Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(AUS)Priest Jailed for Five Counts of Indecent Assault in 1960s

Original article
Shelley Hadfield

June 10, 2009 11:27am

A PRIEST who told an altar boy he would give him "anatomy lessons" before indecently assaulting him has been jailed.
Desmond Laurence Gannon, 79, was a Catholic priest in Kilmore when he committed five counts of indecent assault in the 1960s.

Gannon was today sentenced to 25 months' jail with a minimum of 14 after Judge Frank Gucciardo said he could see little remorse over the offences.

The County Court heard Gannon told an altar boy he would give him "anatomy lessons". He abused the boy on three separate occasions in 1968 and 1969.

"You were engaged in those years in a course of conduct and this offending was part of that conduct," Judge Gucciardo said.

"The circumstances and your culpability are so radical that it calls for stern punishment."

The judge said that Gannon's behaviour was characterised as the basest abuse and breach of trust.

Gannon has already pleaded guilty four times to child sex offences between 1958 and 1976.

"I consider your offending ceased as a result of fear of repercussions some 30 years ago and you now pose very little risk to the community," Judge Gucciardo said.

The victim reported feeling broken, and told the court after the offending he changed from an energetic and fit young man to feeling broken, old, clumsy, confused and worthless.

"He described what was inflicted on a him as a devastation," the judge said.

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