Catholic priest Terrence Millard loses appeal over child smack in church

Sydney Morning Herald

October 30, 2015

Patrick Begley

A Sydney mother whose eight-year-old son was smacked by a priest in church says it was “disgusting” for the man to rely on a child discipline defence in his legal appeal.

Terrence John Millard, a former parish priest at Greenacre in Sydney’s south-west, on Friday lost his fight against the common assault finding.

He denied hitting the boy at St John Vianney Catholic Church on September 11 last year.

Millard had been conducting a reconciliation rehearsal for children at the affiliated primary school when he noticed the boy lounging on a pew, giggling and distracting his classmates.

He says he took the boy by the shoulders in a reassuring way, guided him to the back of the church, stood him in front of the Stations of the Cross and asked him to reflect on his behaviour.

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