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Old indiscretion returns to haunt Queensland Brother

The District Court in Brisbane was told yesterday that Brother Robert George Chambers shot a pupil twice in the back of his legs as the boy drank from a water fountain in the school yard in 1968.

Chambers, now 60, yesterday pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm on a boy, 12, on an unknown date between January 1 and December 31, 1968.

Prosecutor Simon Hamlin-Harris said Chambers was aged 26 or 27 years at the time and was a teaching brother at St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Rockhampton. He said the boy was playing cricket with his brother and another youth in the school yard and when they finished they went to the school's drinking fountains. Mr Hamlin-Harris said as the boy drank he felt a stinging pain on the back of his leg and then heard a pinging noise as something hit the fountain.

Barrister Steve Zillman, for Chambers, said his client had been amusing himself with the rifle and hadn't realised the slug would travel so far.

"He admits it was a silly thing to do and that he should have known better," Mr Zillman said.

He said it was a fairly trivial matter and his client, who was still a Christian Brother and cared for mentally handicapped people, had not been in any trouble in the 34 years since.

Judge Julie Dick placed Chambers on a $100, six-month good-behaviour bond and did not record a conviction.


Christian Brothers St Francis Xavier Province

11 Oct 2002