25 years jail for abusive ex-chaplain
14:24 AEST Fri Apr 24 2009
3 hours 11 minutes ago
A former Anglican priest and chaplain to Brisbane archbishops Peter Hollingworth and Phillip Aspinall has been jailed for sexually abusing three altar boys nearly 25 years ago.
Barry John Greaves, 71, abused the children when he was working as an Anglican rector for the Boonah and Harrisville districts, southwest of Brisbane, in the early 1980s, the Brisbane District Court was told on Friday.
The court was told the boys, aged between 11 and 16 at the time, were forced to engage in mutual oral sex and masturbation with Greaves.
Prosecutor Jody-Ann Thomas said Greaves had abused his position of trust, befriending one of his victims as the boy grieved after the death of his father.
"(He) callously adopted a father role ... only to abuse it for his own sexual gratification," she said.
Ms Thomas said Greaves told the boys - who included two brothers - not to tell anyone, and that he eventually stopped abusing the children of his own volition.
The offences came to light in 2004 when one of the victims reported the abuse to police.
The court was told the abuse has had a devastating effect on the three victims.
One wrote in a victim impact statement of "significant detrimental effects" on his social development.
Another said giving evidence at the committal hearing was the "most harrowing day" of his adult life, with another saying it "broke my spirit".
The victims were in court on Friday when Greaves pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment of boys under 17 and two of indecent treatment of boys under 14.
Defence barrister Mark Johnson said his client was "genuinely remorseful" for his actions and that he had not committed any crimes since these offences.
He tendered a number of references from the church community - including former assistant Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, Bishop Richard Appleby - praising Greaves' work in the community and church.
Senior Judge Gilbert Trafford-Walker said Greaves had brought "disgrace" upon the Anglican church.
He said child sex crimes committed by priests had sullied the reputation of churches over the years.
He sentenced Greaves to three years' jail, to be suspended after nine months.
Greaves has been a priest in the Anglican church for 47 years and served as archbishop's chaplain from 1993-2003