Lawyer said evidence exists to press charges over John Mountford St Peter’s College abuse case

The Advertiser

Exclusive — Nigel Hunt, The Advertiser

A SENIOR Adelaide criminal barrister believes there is enough evidence to press charges over the John Mountford St Peter’s College abuse controversy.

In a lengthy legal opinion, barrister Michael Woods’ view is that it was “abundantly clear’’ the three individuals who dealt with Mountford the day he admitted to abusing a Year 10 St Peter’s College student should have immediately reported it to police.

The trio were former archbishop Dr Ian George, former St Peter’s College headmaster Richard Burchnall and his deputy Ray Stanley.

“They were obliged to report it to Family and Community Services and to the police,’’ Mr Woods states in his legal opinion, obtained by The Advertiser.

“In our view, the headmaster and deputy headmaster had a clear duty of care to other students at the school to launch a proper investigation in order to establish whether this was an isolated incident or a wider course of conduct.’’

The legal opinion was commissioned by the mother of one of Mountford’s abuse victims, David, who has fought for justice for her son since learning of his abuse in 1992.

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