Church employed paedophile, then fought his victims

Church employed paedophile, then fought his victims Warned: Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Leo Clarke was warned that parents had a “pretty good case” against the diocese after it employed a convicted paedophile teacher.
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Committee: The then Monsignor Philip Wilson found serious gaps in the diocese’s handling of child sex allegations in the late 1980s.

Told: Former Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone was told Catholic Church Insurance refused to cover the diocese for claims initiated by victims of a paedophile teacher.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald, and others released by the royal commission on Monday, show parents raised the alarm about GKI on at least three occasions in the 1980s, including reports to the Catholic Education Office.

The documents include a report to the then Bishop Leo Clarke in 1990 by a church committee headed by the then Monsignor Philip Wilson, and tasked with reporting on the diocese’s handling of the teacher’s case.

The committee found serious gaps in the diocese’s child protection protocols, including a reluctance to include details of alleged sexual misconduct on a teacher’s personnel file.

“It would seem that if a teacher faced with allegations of sexual abuse resigns, there is nothing to guarantee that he/she will not be employed at some time in the future in a Catholic school in another diocese, or indeed in this diocese, given the reluctance to place information regarding the allegations in the personnel file,” Monsignor Wilson’s committee found.

It recommended that “personnel files contain all documents related to allegations, charges, convictions in relation to sexual abuse”.

The committee report noted that GKI had to be ordered by his probation officer to stay away from the church, the school and the children after he harassed children at Mass, followed the school bus and approached them in the street.

“Parishioners were extremely angry when they discovered that one of the teacher’s former parish priests had testified on his behalf at the court case in which the teacher had pleaded guilty,” Bishop Clarke was told.

“It would seem that there has been no attempt by the parish, school or CatholicEducation Officeto ascertain whether the victims have suffered financial hardship because of the events which have occurred since the time of the abuse.”

A note at the bottom of the report warned Bishop Clarke that parents had the right to sue the Catholic Education Office and the diocese for “failing to adequately protect their children”.

“Our legal consultant suggests that the parents in this case would have a pretty good case if they chose to act,”the note said.

But when one of the 10-year-old boys whose complaints led to GKI’s conviction for child sex offences in 1989 tried to sue the diocese for compensation in 2005, hiscase was “fiercely resisted”, his barrister Andrew Morrison, SC, said in a report on the case in 2009.

Mr Morrison on Monday said he was “not at all surprised” to learn the diocese knew GKI’s victims had a “pretty good case” to sue the church, based on its knowledge it had employed a child sex offender to put in charge of young children.

“The Catholic Church doesn’t appear overall to have learnt the lessons from what has occurred and been revealed, although there are significant changes in some areas and it is not the only institution to have been found wanting,” Mr Morrison said.

“It’s got a long, long way to go. There are still some very ugly attitudes among some decision-makers.”


New Jets stars to open up

STAR Newcastle Jets recruits Roy O’Donovan, Daniel Georgievski, Dimitri Petratos and Nikolai Topor-Stanley will all feature in the club’s opening trial against Northern NSW NPL cellar-dwellers Weston on Tuesday night.
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READY TO FIRE: Former Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan will play his first trial for the Jets on Tuesday night.

The Jets play the Bears at Weston Park in the first of three trials against local NPL opposition in the lead-up to their FFA Cup round of 32 away clash against Adelaide on August 9. Newcastle take on in-form Broadmeadow (July 19) and Hamilton (August 2) in the other hit-outs.

Jets chief executive and youth team coach Lawrie McKinna said all fit A-League squad members, including O’Donovan, Georgievski, Petratos and Topor-Stanley,would play at least half a game against the Bears.

Ernie Merrick’s squad will be expected to have no trouble against the young Weston line-up, who are in a rebuilding phase under coach Steve Piggott and have just one win and four draws from 15 games this year.McKinna said the opener was a chancefor both clubs’ young players to make an impression.

“It will be a great opportunity for them, and we’ve got a few young boys from the youth team who will get an opportunity as well,” McKinna said.

He said the Bears were chosen as an opponent because of their facilities, pitchand the Jets’highmembership in the region.

Piggott estimated seven of his senior team players, including goalkeeper Kane Runge,James Thompson,Cooper Buswell,ZacJokinen andZac Thomas, were young enough to push their claims for youth contracts with the Jets. However, Piggott believed the game was an opportunity for all players to test themselves.

“For me, they are just getting exposure against quality players and to see where they stand,” he said.

Weston hope to also give 17-year-old Blacktown striker Lachlan Rose, 17, an opportunity against the Jets. Piggott said Rose, who they hope to sign,will start if the clubgains written permission from Football NSW.

One player who will not feature is Argentinian midfielderIgnacio Giampaoli. Weston have signed the 23-year-old but are yet to gain an international clearance for the former LA Galaxy trialist.

Bears wingerChris Hurley,who came to Weston from the Central Coast Mariners system this year, said his team were excited about the challenge on Tuesday night.

“You never know what can come out of a game like this if you have agood 90 minutes,” Hurley said.

“Especially for the younger ones like Cooper Buswell, James Thompson and Kane Runge, who are quality starting 11 players for us.

“It’s definitely exciting.You don’t getopportunities like this very often. It’s a positive as an individual and as a team, just to get a hit-out against a team like that, everyone is buzzing.”

Kick-off is 7pm.

Heavyweight victories set up top clash

PHOENIX Charlestown and Toronto geared up for their upcoming top-of-the-table clash with comfortable wins on Sunday.
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Phoenix accounted for White Sox 13-1 at Plattsburg Park, while the Tigers triumphed 10-2 at Waterboard Oval.

Unbeaten Phoenix host Toronto at Windsor Park on Sunday aiming for their eighth straight victory for 2017.

Two of those triumphs have come against the second-placed Tigers, who recorded their sixth win for the season on Sunday.

Boomers kept in touch with Toronto for most of the game before conceding six runs in the sixth inning.

Until that point, Joel Pettigrew had done a good job keeping the Tigers powerful hitting line-up in check, allowing only three runs in five digs.

The Tigers shared their 12 hits around with Tom Holland the only starter to miss out. Holland closed out the win in fine style, striking out two batters and allowing no hits or walks in the final two innings.He relieved Jason McAdam, who collected nine strikeouts and conceded five hits and two walks in seven digs.

CLOSER: Tom Holland

Boomers catcher Grant Harris connected for two of his side’s five hits.

At Plattsburg, Sox started well and were first to score in the bottom of the first.

Phoenix hit straight back with three in the top of the second and never looked back.

Phoenix shared their 15 hits among nine of the 11 batters to step up to the plate

* ALEXWells continues to impress in his second season in the US minor leagues.

Pitching for the Delmarva Shorebirds in the Class A South Atlantic League, the Belmont junior has allowed only 10 walks in 90 innings this campaign.

He has seven wins and four losses from 16 starts for a team-best earned run average of 2.90.

The Baltimore Orioles prospect was rewarded for his efforts with selection in the SAL All-Star Game last month.

Labor tests the water on utility’s spend

LOW WATER MARK: Labor has criticised Hunter Water’s spend on infrastructure, but the utility denies increased dividend payments is affecting its budget.HUNTER Water is scaling back investment incritical infrastructure and instead “carting off millions to Sydney”, Labor has claimed.
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An analysis of NSW budget papers has shown a trend decline in total infrastructure spending between 2011 and 2016, which Labor has linked to increased dividend payments to Treasury.

But Hunter Water saysinvestment between 2009 and 2013 was the largest in the utility’s history, allowing it to reduce spending in recent years to “maintain one of Australia’s most affordable water bills”.

According to the figures, Hunter Water’s capital expenditure in 2011-12 was $136 million.

By 2016-17, the last reporting period, it dipped to $90 million.

During that period, Hunter Water spent less than the budgeted amount for infrastructure for four financial years.

For example, in 2012-13, the utility budgeted $162 million for capital works, but only spent $127 million.

In 2014-15, it budgeted $93 million, but the actual spend was $87 million.

In 2015-16, it spent $102 million of its $113 million budget. And in 2016-17, capital expenditure was $4 million lowerthan the $94 million budget.

The utility said the reasons for that are “typically due to Hunter Water identifying savings on projects”.

But Labor is concerned the utility isn’t investing enough in critical infrastructure to cope with the Hunter’s growing population.

It comes afterreported dividend payments jumped from $51 million and $50 million in 2011-12 and 2012-13, to more than $70 million per year in the following three years because government returns are linked to profit performance.

“I’d be amazed if there was another water company in the world that had slashed their spending on critical infrastructure while their population is growing,” Labor water spokesman Chris Minns said. “Make no mistake, Hunter Water is spending less on critical infrastructure so it can send more money to Sydney.”

A Hunter Water spokesman rejected the link between capital works and dividend payments and said they were not influenced by each other. He said the utility had a capital investment program of $364 million to 2020.

Utilities Minister Don Harwin alsodenied increased dividend payments was affecting Hunter Water’s capital works program.

‘I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did’: Demon apologises to Blues fan

Clayton Oliver argues with a Carlton fan in the match at the MCG on Sunday. Photo: Fox SportsCarlton member Rob Acquaro has accepted the apology of Melbourne wunderkind Clayton Oliver after their heated exchange at the MCG on Sunday.
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Oliver, 19, fronted reporters outside the Demons’ AAMI Park base on Monday afternoon to apologise for an alleged threat to kill the fan during the second quarter of the Dees’ eight-point win.

Acquaro – a passionate Blues fan – said he would move on from the incident. “Iaccept the apology from Clayton Oliver,” Acquaro told Fairfax Media.

“The most important thing here is that players have to be mindful of their words and actions as there will always be young kids sitting in the crowd.”

It is not expected the AFL or Melbourne will act further on the incident.

Oliveraccepted that he had acted inappropriately following a sledge from Acquaro.

“I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did, and I apologise for that, taking polish off the team win. Moving forward obviously I’ll learn from this and it won’t happen ever again,” Oliver said.

Acquaro’s version of events had initially differedto that of Oliver. The supporterclaimedthat he called Oliver “soft” and made incidental contact with the Demon when Oliver chased a ball to the boundary line, before Oliver turned back around to Acquaro, who was sitting in the front row, allegedly telling Acquaro that “if you f——touch me again I’ll kill you.”

It’s understood that when questioned about the incident,Oliver had at firstclaimedAcquaro called Oliver a “weak c—” but Oliver later accepted Acquaro hadn’t sworn.

​Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said Oliver had done the wrong thing. “Clayton let his emotions get the better of him and should not have reacted in the manner that he did,” Mahoney said.

“In this instance, Clayton has heard a sledge from that general section of the crowd and has reacted directly to the fan in question in an unprofessional manner.

“Clayton acknowledges that the man in question did not use a profanity and accepts his fault in the situation. As a club, we apologise for the offence caused and Clayton understands this should not occur again.”

The Demons said players needed to exercise greater self-restraint.

“We have spoken to Clayton and the entire playing group regarding their interaction with the crowd and that no positives come out of any immediate response.

“If the player feels that he was vilified in any way, there is a process to report that to the AFL and have it investigated.”

One of football’s most promising young midfielders, Oliver recently became engaged in war-of-words on Twitter with Test cricketer Damien Martyn over an incident in which Oliver was accused of accentuating contact made by West Coast’s Will Schofield during a round 14 game. Oliver was not cited by the match review panel.

Carlton member wants apology from Melbourne over Clayton Oliver incidentCarlton member Rob Acquaro wants an apology from Melbourne over an incident in which teenage midfielder Clayton Oliver threatened him at the MCG on Sunday.

It’s understood Acquaro spoke to both the Blues and the AFL on Monday, with the Demons planning to follow suit.

Acquaro’s version of events differs to that of Oliver. The supporter claims that he called Oliver “soft” and made incidental contact with the Demon when Oliver chased a ball to the boundary line during the second quarter, before Oliver turned back around to Acquaro, who was sitting in the front row, making a strongly-worded threat towards the supporter.

It’s understood Oliver claims Acquaro used considerably stronger language.

Acquaro spoke with Melbourne Cricket Club security on Sunday after the incident was caught on camera.

On Sunday evening Demons coach Simon Goodwin said the club would wait to gather more information before elaborating publicly on the incident.