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

Priest's porn collection was 'shocking'

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016 By Annette Blackwell

A furniture removal crew was so shocked by pornography they found at an Anglican priest's home in NSW that they refused to go back to finish the job, the child abuse royal commission has heard.

Colvin Ford, former archdeacon of the Upper Hunter in the diocese of Newcastle, told the commission on Thursday a manager of a local furniture removal company rang him in 1998 to say distressing pornography had been found at the home of Peter Rushton, a senior priest in the diocese.

Rev Ford said the manager Jim Jackson said "our men are no angels but they were shocked by the material".

Rev Ford reported the conversation to Bishop Roger Herft and had a meeting with him, a retired bishop and Rushton.

Roger Herft is now Anglican Archbishop of Perth and will give evidence at the commission next week.

Rev Ford said Bishop Herft asked him to get statements from the men who had seen the pornography.

Mr Jackson got the statements and later told him the pornography was a fair quantity of "male on male sexual material" and the men did not want to go back to Rushton's house.

Rev Ford said about a year after the incident another priest told him he had been asked by Rushton to destroy hundreds of videos. The priest said he had to use a 44-gallon drum to destroy the material which was child pornography.

Meanwhile, a second Anglican bishop told the royal commission on Thursday he never knew pedophile priests were active in the NSW diocese where he was an auxiliary bishop for almost 10 years.

Bishop Richard Appleby, who worked in the Newcastle diocese from 1983 to 1992, said on Thursday he had "absolutely no recollection" of "abhorrent abusive behaviour" ever being reported to him.

Bishop Appleby was assistant to Bishop Alfred Holland who ran the diocese for 14 years.

Bishop Holland on Wednesday repeatedly denied any knowledge of prolific child sex abuse by Rushton and other clergy who are now alleged to have been part of a very active pedophile ring.

Abuse survivor CKA told the commission on Thursday he told Bishop Appleby about being abused in the early 70s by a parish priest referred to by the pseudonym CKC.

Bishop Appleby said it never happened because he would have acted upon such a report.

The bishop could also not recall a meeting with Teresa Burns and a priest whose son had been abused by youth worker Jim Brown.

Ms Burns, a former youth worker in the diocese, has told the commission Bishop Appleby said at that meeting Brown would be moved to Maitland.

Brown is currently serving a 20-year sentence for abusing 19 boys.

On Thursday, Ian Temby SC, representing the state of NSW, asked the commission to retain the pseudonym CKC for the priest, who may face a retrial.

The hearing continues on Friday when Bishop Appleby returns to the stand.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon