Marist predator blamed for son's suicide

The father of a young man who died of a drug overdose says he blames his son's demise on a Marist Brother who sexually abused him when he was a child.

The Australian reports Ross Francis Murrin, 52, pleaded guilty to 17 charges over the abuse of eight Year 5 and 6 students in 1974.

Murrin taught at various schools in the Marist system until the allegations arose in 2002.

The child was abused when he was 10 years old and he later died of a drug overdose in 1987 when he was 22. His father said the abuse "completely changed him".

"He became secretive and reclusive and withdrew from the family, and developed a substance addiction to mask his low self-esteem and feelings of little worth," he said.

The father said the abuse had rocked his belief in "all things Catholic" and he feared for his grandchildren currently in the Catholic education system

Another of Murrin's victims said the attacks had destroyed his faith in God.

"He betrayed the local community, he betrayed the NSW Government, the Marist Brothers order, the Catholic Church and most of all our parents.''

Murrin's psychiatrist Dr Christopher Canaris said he was admitted into a special program for sex-offending clergymen by the Marist Brothers when complaints were first made against him in 2002.

He was suspended from ministry and underwent an eight-month intensive residential rehabilitation program.

Judge Helen Murrell said she was unlikely to consider anything less than a full-time jail term, and revoked Murrin's bail on that basis.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on February 29.

Marist abuse 'led to son's overdose' (The Australian 01/02/08)

4 Feb 2008