Paedophile priest given promotion

A PAEDOPHILE priest was promoted to Archdeacon of Burnie by a former Anglican Bishop who had been told of allegations he had behaved inappropriately with young boys, a royal commission has heard.

In opening, counsel assisting Naomi Sharp told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Bishop of Tasmania Philip Newell was made aware of allegations about inappropriate behaviour from priest Louis Daniels in 1987.

Ms Sharp said Bishop Newell was told of allegations by three boys about the behaviour of Daniels, then the chairman of the Church of England Boys Society.

Child abuse victim BYG said he told Bishop Newell in June 1987 that Daniels had repeatedly grabbed, kissed and fondled him.

A former CEBS junior leader, BYG, said he and friend Peter Francis told Bishop Newell about other boys who had said they had been molested by Daniels.

BYG said he met a number of times with Bishop Newell and was told Daniels was receiving counselling.

He said there was no suggestion the matter would be referred to the police.

Daniels moved from East Devonport to take the Burnie Rector in 1988.

The inquiry heard Bishop Newell promoted Daniels to Archdeacon of Burnie in 1989.

Daniels resigned from the church in 1994 after Bishop Newell was advised charges had been laid against him.

He was convicted of child sex offences in 1999 and then convicted of child sex offences against a further 10 boys in 2005.

BYG took civil action against Daniels in 1994 and reached a settlement of $34,000.

The inquiry also heard from Steven Fisher, who was sexually abused by former Devonport priest Garth Hawkins.

Mr Fisher said Hawkins made numerous sexual advances towards him, made inappropriate comments and groped him.

He said he spent a lot of time at Hawkins' Devonport rectory when he was posted there, and lived with him in his Triabunna rectory.

Mr Fisher said he initially thought of Hawkins as a father figure, but came to the realisation "he thought of me as just a piece of meat".

Hawkins was sentenced to 7½ years imprisonment in 2003 for sexual abuse against six boys, including Mr Fisher.