Ex-Priest Says It's All 'Gossip'

By Rebecca Woolley
Manly Daily
July 12, 2008

ALLEGATIONS of child abuse had dogged a former Collaroy Plateau priest for years but were based on "gossip and smear", a court has heard.

Paul Raymond Evans (pictured), who was a priest at St Rose of Lima Church at Collaroy Plateau, has pleaded not guilty to 20 child sex offences allegedly committed when he worked at Boys' Town at Engadine, in Sydney's south, in the 1970s and 80s.

During a lengthy trial, the Sydney District Court has heard that Mr Evans engaged in sex acts with seven pupils and gave them "treats" including taking one on a trip to Queensland.

While in the witness box yesterday, Mr Evans denied he had given any of the boys special treatment, alcohol or touched them inappropriately.

Under cross-examination by the Crown prosecutor Pricilla Adey he denied treating three boys differently in order to gain their "loyalty".

"There was no need to earn any loyalty," Mr Evans said.

"There was no point ... it just does not make sense in the context of my work and what I was expected to do."

In a statement read out to the court, he said there was an incident during a trip to Bundeena where he and numerous children had swam across a lagoon. "I got mud in my shorts," Mr Evans said.

"I thought they were out of sight and I slipped them off."

He said some children added this to their story, turning him into a "homosexual flasher".

"All these years I have had someone looking over my shoulder," Mr Evans said in the statement.

"These people were concerned about the way I worked with the children."

Mr Evans said one of the boys jokingly signed his name as "your bum chum" in a card to him and "had never forgiven himself since".

"This added fuel to the fire," he said.

"I've had the personal pain of this for so many years. I do not know why I have to suffer this, I hope I will be able to see it through and still be a priest somewhere."

The case continues.


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