Saturday, February 5, 2011

Case reopened
Denham case reopened
05 Feb, 2011 04:00 AM
Detectives attached to police Strikeforce Georgiana have re-opened an investigation into one of the Hunter region's most notorious paedophile priests, John Denham.
Police have taken statements from another eight former students who attended the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese St Pius X High School at Adamstown in the late 1970s.

The alleged victims of Denham came forward after the former priest was jailed for 13 years and 10 months in July last year, after pleading guilty to multiple charges involving 39 boys aged 5 to 16, between 1968 and 1986.

A Strikeforce Georgiana detective said the eight alleged victims were all from the Hunter, and had all attended St Pius during the time Denham was a teacher at the school.

The matter was still under investigation and police would like to speak to anyone with information about alleged child sex abuse at the school. Calls to Strikeforce Georgiana can be made through Charlestown police station.

A Denham victim who was in court when Denham was sentenced said he was pleased that another eight alleged victims had come forward.

"We all knew they were there," he said. "It was just a matter of time before more of them came forward so it's no shock that they have. I would expect there'll be more and I'd encourage people to come forward."

The Newcastle man said he was happy that he made a statement to police and had his charges included in the case that eventually jailed the Catholic priest.

"I'm happy that I came forward because otherwise, who knows where he could have ended up?" he said.

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