You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lawyers told of victim's helpline calls

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Annette Blackwell

Details of confidential phone calls to an Anglican Church abuse helpline were handed over to the legal team defending the priest accused by the caller of being a child sexual predator.

A royal commission inquiry into an apparent web of collusion by some clergy and officials associated with the NSW Anglican Diocese of Newcastle to cover-up child abuse is hearing evidence from Peter Mitchell, a former registrar.

Mr Mitchell, who has spent time in jail for defrauding the diocese of about $193,000 said on Wednesday he produced the helpline information for the legal team defending his "close friend" a priest referred to by the pseudonym CKC.

On Wednesday Mr Mitchell was asked about CKC, a priest who may now face a re-trial for allegedly sexually molesting two brothers CKA and CKB is the 1970s.

In 1991 CKC was charged but the trial was discontinued when a church service register was produced to show he could not have committed the offences when they were alleged to have happen.

The commission is also investigating whether that register was altered.

Mr Mitchell said on Wednesday he got legal advice as to whether he should produce notes Graeme Lawrence, then Dean of Newcastle Cathedral had prepared.

Lawrence had answered the helpline on two occasions when CKA rang.

Mr Mitchell included the notes in documents provided to CKC's defence team after he sought legal advice.

The commission has also heard the dean and CKC were friends.

After the case collapsed CKA wrote to then Bishop of Perth Roger Herft saying "my main concern is the fact that confidential conversations I had had with Dean Lawrence were transcribed and provided to CKC's defence counsel".

CKA later received a letter from the church denying it provided records to CKC's defence except through compulsory court records.

Counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharpt put it to Mr Mitchell this was "simply not true"? Mr Mitchell replied "yes".

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon