Lismore Catholic brothers exposed at Royal Commission

Retired Marist brother John Chute leaves the courts in Canberra, Thursday, June 5, 2008. Mr Chute has pleaded guilty to 19 counts of committing an indecent act with a child between 1981 and 1987. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING
Retired Marist brother John Chute leaves the courts in Canberra, Thursday, June 5, 2008. Mr Chute has pleaded guilty to 19 counts of committing an indecent act with a child between 1981 and 1987. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING Contributed

THE child abuse royal commission has begun its inquiry into allegations two predator Catholic brothers from Lismore were allowed to damage dozens of children over more than four decades before finally being jailed for their sins.

For the first time since he was convicted of 67 child sex abuse offences in 1996, Gregory Sutton has been exposed for the years of torment he inflicted on students at St Carthages in the 80s.

A non-publication order imposed by the NSW District Court at the time of his sentence was lifted at the start of today's hearing.

The harnessing of the careers and protection of both Sutton and brother John "Kostka" Chute - a former St Joseph's (now Trinity College) principal, who despite admitting child abuse at Lismore, was promoted to Canberra's prestigious Marist College - is the focus of the hearing.

Between them, the brothers have been convicted of more than 80 child sex abuse offences and cost the Marist Brothers up to $8million in victim compensation payouts.

In his opening submission, Counsel Assisting the Commission Simeon Beckett said the hearing would examine what was known about allegations of child sex abuse and whether the brothers were transferred from school to school as part of a cover up.

 

Gregory Sutton. Royal Commission.
Gregory Sutton. Royal Commission. The Northern Star Archives

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