A Marist Brother Is Being Sentenced after Pleading Guilty

Broken Rites
April 11, 2015

Marist Brother Peter Pemble (aged 67), who has been a school principal in Sydney and elsewhere, is scheduled to appear in the Newcastle District Court on 13 April 2015 for sentencing (case number 2014/00238932). Brother Pemble has admitted that he molested a schoolboy while working at a Catholic boys' school in New South Wales early in his career, more than 40 years ago. The incident occurred at Maitland (in the Hunter region, north of Sydney) in 1971-1972, when Brother Pemble was in his twenties. Later in his career, Brother Peter Pemble became the principal of several Catholic schools in Sydney.

Peter William Pemble entered his guilty plea on 3 December 2014 in the Newcastle Local Court, where the case was heard by a magistrate. The plea relates to one count of indecent assault. Two other incidents will be taken into account when Pemble is sentenced at a later date.

The case then moved to a higher court, the Newcastle District Court, for sentencing by a judge.

According to court documents, Brother Peter William Pemble was born on 6 April 1948.

Court documents stated that, at Marist Brothers High School at Maitland in 1971, Brother Pemble cultivated a relationship with this junior student. Pemble committed the indecent assault in an empty room at the school.

The victim disclosed the abuse to his wife in 2013 before reporting the matter to police. Detectives from Strike Force Georgiana met Pemble in Sydney in July 2014 and later charged him with indecent assault of a male.

The investigation was handled by the Central Hunter Detectives Office, based in Maitland. The investigator is Detective Michelle Lawson.


Br Peter William Pemble worked at various Marist schools - for example, Marcellin College, Randwick, Sydney. He eventually became the principal of several Catholic schools in Sydney before retiring in 2009.

In recent decades, the schools where he was the principal have included:

St Patrick's Marist college Dundas, western Sydney;

Marist College in North Sydney:

Trinity Catholic College Lismore, northern NSW; and

St Gregory’s College Campbelltown, south-western Sydney.

Broken Rites has examined the annual report of St Patrick's Marist school, Dundas, for 1995, when Br Peter Pemble was the principal there. Brother Pemble's report stated that his school was trying to promote "acceptable bounds of behaviour" among the students. (But Pemble did not indicate whether these standards also applied to his own behaviour.)

In the same report, Brother Pemble also praised the work of "wonderful" parish priests who were associated with the school - for example (he said) Father Finian Egan of Carlingford. (As explained in another Broken Rites article, Fr Finian Egan was jailed in 2013 for sexual crimes against children.)

After retiring from teaching in 2009, Brother Pemble began doing some study in Australia and overseas.

In mid-2014, while Brother Peter Pemble was studying in Belgium, he made a visit to Australia. Detectives contacted him in Australia and interviewed him on 22 July 2014 at a Sydney police station about a recent complaint from a male who was a pupil at Marist Brothers Maitland in 1971-72.








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