News

Former Gladstone principal jailed for sexual assault

A FORMER principal of the Gladstone Catholic high school now known as Chanel College has been jailed for sexually assaulting a student - and new alleged victims are coming forward now the case has hit the headlines.

Brother John Dennis Maguire was principal at the Gladstone school between 1975-1977 when it was operated by Marist Brothers.

Last week he was jailed for sexually assaulting a student at a prestigious Sydney Catholic college.

He moved to Sydney from Gladstone and the incidents happened shortly after. Chanel College yesterday distanced itself from Brother Maguire, and urged anyone with any evidence against him to report their experiences to police.

At least five members of the public had contacted The Observer last night after we started asking questions about his background.

A letter, sent out to parents and members of the Chanel College community late yesterday in the wake of those inquiries is printed below.

In the letter, the college moved to assure parents the school would have measures in place "to respond to any pastoral issues that could arise of these crimes against children being committed by a former principal of our college".

"Following a media inquiry earlier today, I have become aware that a former principal of Gladstone Catholic High School, Brother John Maguire, was found guilty of indecent assault and sentenced to a custodial term," wrote current principal Sharon Volp.

"Any situation involved the abuse of children is profoundly distressing."

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Brother Maguire, who worked in Sydney from 1978 to 1986, hung his head as he was sentenced to a minimum sentence of one year and nine months jail for six separate assaults on an 11-year-old boy in 1983 while he was employed as the boy's dorm master at St Joseph's Catholic College.

The paper reported Brother Maguire was first charged in 2002. Last week he was sent to jail after nine separate trials spanning 13 years, and more than 30 years after the abuse took place.

He was found guilty in only one of those trials, with rules in NSW meaning the juries did not know he faced a variety of charges against different boys.

The link to Gladstone has prompted former students of the school (known then as Stella Maris College) to come forward.

One, who studied under Maguire, said the actions of the former principal had tarnished her life. "He touched me in a sexually inappropriate manner.

He totally denied what happened and he tried to get me removed from the school," she said. The Observer has not named her as a potential victim of sexual abuse.

Another former student, who also contacted the Observer late yesterday, said he remembered Brother Maguire like it was yesterday.

"He never sexually assaulted me but he physically assaulted me," the man said. "I saw him touching up girls and punching boys."

Letter to members of Chanel College community:

DEAR parents and members of the Chanel College Community,

Following a media inquiry earlier today, I have become aware that a former principal of Gladstone Catholic High School, Brother John Maguire, was found guilty of indecent assault and sentenced to a custodial term.

The matters were unrelated to his time at Gladstone.

Br Maguire was principal of Gladstone Catholic High School (which for a period was called Stella Maris College and now Chanel College) between the years 1975-1977 when the college was staffed and operated by the Marist Brothers.

I am advised that at this time, the Marist Brothers had received no allegation against Br Maguire relating to his period at Gladstone Catholic High School.

The Marist Brothers urge any person with any evidence of criminal behaviour to contact the police.

You can report matters involving the sexual abuse of children to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to the Sexual Abuse of Children (www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au) or call the Royal Commission Support Line on 1800 099 340.

Like you, I find the abuse of children very upsetting and as your current college principal, I would like to assure you that we will have measures in place to respond to any pastoral issues that could arise in the school or wider community as a result of our community becoming aware of these crimes against children being committed by a former principal of our college.

Any situation involving the abuse of children is profoundly distressing.

Should you deem it appropriate to discuss the matter with your children and believe you may require some professional assistance and/or advice, please contact me and I will be able to direct you to the appropriate services.

Furthermore, I take this opportunity to reassure you that Catholic Education today has stringent protocols in place for the protection of children and that we co-operated openly and fully with police investigations and requests for information.

Should you at any time be concerned or have specific allegations about inappropriate behaviour by any individual associated with Catholic Education either currently or in the past, I encourage you to immediately refer the matter to the police and then please contact myself or the student protection officer for Catholic Education in this diocese, Ms Anne Czekanski.

If you require any further information with respect to this matter or any matter concerning our college, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Finally, I ask that you please keep all the college community in your thoughts and prayers at this distressing time.

Yours faithfully,

SHARON VOLP, principal

Topics:  chanel college editors picks sexual assault



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Maccas rant lands woman in police cells

RANT: Katrina Leanne Luhrs fronted court over expletive laden rant.

"They wanted to f******* charge me $1 for a slice of cheese.”

No more chances for Coast drug trafficker

Jail for jilted concreter who couldn't give up the drugs

Nerves set in for new teachers starting at Gladstone schools

READY TO GO: Techers Jemma Boswell, Georgia McLean and Kellie Pagel all began at West Gladstone State School yesterday.

Fresh faces at Gladstone West State School this year.

Local Partners

Why council workers will be peeking in Gladstone region yards

From January 30, council officers will spend six months visiting houses throughout the region to ensure all dogs are registered, desexed and microchipped.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

11 huge events coming to Gladstone in the next 6 months

Events coming up in Gladstone in 2017.

Your guide to exciting events coming to the Gladstone region

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Gladstone market's confidence coming back for 2017

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 16.7% to $275,000 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 16.7% to $275,000

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!