Knox Grammar told to destroy sex abuse files: royal commission

Sydney Morning Herald

February 27, 2015

Rachel Browne

Knox Grammar School was advised to destroy documents relating to child sexual abuse while at the same time preparing an apology to victims, a royal commission has heard.

A series of emails tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed an unnamed solicitor had recommended the destruction of documents in 2009, following the arrests of five teachers who abused children at the Uniting Church school.

In one email with the subject heading: “apology drafts”, implicates former moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, James Mein in the act.

“The solicitor who drafted this is one who has been advising the school to destroy documents, with Jim’s assistance,” Uniting Church manager of insurance and property services Dwane Freehely wrote.

Rob Wannan, a high profile solicitor and chairman of the Knox Grammar School Council from 2007-13, said the “Jim” in the email was likely to be Mr Mein but denied that he, Mr Wannan, ordered the destruction of the documents.

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