Paedophile priest worked at Darwin school decades after conviction

SARAH MATTHEWS, Court Reporter, NT News                            28 April 2020

"A FORMER Anglican priest who was twice convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys worked as a priest and chaplain at a Darwin school decades after the Anglican Church had been made aware of his offending.

Allan Kitchingman, now aged 86, worked as a priest and college chaplain at Kormilda College in Berrimah from 1997 to 1999.

Kormilda College, which was Australia’s largest indigenous boarding school, came under new ownership in 2017 and is now called Haileybury Rendall School.

Mark Barrow, principal solicitor at Ken Cush & Associates – a Canberra law firm representing a number of clients who claim they were abused by Kitchingman during the 1970s at the North Coast Children’s Home in New South Wales – is seeking witnesses to Kitchingman’s time living and working in Darwin.

“They (the Anglican Church) allowed him to abuse children for more than 30 years until he was convicted again of child sex crimes in 2002,” Mr Barrow said.

“Already former school staff (at Kormilda College) have responded to our notices with information and support. They also hope that any Darwin students harmed get justice. Darwin students were exposed to a risk of sexual abuse that was present and real.”

According to Kitchingman’s New South Wales criminal record, obtained by the NT News, he was convicted in 1968 of one count of “indecent assault on male person” against a 16-year-old boy while working as a priest in the diocese of Newcastle.

Kitchingman’s case was referred to during a Sydney public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in November 2013.

A transcript of the hearing, obtained by the NT News, said the bishop of the diocese of Newcastle at the time wrote a reference for him, which he sent to the judge at the Newcastle Court of Sessions.

Kitchingman was given a two-year good behaviour bond before the bishop helped him find a new post at the diocese of Grafton.

According to documents detailing the findings of the royal commission, Kitchingman went on to work between parishes in the dioceses of Grafton, Armidale and then the Northern Territory.

Just two years after leaving Kormilda College in 1999, Kitchingman was arrested and charged with a number of counts of indecent assault of a boy who was in his care.

“The indecent assaults involved Reverend Kitchingman masturbating his victim and performing oral sex on him on numerous occasions over a 12-month period,” the royal commission hearing transcript says.

He was sentenced in August 2002 to two-and-a-half years prison for the five offences, with a non-parole date meaning he was to serve a maximum of 18 months imprisonment.

In 2008, the Anglican Church paid compensation to one of Kitchingman’s abuse victims.

A copy of the legal documents, obtained by the NT News, has been signed by former director of professional standards for the Anglican Church diocese of Sydney Philip Gerber.

The church’s Newcastle diocese has been contacted for comment. "

Source: NT News 

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