AG appeals Byrnes sentence

Pedophile school teacher Gerard Byrnes.
Pedophile school teacher Gerard Byrnes.

PEDOPHILE school teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes may face an extended period in jail after Attorney-General Cameron Dick lodged an appeal against the leniency of his sentence on Friday.

The mother of one of Byrnes’ 13 victims told The Chronicle the families were pleased and relieved the Attorney-General had appealed what was seen by all the families as a very lenient sentence.

"We welcome the appeal very much, it’s what we’ve been hoping for," she said.

"We have been sending letters hoping there would be an appeal and it’s fantastic that he (Attorney-General Cameron Dick) has picked it up and run with it."

Arguably Toowoomba’s most despised individual, Byrnes, 61, was on October 4 sentenced to 10 years jail, to serve a minimum of eight years, after confessing to the rape and molestation of young girls in his Catholic primary school classes between January 2007 and November 2008.

Having already spent almost two years in pre-sentence custody at the time of sentence, Byrnes could be out of jail and back on our streets within six years.

In all, he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of rape, 33 counts of indecent treatment of a child, and one of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child.

His 13 victims were aged between just nine and 10 at the time.

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