Priest jailed over abuse of fourth altar boy

A FORMER Anglican priest must serve three more months in jail after pleading guilty to molesting a fourth altar boy while acting for the church.

Barry John Greaves, 79, was jailed in 2009 for sexually abusing three altar boys when he was working as an Anglican rector for the Boonah and Harrisville districts in the early 1980s.

Judge Gilbert Trafford-Walker heard those boys, aged between 11 and 16 at the time, were forced to engage in mutual oral sex and masturbation with Greaves.

Today, Brisbane District Court heard Greaves encouraged a 13-year-old boy to get his mother's permission to travel from Cunnamulla to Thargomindah to be his altar boy during a mass between December 11, 1969, and December 20, 1970.

Judge Tony Moynihan said Greaves indecently dealt with the teen in a shower in a granny flat behind the church and it was fortunate the boy refused to get into a sleeping bag him afterwards.

He said he had to decide whether Greaves, who pleaded guilty just before a jury was to be selected for a trial, would have served any more time had this offence been included in the 2009 sentencing.

Judge Moynihan said he considered Greaves' age, health and the public humiliation he suffered after was disgraced when he was charged in 2008.

But he said the Thargomindah offence added "significantly to the criminality", added another victim and substantially extended the period he offended.

"This is a very serious offence - you were much older than the child, it involved some planning and a gross breach of trust and abuse of office," he said.

Judge Moynihan said the young and vulnerable boy felt confused and alone after he was abused.

"He didn't understand what had happened to him and why a man would have any sexual interest in him," he said.

"He felt he had let his family down. He thought to complain would shame him and his family."

Judge Moynihan sentenced Greaves to 12 months jail but ordered he serve three months actually behind bars.

Defence barrister Chris Wilson had argued his client should not serve any more jail time given his age, health and that he had not reoffended since 1985.

He told the court Greaves did not remember the incident but accepted the boy's account of what happened.

Greaves, who was a chaplain to Brisbane archbishops Peter Hollingworth and Phillip Aspinall, was born in Toowoomba and completed his schooling at Gatton.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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