Parish Community Shocked

By Lynn Pinkerton
Myall Coast Nota

October 14, 2008

MEMBERS of the Bulahdelah Catholic Parish are shocked to learn former parish priest, Father Peter Brock has been charged with 22 counts of child sex charges.

Father Brock was well known within the Bulahdelah Parish and held the overall respect of parishioners.

One parishioner, who didn’t wish to be named, said people admired him for his translation of the bible and his manner of delivering it during his sermons.

Father Brock spent around 12 months in the Bulahdelah Parish which encompasses St Brigid’s in Bulahdelah, St Stephens in Tea Gardens and Our Lady of the Rosary in Karuah.

In court last week Father Brock faced 18 counts of indecent assault, two acts of indecency and two counts of buggery involving two brothers during the 1970s.

On Thursday the 63-year-old priest presented himself to Newcastle Police Station where he was arrested by Lake Macquarie detectives.

Through the charges Father Brock stands accused of taking a young boy (15) to a house and watching as several men assaulted the teen.

The court heard the boy continued to be taken into the house at different times until he was 21.

Other allegations include allegedly abusing the boys while on a camping trip.

Police prosecutor Sergeant David Wild said the visits in the mid-1970s were “somewhat of a paedophilic smorgasbord” and the alleged offences were “predatory”.

Father Brock’s solicitor, John Woodward told the court the “substance of the allegations are absolutely denied” and they would be contested.

Mr Woodward said his client was not a flight risk because he had been aware of the allegations for 13 months and had not left the area.

The allegations first arose when Father Brock was stood down by the Maitland Newcastle Catholic diocese.

Mr Woodward said there was also no evidence the community was at risk if Father Brock was released.

Father Brock is the third Newcastle priest charged with child sex offences.

Two other Catholic priests were arrested and charged by detectives in August.

Police ay investigations are continuing.

Father Brock was not required to enter a plea in court and will reappear in Newcastle Local Court on November 26.

He was granted conditional bail including a $5000 surety and a requirement to report to police three times a week.


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