He was known as the 'Monster of Merewether' when he was Parish Priest of the Newcastle suburb in the early 1970s. But on Wednesday a frail 81-year-old Vincent Ryan needed help getting to his feet so he could be handcuffed and taken back to jail for another three years and three months for the sexual abuse of altar boys at the Junction and Cessnock.
"Do you remember me now Vince? Burn in Hell, Scott Hallett shouted at Ryan as he was led from Sydney District Court to the applause of his victims and their supporters.
Ryan has previously served 14 years jail for the abuse of 34 boys between 1973 and 1991.
He was found guilty in March of four more counts of indecent assault against two other victims who came forward to police in 2016.
In setting a non-parole period of 14 months, Judge Dina Yehia said the seriousness of the offences required that Ryan be sent back to jail despite a medical report that said it may have a catastrophic impact on his physical and mental health.
"Children are expected to be able to live their lives free from sexual violation and the distress it causes," she said.
"Vincent Ryan held a position of high moral authority and standing in the church and community. He betrayed that trust in a profound and egregious manner and his actions must be punished."
The first victim was abused by Ryan during an altar boy training session in the sacristy of St Joseph's Catholic Church, The Junction in 1974.
Ryan told the boy that he wanted to "lighten things up" and gave him a glass of wine, which he described as the "blood of Christ".
Ryan then put his hand down the boy's pants and began to masturbate him while he also masturbated himself.
Gerard McDonald was among the boys who Ryan abused at The Junction.
"Even though it's only a couple of years it's a win. With a bit of luck he will die in jail."Gerard McDonald
Referring to an acknowledgement from Judge Yehia that no sentence could undo the damage Ryan had caused his victims, Mr McDonald said the abuse had taken a devastating toll on his life.
"We were left with a life sentence and he got a couple of years," he said outside the court.
"Even though it's only a couple of years it's a win. With a bit of luck he will die in jail."
The second victim was abused while sitting next to Ryan on a couch during a movie night for altar boys at a hall adjacent to St Joseph's Catholic Church, Cessnock, in the early 1990s.
Ryan touched the boy's thigh and attempted to touch his penis before the boy moved away.
The boy was also abused after assisting Ryan at funeral services.
He said Ryan had attempted to hug him when he became upset following a service. The boy felt Ryan's erect penis pushing into his back before he put his hand down the boy's pants.
"I know how to make you happy," Ryan said.
Speaking outside the court former police minister and detective Troy Grant who investigated the initial complaints against Ryan in the mid-1990s said he hoped all of Ryan's victims had now been accounted for.
"As was shown during the initial investigation and over the course of time he was serial paedophile who has again been sentenced for heinous crimes against children," he said.
"All of the victims, the thirty that I got to take to court and the additional ones since, I think about them every day. If they ever get true justice, it's always hard to measure, but today is a significant day and hopefully it is the end. I hope there are no more victims out there."
"When he was sentenced in 1996 he got 18 years which was the longest custodial sentence for this type of offending in the state's history. However, is that ever enough? It is a personal journey for each of the victims, only they can answer that question."
Judge Yehia said she accepted that Ryan was fully rehabilitated and no longer posed a risk to the community.
However, she did not accept Ryan's evidence that had a clear memory of all the boys he had abused because he repeatedly said their names while masturbating before attempting to abuse them. He described this process as "self-grooming".
She said given the vast scale of his offending over a long period of time he would have been unable to remember all of the details of his offending or his victims.
"(Ryan's plea of not guilty) was not the product of a deliberate lie but a failure to remember in the context of so many children he abused over an extended period of time," she said.
Mr Hallett said he was satisfied with the sentence.
"It sends a clear message that it doesn't matter how old you are or how frail you are you going to go in. I would have been happy with 12 months because at least it is incarceration," he said.
"You have affected me my whole life. Why should you get a concession? Bad luck."
Survivor advocate Bob O'Toole, who was in court, described the sentence as "fair in the circumstances".
"We weren't expecting him to get a custodial sentence of any length," he said.