13 primary school girls raped whilst Catholic Church mishandled complaints

In Brisbane today, the Royal Commission is continuing its’ investigations into the Catholic Church’s mishandling of abuse allegations.  In 2007 a Catholic primary school principal failed to act on a complaint against a paedophile teacher in Toowoomba.  A second complaint was made by another student to police 14 months later.  After families launched legal action against the Diocese, Bishop Morris admitted liability in 2010 and ordered payouts to victims.  Within a year, the Bishop was sacked by the Pope for his “progressive views”.

In 2013, the Toowoomba principal was barred from being a headmaster ever again.  The teacher was jailed for ten years for raping 13 young girls aged between nine and ten years.

The Catholic Church was under the Royal Commission’s spotlight for several weeks last year whilst they heard from child abuse victims regarding the Towards Healing process, as well as from Catholic Church officials.  The Director of the NSW Professional Standards for the Catholic Church, Mr Michael Salmon spent several days being grilled by Gail Furness SC and Justice McClellan about Towards Healing and the Catholic Church’s handling of complaints.

About Peter Kelso


I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.


My Google Profile+