Child predator's students get a chance to speak out

FORMER students of a predator North Coast Catholic school teacher will have their chance to tell their stories before the child abuse royal commission in this week.

The commission will examine whether senior members of the Marist Brothers hid John Chute's (known as Brother Kostka) sins for more than 40 years of his teaching career across NSW, Canberra and Queensland, before he was finally convicted and jailed.

Chute grew up in Coraki and went on to teach at two schools in Lismore throughout the 60s - St Carthages primary school and Trinity Catholic College, which was then known as St Josephs.

He moved up the ranks and worked at one of Canberra's most prestigious colleges until the mid 90s.

In 2008, following an extensive police investigation, Chute pleaded guilty to 19 counts of indecent assault.

The offences related to the abuse of six boys in the 80s.

In sentencing Chute to six years jail (two were served behind bars), Judge Malcolm Gray described Chute's offences as a gross breach of trust.

At least three of Chute's victims are expected to give evidence along with former St Carthages Assistant Principal Jan O'Grady, former Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Lismore John Kelly and former superior of the Marist Brothers Community in Lismore, Anthony Hunt.

The hearing begins in Canberra on Tuesday.


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