THE mother of victim AH said it would have been unbearable if paedophile priest Jim Fletcher had not been convicted on her son’s evidence.
The woman, BJ, who gave evidence to the Special Commission of Inquiry in Newcastle on Friday, finished her evidence after lunch by explaining to the commissioner, Margaret Cunneen, the toll that Fletcher’s crimes had taken on her son and her family.
Ms Cunneen said BJ had described the conviction as a "good result" and she asked what BJ would have felt had the trial resulted gone the other way.
BJ said her son had shown enormous courage to press charges and to continue with the trial despite the publicity and stress it put on him.
"The legal process didn’t let us down, the Catholic Church did,’’ BJ said.
BJ was followed into the witness box by a parish priest from the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, Father Desmond Harrigan, who had been mentioned in earlier evidence in relation to the Fletcher case.
After an application from Father Harrigan’s counsel, supported by other church counsel, Ms Cunneen said Father Harrigan’s evidence was subjected to a non-publication order.
The first witness on Friday was the general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Brian Lucas, who spent another two hours in the witness box, having begun his evidence on Wednesday morning.
The commission resumes on Monday.