Australian priest admits child sex abuse, testifies in court

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New South Wales District Court heard today from Priest John Sidney Denham, who pled guilty to a string of sexual abuse charges involving 39 minors between 1979 and 1986 in Newcastle and Taree, north of Sydney.

[I'm a] mere scumbag paedophile

—Priest John Sidney Denham

Denham, who was Head of Discipline at St Pius X High School, Newcastle, where 27 of the young boys that he abused attended, claimed to have been given access to the boys when they were sent to him for misbehaving in class and told the court as well as a psychiatrist that "some of them were little bastards who were already in trouble."

Although Denham couldn't offer any explanation as to why he committed the crimes in question, he claimed "[i]t was as if I thought no-one could resist me" having told the court prior that he was aroused by children he took pity on. 67-year-old Denham, whose age led a psychiatrist to class him as being at a low risk of reoffending, has called himself a "mere scumbag paedophile".

Denham finished his testimony by apologising to the victims and their families. He has yet to receive a sentence. He claims he has not committed any more offences in the last 25 years.