Psychiatric Assessment of Meredith Priest for Child Sex Offences

The Courier

August 27, 2008

FORMER Meredith priest Edmund John Haines will undergo a psychiatric assessment before being sentenced for child sex and porn offences next month, a court heard yesterday.

Haines, 62, yesterday pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to 10 charges including committing an indecent act on a child under 16 and making child pornography.

The crimes, involving two boys, occurred in Bannockburn, Winchelsea and Geelong between March 2006 and February 2008.

He was found with seven videos and 30 still photographs in his possession, the court was told.

The former St Joseph's College chaplain, who now lives in Hamlyn Heights, appeared via video link from Geelong wearing a dark suit and tie for yesterday's brief hearing.

Judge Meryl Sexton was met with a momentary silence when Haines was asked his occupation.

"Priest," he answered solemnly after the pause.

Judge Sexton said his guilty plea and the fact the complainants were not required to give evidence would be taken into account. She extended his bail to October 27.

Haines admitted to six counts of an indecent act with a child under 16, and one count each of an indecent act with a child aged 16 or 17, procuring a child to make pornography, producing child pornography and possessing child pornography.

For 12 years he led the St Joseph's Catholic parish, which takes in Meredith, Winchelsea, Anakie, Bannockburn, Elaine, Inverleigh and Lethbridge.


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