Former Catholic priest jailed for repeatedly taking nude photos of student

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Former Catholic priest jailed for repeatedly taking nude photos of student

Updated

March 11, 2019 18:28:55

A former Brisbane Catholic priest and teacher who manipulated a schoolboy to pose naked for photographs over a six-year period has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for the historical crimes.

Key points:

  • Michael Ambrose Endicott “manipulated a young child under his care”, Judge Clare said
  • His 18-month jail sentence is to be suspended after he serves six months
  • The court heard a statement from another child victimised by Endicott

Michael Ambrose Endicott was working as a teacher and priest at Villanova College in Coorparoo when he photographed the schoolboy nude on three occasions from 1975 to 1981.

Last week, a Brisbane District Court jury found the 75-year-old guilty of three counts of indecent dealing with a child, but acquitted him of five other counts.

In handing down her sentence on Monday afternoon, Judge Leanne Clare said Endicott “deliberately manipulated a young child under his care”.

Crown prosecutor Russell Clutterbuck told the court Endicott took advantage of his young victims who complied “because of who he was and because he was a priest”.

Judge Clare said the victim was still burdened by deep shame.

“To stress that [Endicott] had invited him on that walk and invited him with gentle coaxing to gradually disrobe and pose in an increasingly confronting way, is to distort the very nature of child sexual abuse,” she said.

“It was an exploitation of his position of authority and the gross imbalance of power.”

The court previously heard Endicott took nude photographs of the boy on a school hiking trip in 1975, at the school’s flag tower in 1979, and in the showers of a female change room in 1981.

The court also heard that in 2010 Endicott was convicted of similar historic charges against another former student.

Mr Clutterbuck told the court that on one occasion, Endicott tried to console the young student posing for photographs, who was under the age of 12 at the time.

He said Endicott told the boy: “There’s nothing to worry about, it’s OK, you’re doing a good job.”

Judge Clare said the offences were premeditated, protracted and caused lasting harm to the student.

“I have no doubt, knowing his degradation was preserved on film, [that it has] has haunted most of his life,” she said.

“The photographs have never been found and it’s not known what [Endicott] did with them.”

‘He well understood the unequal relationship’

The account of another victim, who was 12 years old at the time, was read to the court in sentencing.

The court was told Endicott’s victim recalled: “He closed the door behind me, so if I wanted to leave, I couldn’t get out.”

Defence barrister Craig Eberhardt argued there was no resistance by the young victims and “no force or threat was used” on any of the three occasions.

Mr Eberhardt told Judge Leanne Clare: “He [the victim] didn’t cry or indicate any physical resistance to what was occurring.”

But Judge Clare rejected that, arguing Endicott was an intelligent man.

“I would imagine he well understood the unequal relationship between these two,” she told the court.

“In each of these cases the child was painfully aware … it is the potential for the very worst use of the photographs and the natural concern of the victim.”

She sentenced Endicott to 18 months in jail, with the sentence to be suspended after he served six months.

Topics:

sexual-offences,

law-crime-and-justice,

religion-and-beliefs,

catholic,

community-and-society,

courts-and-trials,

brisbane-4000,

qld,

australia,

coorparoo-4151

First posted

March 11, 2019 17:38:24

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