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Choirmaster denies deceiving inquiry

Yesterday in the Industrial Relations Commission, sacked St Mary's Cathedral Sydney choirmaster David Russell denied misleading a church investigation into child sex abuse,

Russell, who is suing the Archdiocese for unfair dismissal, said in a letter sent to the executive director of the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Michael McDonald, that charges against him had been dropped at a committal hearing in March 2000 because they were "conclusively found to be false".

Instead, the commission was told yesterday, the charges of sexual assault were dismissed because the complainant, Dan Buckley, missed the hearing date. His legal advice had led him to believe that as the charges had been dismissed he was entitled to consider himself cleared, he said.

In January Mr Russell was sacked from his job of 28 years by the cathedral's dean, Monsignor Tony Doherty, amid accusations that he had failed to act after witnessing a scene of sex abuse against Mr Buckley and another 11-year-old boy.

Mr Russell denies he saw anything and has taken his case to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. The case continues.

Sydney Morning Herald

Choirmaster denies letting pedophile abuse boy (Sydney Morning Herald)
Choirmaster denies claims (Courier Mail)
Pedophile victim speaks out against sacked choirmaster (7/3/03)
Choirboy says abuse was watched (The Age)
Sydney Church sued over St Mary's choirmaster allegations (3/3/03)
Sacked Sydney choirmaster claims Archbishop was hijacked (10/2/03)
Parents back sacked choirmaster (Daily Telegraph)
Archbishop was hijacked, claims sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald)
Cathedral music director dismissed after 'extensive inquiry': church (ABC)
Statement of David Russell (9/2/03)
Pedophile victim to sue church over abuse in home of sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald 8/2/03)
Anger over sacking of Sydney Cathedral stalwart (6/2/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | St Mary's Cathedral

30 Jul 2003