De-frocked Dean Thought Police Call Was a ‘hoax’

By Dan Box
The Australian
November 19, 2016

The former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral has denied being questioned by the current Archbishop of Perth over reports that he sexually abused children during the late 1990s, a royal commission has heard.

Graeme Lawrence also told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday that he took no action against another priest alleged to have abused children as he expected his then bishop, Roger Herft, to do so instead.

“I didn’t take any particular action. I left it to the diocesan bishop and the registrar to do those ­actions that were in their purview, not mine,” Mr Lawrence said.

Asked why he did not return a call in 2000 from a man identifying himself as a detective and asking about the priest, Mr Lawrence said he doubted the call was genuine, despite believing the victim had gone to police.

“Are you seriously suggesting in your evidence that this telephone call was some kind of hoax?” counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharp asked.








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