The Warrnambool grave of a disgraced paedophile priest has been vandalised in an apparent attack by one of his victims.
The words “Australia (sic) most polific (sic) paedophile” have been spray-painted in red across the site’s marble slab.
Former police detective Denis Ryan, who unsuccessfully pursued charges against Monsignor John Day, said yesterday he was not surprised at the attack.
“If they dug the bastard up and burnt him, I would not care,” Ryan said.
The words written on the grave were borrowed from the book Unholy Trinity that Ryan released earlier this year.
It outlines his decades-long struggle to bring Day to justice against the cover-up efforts of the Catholic Church and Victoria Police.
Ryan, who co-wrote the book with crime writer Peter Hoysted, said Day was “a monster” who sexually abused hundreds of children. In an anonymous letter delivered yesterday to The Standard, a person claimed to have spray painted the words on the grave, saying he or she was “seeking revenge” over an assault by the priest.
“I was one of the children who had to sit in the front seat of Father Day’s big car,” the writer said.
“After reading the Unholy Trinity (and) discovering the full extent of his evil and the cover up, I wanted revenge.
“If Day was alive, I would have loved to tattoo his chest with ‘I am a sadistic, evil, perverted paedophile’ just like (the novel) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
In his book, Mr Ryan described how Day committed many of his crimes against children while they were seated in the front of his car during trips to Melbourne.
Ryan, 81, of Mildura, said Day had “ruined and wrecked so many lives” and caused “so many suicides”.
He described Day as Australia’s most prolific paedophile after being told there had been more than 100 complaints about the monsignor to the church’s Towards Healing program, set up to deal with allegations of abuse by the clergy.
“You can times that number by three because most people are loathe to report abuse,” Ryan said.
The author was stationed with the police force in Mildura from 1957 to 1972 where he became aware of Day’s offences.
He also collected evidence of the priest’s abuse while he was serving at Apollo Bay from 1954 to 1956.
Day died in 1978 following his appointment to the Timboon parish two years earlier.
The Catholic church has since admitted Day’s abuse and offered a “sincere apology” to his victims.
Ryan resigned from the police force in 1972, claiming he was forced out by superiors.