AFTER 10 years and the biggest sexual assault case in Australian history, the last of the St Stanislaus’ College priests, brothers and dorm masters accused of the sexual assault of students under their care has been jailed.
The last to stand trial, Glenn Michael Humphreys, was jailed in the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, but for the young boys abused at the school - and their families - the fight is not over.
Carole Clarke, the mother of former college student Tor Nielsen who first blew the whistle on the abuse, said justice wouldn’t be done until the school was investigated by a Royal Commission.
“There is a real wrong there that needs to be fixed,” she said.
“The only way this will be over for me is if the school is investigated by the Royal Commission, but until that happens, it won’t end.
“Someone needs to look at how there were (so many) paedophiles there, work out how that happened and who is responsible.
“If I can do that, I can let it go.”
Another mother, who cannot be named due to suppression orders protecting the identity of her son, agreed.
“People at the school knew all those years ago what was going on, and they did nothing,” she said.
After Thursday’s sentencing, Mrs Clarke – who attended all the trials, including Thursday’s sentencing of Humphreys – said every victim who came forward showed enormous courage.
“Every one of those 160 men are heroes, as is Justin Hadley (the officer in charge of the investigation),” Mrs Clarke said.
“Every one of them played an important but painful part.”
Mrs Clarke also said she was incredibly proud of her son Tor for having the courage to speak up about something people didn’t want to hear.
She recalled the day more than a decade ago that Tor caught the XPT to Bathurst and did a leaflet drop across the city telling of the abuse he and others had suffered while students at the school.
”He put leaflets all over Bathurst, he even put them on the cars outside the police station. That’s how it all came out,” she said.
Ironically, Mrs Clarke said, the police investigation was prompted by a complaint about Tor.
“That’s when Justin Hadley rang up, and he believed him,” she said.
Mrs Clarke considers Tor to be a hero.
“Heroes are flawed people; they don’t go by the rules, they are on the outside looking in,” she said.
“We are so proud of him and I’m also proud of the other victims who found the courage to speak up. It’s taken a very large toll on all of them.”
Mrs Clarke said she had seen plenty of members of the Vincentians at court supporting their accused colleagues in each of the abuse matters, but said the order had never done anything for the victims.
“They only support themselves, trying to protect their brand.”
After Humphreys was jailed, Mrs Clarke expressed relief but said there was more to be done.
“It’s the end of 10 years of trials, now we just need to get the school investigated.”