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Recovered Memory and St Stanislaus

One Man's Fight for Justice Against Catholic School

The Daily Telegraph, August 26, 2008 by Gemma Jones

HIS life ruined by alleged sexual abuse, a former student of St Stanislaus college went to Bathurst armed with leaflets and a hope justice would be served.

He put his leaflets, which detailed abuse allegations and his website address, in letter boxes and handed them out on the street "to everyone" he could.

Many people had written the now 35-year-old off as crazy but his brave quest to Bathurst in September last year prompted the school to call in police.

"The police rang me up and said 'What is going on, do you want to make a complaint'. By Friday they said people were going to make statements. Going to Bathurst to hand out leaflets was my last recourse." he told The Daily Telegraph.

He said he tried to escape his pain by doing a tai chi course in China but found he had to come home and go straight to the central west NSW town.

"I couldn't relax, this completely ruined my life. I jumped on a plane and came home, I was climbing the walls," he said.

"I started writing a document for a solicitor, I went up to the solicitor and he just wasn't interested, then I put it on the internet and took the leaflet to Bathurst. 

After a year-long investigation by detectives, one former priest has been charged with 33 child sex offences and at least two others are under investigation.

Some of the man's memories of horrendous abuse came flooding back after a former teacher was convicted of sexually assaulting him about five years ago.

He said his claims were discounted until others came forward with allegations relating to other former staff at the school.

He was willing to put his name to his claims to attract police attention to the case - but he is one of five alleged victims of the priest and a court order prevents his name being used.

Before going off to board at the school the man once posed happily as a 13-year-old in his first St Stanislaus uniform which he said "cost my family a fortune".

He saw his former school featured in a movie about 15 years ago and he said "it felt like a huge black cloud just came over me".

"As soon as I thought about the school I got really depressed for weeks," he said.

Investigations manager Joel Fawkner yesterday urged anyone with information to contact police: "I would reassure anyone with information that a phone call to police would be dealt with in strictest confidence."