A HUNTER man whose disclosures about a paedophile teacher launched an investigation of the principal who failed to report him to police has welcomed a royal commission focus on the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Salt Ash man Rob Roseworne will make a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about the DPP’s decision not to charge a senior NSW Catholic Church representative in 2013.
Mr Roseworne’s complaint against former principal Brother Anthony Whelan, who failed to report paedophile teacher Thomas Keady to police in 1979, launched one of only a handful of police investigations in Australia into whether a person concealed the child sex offences of another.
The royal commission has released an issues paper and called for submissions until June 15 from people who have experienced police and prosecution handling of child sexual abuse cases in institutions. In April 2013 the DPP advised Sutherland police that although there appeared to be a prima facie case against Brother Whelan for concealing a serious crime in relation to Keady, ‘‘such a prosecution would not be in the public interest’’.
The decision was based on his lack of a criminal history, the ‘‘staleness’’ of the alleged offences and ‘‘the likelihood that a conviction would result in, at best, a negligible penalty’’, the DPP advised police.
The decision outraged Mr Roseworne, who was sexually abused by Keady at St Patricks College, Sutherland, in the 1970s. Keady was quietly sacked by principal Brother Whelan in 1979, but not reported to police, following child sexual abuse allegations from children during a trip.
Keady went on to indecently assault a boy at Muswellbrook in 1994, and ran a ‘‘mobile amusement business’’ for five or six years in areas including the Hunter Region. He died in 2012.
Brother Whelan retired in 2013 as Central Coast director of Catholic schools.
In a Catholic Church investigation prompted by Mr Roseworne’s complaint in 2010, Brother Whelan said he sacked Keady, advised the boys to tell their parents, but did not report the matter to police. Mr Roseworne said Brother Whelan ‘‘looked at the little picture’’ in 1979 in sacking Keady, but ‘‘failed to consider the bigger picture of protecting children’’.
‘‘The DPP referred to the staleness of the offences, but I live with the consequences of what happened to me every day,’’ Mr Roseworne said.
‘‘A child at Muswellbrook became another victim of Keady’s after he was allowed to leave my school in 1979, and I have no doubt there were other victims.’’
To make submissions visit childabuseroyalcommission .gov.au.