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Queensland priest due for release from prison


A former Catholic priest jailed in Queensland for child sex offences will be released from prison despite today pleading guilty to further charges.

The Age reports that Neville Joseph Creen, 64, was jailed for three-and-a-half years in September 2003, to be suspended after 14 months, after pleading guilty to 34 counts of indecent dealing of 20 girls aged between four and 13.

He was due for release next Monday.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to a further six charges of indecent dealing of two more girls under 12.

The Brisbane District Court was told the latest offences were committed when he was a priest in Mt Isa, in Queensland's far west, in the 1970s, probably during the same time he had committed the other offences.

The court was told Creen, who dealt with a number of daughters of his parishioners, committed his offences while the children sat on his lap.

He had slipped his hand under the girls' clothing to touch them in the genital region, even when their parents were in the room, and on two occasions had penetrated them digitally.

In his sentencing, Judge Brian Boulton said the new complaints were of a similar nature.

He said he had taken into account Creen had rehabilitated himself since the offences were committed, and gave him a two-year wholly suspended sentence on the condition he did not re-offend during that period.

Judge Boulton, however, said Creen's breach of trust had ruined the women's lives.

"The effect upon them has been quite disastrous," he said.

A bid to give Creen a longer sentence in November last year was thrown out by the Queensland Court of Appeal.

SOURCE
Paedophile priest to walk free (The Age/Australian Associated Press 4/11/04)

LINKS
Ex-priest's release sparks outburst (The Courier Mail 5/11/04)
Abuser's release sparks outburst (The Courier Mail 5/11/04)
'Pedophile' priest faces committal (The Courier Mail 5/11/04)
Court ruling angers pedophile priest's victim (CathNews 17/11/03)
Former Towsville priest in court on abuse charges (CathNews 10/9/03)
Diocese of Townsville

5 Nov 2004