‘Cowardly, evil’ Catholic brother jailed in Brisbane for 8 years
Francis Brophy, 87, above, began an eight year jail sentence today (Monday) after Brisbane District Court judge William Everson found him guilty of sexually abusing nine ‘vulnerable and marginalised’ boys at a Queensland orphanage.
Everson, according to this report, denounced Brophy as “a cowardly, evil paedophile” who preyed on defenceless boys at the Scenic Rim region BoysTown facility between 1978 and 1983.
The judge said Brophy, a member of the De La Salle Brothers order, presided over a “Gulag right in our midst” that left some of his victims ravaged by nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder as adults.
The combination of your depraved sexual offending and the terrifying violence you meted out makes your conduct particularly heinous.
It is the sheer terror that you presented to the victims in the context of their complete and utter helplessness that places your conduct in a special category of seriousness.
Brophy, who was convicted of a total of 38 offences, was sentenced to eight years behind bars but was set a parole eligibility date in August 2019.
Sex abuse victims ‘consented’
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that the Catholic Church and local authorities in the UK allegedly used a legal loophole to avoid paying compensation to victims of child sex abuse.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, a government agency, has denied some children financial settlements because it said the victims had “consented” to the abuse, a group of charities has warned.
One case that the charity Victim Support brought attention to involved a 12-year-old girl who was given alcohol, brought into woodland and then sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old male. The girl was denied compensation because she had “voluntarily” gone into the woods with the man.
Said Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England:
No child ever gives their ‘consent’ to being abused, and the increased use of this line of defence, although still quite rare, is worrying. I have contacted the Ministry of Justice previously and again recently about this issue and the Government should look urgently at what can be done to tackle it.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that it had seen documents regarding two cases where the defence was used. A claimant who was raped at the age of 15 was told by lawyers representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark that his abuse:
Actually occurred in the context of a consensual relationship (albeit one the claimant in retrospect now appears to regret).
Child sex abuse victims given power to challenge if cases are shelved
The victim said:
I was below the legal age of consent anyway and there’s a grooming element to that kind of situation. It was totally disregarded and it made me feel really small.
The case was finally settled, with the Catholic Church paying out £80,000.
Dino Nocivelli, a specialist child abuse solicitor at Bolt Burdon told Kent Live:
It is time for the church to practise what they preach and to admit their failings, to take account of the damage this has caused to the lives of far too many children and lastly to apologise for the abuse.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Southwark said that the church does not comment on individual cases out of respect for the claimant’s privacy. He added that the Archdiocese:
Supports the right of anyone who has suffered harm to seek compensation.
Since the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was launched in 2012, approximately 700 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have had their claims rejected.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn