This is what the bloody church does, try to hide away filthy disgusting sexual offenders for years. BUT the time is up for the pathetic excuse, up until now known as Father F…Real name former priest John Joseph Farrell
‘Clear evidence’ of Catholic Church cover-up over Father ‘F’: former DPP director
The former director of the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is “clear evidence” the Catholic Church covered up the crimes of a paedophile priest.
John Joseph Farrell, formerly Father “F” under a decades-old suppression order, was sentenced to a minimum 18 years’ jail after being found guilty of 62 counts of child sex abuse in Armidale in the 1980s.
Pressure is mounting on the DPP to investigate the Catholic Church over its role in the cover-up of Farrell’s crimes, with the possibility of further criminal prosecution of senior Catholic Church leaders.
Since 1990, it has been against the law to conceal serious offences under 316 of the Crimes Act.
“I think this is very clear evidence of continuing cover-up,” former DPP director Nicholas Cowdery said.
“I don’t see how you can get away from that.”
Farrell has offered to give evidence against senior Catholic leaders who have repeatedly denied covering up his child sex crimes.
In documents obtained by 7.30, Farrell insists he admitted to Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Brian Lucas he sexually abused five boys between 1982 and 1984.
They have denied witnessing Farrell’s admission to child sex crimes.
Farrell’s legal representative wrote to the Special Commission into Child Sex Abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in October 2013, saying Farrell offered to give evidence “contrary to the accounts given by Fathers Usher and Lucas”.
“Importantly, such evidence supports the proposition of a ‘cover-up’ and may provide evidence of offences such as misprision of a felony and the failing to disclose information concerning a serious offence,” the letter reads.
On September 3, 1992, Farrell was called to a meeting with senior Catholic church leaders in the in the presbytery of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
Present were Father Wayne Peters (now deceased), Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Lucas, now the national director of The Catholic Mission.
They have said Farrell admitted to “nothing specific” and that Farrell spoke about his “sexual fantasies”, according to the Whitlam Report into the affair, commissioned by the Parramatta and Armidale Diocese in 2012.
“Farrell said nothing on that occasion where he mentioned any names or any matters of child sexual abuse,” Reverend Monsignor Usher told 7.30.
A secret internal letter about the meeting sent in 1992, signed by Reverend Peters and addressed to the Bishop of Armidale, includes details of graphic sexual abuse inflicted upon five boys.
“Some of the boys involved may bring criminal charges against the Rev Farrell with subsequent grave harm to the priesthood and the church.”
Reverend Monsignor Usher disputes the letter’s version of events.
“He [Farrell] talked a lot about homosexuality or gayness but whatever Wayne Peters wrote did not come out of that meeting,” Reverend Monsignor Usher said.
“He may have had access to other information.”
‘Facts constitute serious indictable offences’
Mr Cowdery said it was in the public interest that clergyman that may have known about crimes, yet failed to report them to police, are referred to the DPP on the basis of Farrell’s testimony and the 1992 letter.
“In that letter, there is a very clear description of facts that would constitute serious indictable offences,” he said.
“That is, criminal offences that carry a penalty of five years’ imprisonment or more.”
Associate Professor David Hamer, a specialist in the law of evidence at the University of Sydney, said it is at the discretion of the DPP whether or not to prosecute.
“I’d imagine that someone senior in the NSW DPP would take a very close look at any charges that were laid in this case,” Associate Professor Hamer said.
Father Lucas has always maintained Farrell did not make any admission that required going to the police, and did not agree to an interview with 7.30.
NSW Police Strikeforce Glenroe, the DPP, the Sydney Archdiocese and the Bishop of Armidale have all been contacted for comment.
Victim of sexual abuse by Catholic priest felt ‘completely abandoned’ by church
Victims of a former Catholic priest who sexually abused children in northern New South Wales in the 1980s have described the devastating impact of his crimes in statements read out in court.
John Joseph Farrell, 62, is awaiting sentencing for 62 offences involving 12 victims.
One victim said in his statement, which was read by his mother, the abuse was compounded by the fact that when he reported what happened to him, he was not believed.
“I felt completely abandoned by the institution I had put so much faith in,” his statement said.
The victim said he had enjoyed a happy childhood until the age of 11.
“When I met Farrell, all of that changed,” he said in his statement.
He said the Catholic Church merely protected Farrell.
The man also said it was no coincidence he started drinking after meeting Farrell.
He said he developed chronic alcoholism, never engaged in study or long-term employment and has had 20 different homes in the past 25 years.
Victim ‘never had a proper relationship’ after abuse
Another victim said that having to re-live the offences against him was traumatic.
“I have never been able to have a proper relationship because of what happened to me,” his statement said.
My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim.
Child sexual abuse victim
Another victim who was raped by Farrell was overcome with emotion as he was preparing to read out his victim impact statement in the witness box.
His partner stepped up to read the statement on his behalf.
In it, he said the abuse continues to cause him problems with intimacy.
“I feel unclean until I’ve showered [after sexual activity],” he said. “John Farrell has shown neither remorse nor regret for what he has done to me and others.”
Most of Farrell’s victims were altar boys in the Moree area, but three of the victims were girls.
A woman who was sexually abused by Farrell said in her statement that was submitted but not read to the court: “I naively assumed that God must have been okay with it.”
“My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim,” she said.
Convicted paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell given sentence of 29 years for 62 sex crimes
A former priest will got to jail following his conviction on 62 counts of abuse.
A PAEDOPHILE priest, who raped one of his victims on the church’s altar, has been sentenced to almost three decade behind bars.
At Sydney’s District Court on Monday Judge Peter Zahra said former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell “disregarded and took advantage” of his victims who he groomed over long periods of time.
Last month, Farrell was found guilty of 62 offences involving rapes and indecent assaults against three girls and nine boys over nearly a decade in the northern NSW towns of Moree and Tamworth.
As well as the 62 historical sexual crimes against children, a further 17 offences were taken into account when he was handed down a sentence of 29 years, with a non-parole period of 18 years.
He will not leave prison until 2033 at the earliest.
The disgraced ex-priest sat in the dock with his eyes closed as Judge Zahra told the courtroom how Farrell had assaulted his victims between 1979 and 1988.
Farrell was aware of, and exploited, the powerful position he held as a priest, the judge said.
Although some of Farrell’s crimes might have appeared to be spontaneous, they were in fact a result of the offender’s long-term grooming of the boys and girls which included gaining the trust of their parents, Judge Zahra continued.
At Farrell’s trial last month, the jury heard one of the victims, who was just 10 when the abuse began, was so trusting of the then-priest she convinced herself the assaults were “OK with God”.
The disabled victim, who can’t be identified, said in a statement tendered the court that the traumatising sexual abuse had continued throughout her teenage years.
“I naively assumed that God must have been OK with it,” she said.
Another of Farrell’s female victims would often try to escape when he visited her family home.
She would run to a friend’s house which led to her family becoming angry with her for being anti-social, she said in her victim impact statement.
“I kept the abuse quiet from my family as I was afraid of their reaction,” she said.
She told the court she had been robbed of her dream of having a husband and child.
“I have had plenty of boyfriends over the years but have always found sexual relations with them to be unpleasant,” she said.
“Although I made my body participate in the actions, my mind would remain detached.”
Before abusing the girls, Farrell had preyed on nine altar boys at Moree in the early 1980s.
He had raped one victim on the church’s altar and targeted others in a local swimming pool and during car trips to nearby parishes.
Many of those sitting in the public gallery of the courtroom wept as the sentence was handed down, while others clapped as the judge imposed a non-parole period of 18 years.
— with AAP
John Joseph Farrell during a previous hearing. Photo: Barry Smith
Victims stood and clapped as one of the most notorious paedophile priests in NSW was sentenced to 29 years’ jail after committing 62 acts of child sex abuse in regional NSW.
Former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell, 62, sexually abused nine young altar boys and three girls between 1979 and 1988 in Moree, Armidale and Tamworth.
Victim Mark Boughton with his wife Belinda after former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell was sentenced to 29 years in jail. Photo: Nick Moir
Farrell, also known as “Father F”, committed 27 acts of sexual assault, 48 acts of indecent assault and four acts of indecency.
The “predatory” former priest was sentenced to a maximum of 29 years but a minimum of 18 years at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday.
He closed his eyes and showed no emotion during the three hour sentencing.
Victim Mark Boughton outside court. Photo: Nick Moir
One of the people who clapped and cried was victim Mark Boughton and his wife, Belinda.
Outside court he said he hoped the outcome would allow himself and other victims to “have a life”.
“I’m very happy with the outcome; maybe it might show everyone else that they can stand up do the right thing and get these so called people off the street,” Mr Boughton said.
“Hopefully, everyone can get on, move on, have a life,” he said.
“Justice is served – he got what he wanted or what he needed, preying on kids. It’s not on – hopefully the world knows that now.”
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Peter Zahra spoke of how Farrell groomed many of his victims and exploited his position as a priest.
“The offender admitted he had a great deal of influence over the altar boys and he abused that position,” Judge Zahra said.
Judge Zahra said the offender, “disregarded and took advantage of the vulnerability of the child victims”.
“In relation to the altar boy victims, the offender knew there would be continuing opportunity because of the relationships he had developed with the victims and their parents.
“The offender created situations where he was confident he would not be detected even where his sexual abuse was, at times brazen in the extreme.”
During the trial, Crown prosecutor Bryan Rowe outlined a series of incidents in which Farrell groped, molested, raped or forced oral sex on the altar boys.
One altar boy who was indecently assaulted in a Moree swimming pool and later raped in the presbytery said, “It was the worst memory of [my] life.”
The victim went to report the sexual abuse to police in 2012 after viewing a Four Corners program.
He said he felt “embarrassed” and “ashamed” and said he hadn’t come forward earlier because “back in 1982 no one would have believed my words against a priest”.
Another victim had told the court that he was forced to perform oral sex on Farrell in a cellar when he was aged 10 or 11.
He said he told one of the brothers that he had been “hurt”.
Someone told him “they would sort it out” so the victim felt safe when he went back to church the following day.
But Farrell pulled his pants down at the altar and raped him.
“It felt like hours,” the victim said.
He said Farrell had threatened to kill him and his family if he told anyone about what had happened.
The former priest also molested three young girls. On one occasion he fondled the vagina of a little girl while she was at the dinner table with her family.
“The offender continued this conduct throughout the course of the meal during which he was engaging in conversation with other members of the family at the table,” Judge Zahra said.
Another victim, who was aged between nine and 11, was in Farrell’s bedroom at the presbytery when he was sexually assaulted with a toothbrush.
“I just want you to tell me if this hurts” or “how does this feel”, Farrell said at the time.
The victim cried and screamed out in pain.
Farrell was not suspended from public ministry until 1992.
His jail term will expire in 2044 but he will be eligible for parole in June 2033.