Monday, November 15, 2010

Anglican pedophile network
News Local News News General Hunter Anglican paedophile network alleged
Hunter Anglican paedophile network alleged
15 Nov, 2010 04:00 AM
SHOCK allegations of a possible paedophile network that included the late Newcastle Anglican priest Peter Rushton have been heightened after confirmation a former Wallsend parish colleague of Father Rushton's was jailed for child sex offences.
Eric William Griffith, 68, was jailed for 18 months in 1992 after pleading guilty to four sexual abuse charges involving a boy, 14.

The offences occurred at Bellingen in 1990 after Griffith was transferred from the Newcastle diocese.

Newcastle Anglican diocese yearbooks show Griffith trained at St John's College Morpeth in 1969, and was moved from Mayfield to Cardiff and Wallsend over the following three years before leaving the diocese.

Yearbooks show both Eric Griffith and Peter Rushton at Wallsend parish in 1973.

Peter Rushton completed training at Morpeth in 1963 and spent four years at Cessnock before he was transferred to Wyong for one year, then moved to Weston in 1968, Wallsend in 1973, Maitland in 1983 and Hamilton in 1998. He retired in 2001 and died in 2007.

After a Newcastle Herald report on October 20 following Anglican Bishop Brian Farran's confirmation that the church was co-operating with police investigating Peter Rushton and other clergy, a former church worker contacted the newspaper to say he had warned the diocese as early as 1984 about a "network" of paedophile priests who "preyed on servers".

The names of a number of other former Newcastle Anglican members will be entered on the church's national professional standards register according to the terms of a church canon in 2007.

They include Robert Ellmore, jailed for nine years for offences against children over more than four decades; trainee priest Ian Neil Barrick, jailed for two years for offences against a 14-year-old in 1998; Allan Kitchingman, jailed for offences against a 14-year-old in 1975; and Stephen Hatley Gray, 68, a former rector of Wyong given a good behaviour bond after sexually abusing a juvenile in 1990.

Bishop Farran has publicly apologised to victims of Anglican clergy abuse, including at a special service at St Luke's church, Wallsend, where Peter Rushton and Eric Griffith served.

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