April 12, 2005

Priest jailed for 10 years

Maitland Mercury

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

A Hunter Valley Catholic priest has been jailed for 10 years for sex offences against a teenage boy in a case that was a "gross and inexcusable breach of trust", according to a Sydney judge.

Fr James Patrick Fletcher "ingratiated" himself with the victim's family and the victim to place himself in a position to take advantage of a vulnerable teenager for his own sexual gratification, Judge Graham Armitage told Sydney District Court yesterday.

Judge Armitage delivered a cumulative 10-year jail term with a seven-and-a-half year non parole period to Fr Fletcher, 64, who was found guilty of nine offences including eight counts of having homosexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 18 and one count of committing an aggravated act of indecency on a child when he appeared in East Maitland District Court on December 7, 2004.

The offences happened during a three-year period in the early 1990s when the victim was aged 13 to 15 in various locations in the Hunter Valley.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 08:54 AM