Christian Brother jailed for at least two years for indecently assaulting boys in NSW schools

ABC News

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

A Christian Brother has been jailed for at least two years for indecently assaulting boys in New South Wales schools.

Desmond Richards, also known as brother Neil, was arrested after returning to Australia from the Vatican in 2013.

The 76-year-old previously taught at schools run by the Christian Brothers Catholic order across NSW.

District Court judge Peter Zahra sentenced him to at least two years’ jail for indecently assaulting four boys aged between 11 and 13 in the 1970s and 1980s.

The court heard the offences were committed at schools in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Sydney and at a school camp near Sydney.

Richards unlikely to reoffend: court told

Judge Zahra said Richards took advantage of the power he could assert as a teacher, but is now a frail 76-year-old who is unlikely to reoffend.

The court heard the victims were vulnerable or problem students.

The judge said the parents of one victim did not believe him when he reported the abuse and another victim banged on a dormitory wall during a school camp in Sydney to warn other students Richards was approaching.

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