Church fails in duty as Tweed priest abuser kept on
THE royal commission has been asked to find that the Anglican Church failed in its duty to report and discipline convicted sex offender and former Tweed Parish priest Allan Kitchingman.
In a damning report released on Thursday, counsel assisting the Commissioner Simeon Beckett submitted there were 59 findings available to the commission arising from last year's inquiry into the Grafton Diocese response to allegations of abuse at Lismore's North Coast Children's Home.
During the hearing, diocese members were questioned as to what steps had been taken to reprimand Kitchingman, whose name remained on the Anglican Church directory for some time after he was convicted of five counts of sexual assault.
Court documents revealed Kitchingman was chaplain of the home when he sexually abused a boy at a Ballina youth camp.
He went on to serve for more than a decade between Mullumbimby and Tweed Heads, and was charged in 2002, aged 69, and jailed for a minimum of 18 months.
His victim successfully claimed $290,000 in damages against the Church.
Mr Beckett found former Grafton Diocese registrar Pat Comben was aware Rev Kitchingman was a convicted sex offender but failed to commence disciplinary proceedings against him. He said former Grafton Bishop Keith Slater had also failed to refer allegations.
He recommended that two other priests from Northern NSW - Reverend Morgan and Reverend Brown - be referred to the church's professional standards committee to determine whether disciplinary proceedings should be initiated against them.
- Jessica Grewal, APN Newsdesk