Victim Calls for Investigation:
Call for Official Investigation into Child Sex Abuse of Members of Catholic Clergy Come from Woodcock Victim Terry Carter
NZ City [New Zeland]
June 25, 2004
There has been a call for an official investigation into child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy.
It comes as former priest Alan Woodcock begins a seven-year jail sentence relating to 21 charges of sexual offending, to which he had earlier pleaded guilty.
Woodcock victim Terry Carter, who has waived his right to name suppression, says he wants an independent inquiry to look into whether or not the Church is still 'harbouring' abusers.
He says Woodcock's abuse totally devastated him and his fight for recognition of what happened has left him exhausted.
There are hopes that the victims of Woodcock will be able to rebuild their lives following his sentencing.
Detective Sergeant Murray Porter led the case against Woodcock and says he has now had a chance to speak to the victims who were in court this morning.
He says he hopes today's sentencing will help them to be able to put their lives back together and move on.
Murray Porter says there have been many changes in society and in the Catholic Church since Woodcock abused boys he was teaching.
He says it is unlikely in today's climate that such offending would go unreported.
He would not comment on whether or not he thinks there has been a cover-up by the Catholic Church relating to Woodcock, but says he will be taking another look at the case.
A claim from Woodcock that he himself was the victim of sexual abuse has been dismissed by one of his victims.
It emerged during sentencing that the fifty-six-year-old was a victim of sexual abuse at an early age.
However Terry Carter was unmoved by that claim.
He says despite what he suffered at Woodcock's hands, he has never gone on to abuse children himself.
The charges faced by Woodcock related to incidents which occurred at several Catholic schools and institutions in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Judge Bridget Mackintosh told the court she had to sentence Woodcock on the laws in place at that time.
However Terry Carter says seven years is not a long time considering the number of people Woodcock abused.
A summary of facts detailed some of the physical injuries suffered by the boys.
One victim who indulged in promiscuous behaviour with girls to prove he was not gay following Woodcock's advances is still battling a sexually transmitted infection he contracted as a result.
Some members of Woodcock's family also attended the sentencing.
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