Ex-Catholic teacher faces decades-old abuse claims

The West Australian/Perth Now [Perth, Australia]

November 6, 2023

By Duncan Murray, Australian Associated Press

Multiple alleged victims have come forward accusing a former Sydney Catholic primary school teacher of indecently assaulting them in incidents dating back almost 65 years.

Peter Mervyn Samuel, who is now aged in his mid-90s, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery.

The three boys were aged between 10 and 13 years old at the time of the alleged offences between 1958 and 1972.

Samuel allegedly called two of them to the front of the class and touched them beneath their shorts.

It is alleged he confronted the third boy alone in a science room and also fondled him as he tried to escape.

The assaults allegedly took place while Samuel was teaching year-six classes at two Patrician Brothers’ College campuses in Blacktown and Granville, and Marist Brothers Primary School in Mosman.

Due to his advanced age making it difficult for him to travel, Samuel appeared via video link from Wyong police station in a trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.

The complainant involved in six of the indecency charges was hesitant to speak up about the alleged assault at the time due to his religious background, a prosecutor told the jury on Tuesday.

The buggery charge relating to another of the complainants allegedly took place in 1972, with Samuel accused of taking the boy to an out-of-bounds area of the school before saying “pull down your pants and touch your toes”.

Samuel repeatedly covered his face with his hands and shook his head as the allegations were aired in court.

He pleaded guilty in 1999 to indecently assaulting another boy in 1972 in similar circumstances to the current allegations, the jury was told.

Defence barrister Peter Williams asked the jury to keep in mind all of the charges relate to incidents that allegedly occurred more than 50 years ago.

“Anyone who reads a paper or looks at the news sees this sort of thing – there’s no doubt about it,” he said.ADVERTISING

“And people go along and make claims for compensation. We hear about that all the time.

“What I’m asking you is to give this man a fair hearing … remembering how long ago these allegations are meant to happen.”

The trial continues.

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National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

Australian Associated Press