed for more than 12 months are deported to their home country.
Security officers waited at the gates of Wolston Correctional Centre on 6 May and escorted him onto a flight to Ireland on the day of his release.
The Australian Border Force claimed it alerted the Australian Federal Police and Queensland police before deporting him, but was unaware that he was under investigation in the state of Victoria.
“The individual was not listed as having any outstanding matters with any law enforcement agencies and was subsequently removed,” a spokesman for the Australian Border Force told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Charges in jeopardy
Victoria Police also told the newspaper that charges were imminent against the man in relation to a complaint made in late 2014. The case has now been placed in jeopardy by his absence from Australia.
Lawyer Angela Sdrinis is launching a fresh civil claim against Geelong Grammar on behalf of eight victims.
“It’s a very difficult thing to come forward in the first place and make a police complaint about child sex abuse.
To go through all of that only to be told, ‘Oh sorry, we temporarily lost him’, is pretty soul destroying.”
Another victim had told the commission he was relentlessly abused by the former teacher from 1968 to 1973.
The man was convicted of child abuse in 1987 and was given 200 hours of community work. In 1995, he pleaded guilty to exposing a child to pornography and indecently dealing with a child, receiving a minimum of four months in prison.
In 2005, he pleaded guilty to two charges of child abuse and was jailed for a minimum of 10 months. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to six child abuse charges, and was sentenced to a minimum of 12 months.