Former Catholic school teacher jailed for at least six years

By Sam McKeith

A FORMER Lismore Catholic school teacher convicted of child sex offences will spend at least six years behind bars.

James Sampson Doran, 83, was last year found guilty of sexual and indecent assaults on several former pupils at St John's College Woodlawn in Lismore in the 1980s. 

Judge Robert Toner handed down judgment in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Friday for 31 offences, following a sentence hearing in which several of Doran's victims detailed the effect of the abuse on their lives.

Judge Toner sentenced Doran to an aggregate term in prison of 13 years, with a non-parole period of six years.  

Doran will be eligible for parole on April 5, 2023.

Doran's defence lawyer had stressed his client's age and "complex health needs" but Judge Toner determined a custodial sentence was appropriate. 

Earlier, one victim who cannot be named for legal reasons told the court he had gone to prison and attempted suicide numerous times in the years since Doran assaulted him at an NSW motel. 

The man, now aged 51, said he still struggled to sleep because of the attack, which took place when he was aged 17.

Another victim told the court Doran in 1985 lured him into a motel in Sydney's Kings Cross where he was assaulted. 

He said that in the years since the assault his relationship with his family had deteriorated, he developed a severe gambling problem, and struggled to cultivate "meaningful relationships". 

Another victim told the court he found it difficult to trust older men since Doran abused him.

Throughout the hearing the "profoundly deaf" Doran followed a transcript of proceedings on a computer tablet while clasping rosary beads.


Revealed: Qld private school fees for 2021

Premium Content Revealed: Qld private school fees for 2021

School fees at most Queensland private schools have increased

Train and ute collide in St Lawrence

Premium Content Train and ute collide in St Lawrence

Police have responded to a crash between a ute and a freight train.

Man crashes car on Central Queensland highway

Premium Content Man crashes car on Central Queensland highway

It is believed the driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.