May 1, 2015
Adam Cooper and Mark Russell
Victoria’s top prosecutor has launched an appeal on the grounds of leniency against a jail term imposed on former Christian Brother Ted Bales, who sexually assaulted 20 boys in his care.
Edward “Ted” Dowlan, who changed his surname by deed poll to Bales in 2011, was sentenced in March to six years in jail, to serve a minimum three years before parole, after pleading guilty to 33 counts of indecently assaulting boys under 16 and one count of gross indecency.
His offending related to abusing 20 boys, some as young as eight, who were under Bales’ care at schools in Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool between 1971 and 1986. Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, John Champion, SC, confirmed on Thursday he had launched an appeal against the jail term on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate. County Court judge Richard Smith in March found Bales had preyed on vulnerable boys when he was in a position of trust and believed he had “some right to entitlement” to abusing the boys.
His victims had suffered an ongoing psychological reaction to the abuse that was still affecting them 30 to 40 years later, the court was told. Judge Smith said Bales was renowned as a strict disciplinarian who committed many of his offences at the back of the classroom under the guise of disciplining a student, having told the other boys not to turn around.
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