Former teacher of Ben Venue Public School charged for assaulting 18 students in the 70s

New England police have charged  71 year old man, Ian Berryman with dozens of child sexual abuse offences involving 18 different complainants. The police investigation was sparked by a referral in 2013 from the Royal Commission after evidence was provided by survivors during private sessions.

The accused was a former teacher at Ben Venue Public School in Armidale, NSW. The offences were perpetrated in the 1970’s and are believed to have largely taken place within school grounds. Last year, it was reported in the media that the former principal of the school, Peter Garland was accused of abusing students. Garland died in 2010.

The police involved with the arrest believe there to be more victims and are urging anyone who was abused at the school during the 1970’s to come forward.

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.


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