A Long Wait for Justice – Marist Brother, John Maguire finally receives guilty verdict

Serial paedophile and Marist Brother, John Maguire was finally declared guilty of multiple child sex offences by a jury in the Sydney District Court on 25 November 2014. The victim was a former student at the Catholic-run boys’ boarding school, St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill in the early 80’s. The jury found Maguire guilty of six offences. He will be sentenced in February 2015.

This was not Maguire’s first time in court for child sex offences. In October 2002, Maguire appeared in the Sydney Local Court, charged with 17 counts of sexually assaulting six boys between the ages of 11 and 13 in the early 80’s. The abuse occurred when Maguire was the Year 7 dormitory and form master. Maguire claimed that he “comforted” homesick boys by occasionally hugging them. The reality of what really went on is far more sickening. His victims allege that Maguire would lure boys into his bedroom where he would molest them. Maguire threatened some of his victims, telling them that Satan would punish them and send them to hell if they spoke out. Some victims told the headmaster about the abuse, but their allegations were never forwarded to the police.

The matter was committed to trial in June 2003 in the District Court. The Marist Brother’s lawyer, Greg Walsh claimed that the victims had colluded with one another during a school reunion in 1999 and successfully achieved separate trials for each complainant. This meant that each trial had a different set of jurors who were kept in the dark about Maguire’s other trials. Six trials took place, one after the next, from November 2003 to July 2004. Each time, the jury found Maguire “not guilty.” Due to a non-publication order, the media were prevented from reporting on the Maguire trials until the last one finished.

Are you entitled to compensation?

The number of paedophiles that have hidden amongst the ranks within the Marist Brothers sect is staggering. Due to survivors speaking out and refusing to be silenced, the spotlight is now focused directly on institutions just like the Marist Brothers. The Marist Brothers have the responsibility to fully compensate its victims. If you are a survivor of abuse by the Marist Brothers, please contact Kelso Lawyers. Kelso Lawyers is experienced in approaching the Catholic Church to obtain the best settlement possible for its clients without the need to go to court.

You can contact Kelso Lawyers directly by completing the online enquiry form on the Home page.

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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