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Senior police protect paedophile priest, royal commission told

3pm:Retired Ballarat Diocese Priest Father William Melican is being grilled on his knowledge of Monsignor Day’s allegations of sexual abuse.

2:30pm:Outside the courthouse Former Mildura detective Dennis Ryan said he felt vindicated senior police authorities hadfinally acknowledged the past.

“It’s very satisfying, most satisfying,” Mr Ryan said.“It was corruption at its highest, an absolute conspiracy…when you look at the abuse of justice. “

He went onto to sayBishop Mulkearns had playedpivotal part in the corruption which had destroyed peoples’ lives.

2:15pm:Outside the County CourthouseVictorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton publicly apologised for police who orchestrated the cover-up.

‘“We say to the victims of Monsignor Day that Victoria Police made mistakes in the past we acknowledge that,” Chief Commissioner Ashtonsaid.

“What we have been doing, what today is about is is particularly hearing Mr Ryan’s evidence and the evidence of former chief commissioner Miller. It’sall about trying to say sorry and trying to make sure we go forward.”

He said in the last few decades there had been profound changes in the way police respond to allegations of sexual assault.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse

1:50pm:Former Victoria PoliceChief Commissioner Mick Miller told the commissionhe believed former police superintendent Jack O’Connor was the “principalactor” in Victoria Police’s response toDennis Ryan’s investigations into Monsignor Day.

Mr Miller,who wasacting chief commissioner during the 1970ssaidnobody told him about the allegations of Monsignor Day and said there had been widespread cover-up facilitated by police.

He went on to tellthe inquiry: It is my opinion that (former) Chief Commissioner Reg Jackson who was the 15thchief commissioner and my immediate predecessor were the architects ofVictoria Police’s response to Dennis Ryan’s investigations into Monsignor Day.

He told the inquiry there was a “catholic Mafia” or group of catholic police officers who protected paedophile priests.

He told the inquiry it was a “shameful event in the history of Victoria Police and called forMr Ryan to be compensated for his premature resignation.

“The driving force behind his crusade was the desire to achieve justice for all victims of a hypocritical paedophile priest.”

12:50pm:Mr Ryan breaks down when asked to reveal the personal toll.

His statement is read out by a lawyer:

“Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of the police force and what they did to the kids who were victims of Monsignor Day. Those children were being mentally and physically destroyed by day and the police protected him. Bishop Mulkearns also protected him.”I wonder how many kids would have been saved if Victoria Police had gone on with the inquiry into Day.”

Cardinal George Pell

12:45pm:Mr Ryan tells inquiryhe was pushed out the police force because of his knowledge of Day’s sexual abuse. Disputes statement from Chief Superintendent that he left of his own accord.

12:15pm:Mr Ryan moves to Mildura to work for police force in March 1962.During first day at workthere he runs into Day at presbytery. Confides this to fellow police officer who verbally attacked him and told him to “get his facts straight.”

In September, 1971, Mr Ryan was contacted by John Howden, headmaster at StJoseph’s College in Mildura. He told the inquiry Mr Howdenconfided in him that one of the students made a complaint she had been sexually assaulted by Day. The girl alleged Day had touched her breasts while was washing his car and later revealed she’d been molested a number of times.

Mr Ryan said he went onto to gatherstatements from other victims of Day. He said he only told former MilduraDetective Harry Herbert and told the inquiry the statementswere justthe “tip of the iceberg.”

Mr Ryan told inquiry he told former Inspector Alby Irwin, a devout catholic, about abuse but was promptly removed from investigation.

Inspector Irwin attempted to relocate Mr Ryan to Melbourne. Mr Ryan said he refused as he was fearful police would not continue investigation and more children would be abused by Day.

11:45am:The role ofVictoriapolicein the concealment of the sexual behaviour of disgraced priests is under intensescrutiny at the royal commission into child sex abuse.

A former Mildura police detective, Peter Ryan,has told the commission how he caught disgracedpaedophile priest John Day with two prostitutes in a car in St Kilda in 1956.

“There was an empty sherry bottle on the floor of the car,” Mr Ryan said. “Lying on the front bench of this car, with his head in the lap of the driver and his feet on the lap of the other prostitute, was a figure with his pants down around his ankles and his genitals showing, wearing a priest’s collar.”

Mr Ryan told the inquiry he questioned the other police officer as to why they did not charge Day and was told by him:“You don’t charge priests or you will be in more trouble than enough. You don’t pick fights that you can’t win and you don’t charge a priest short of murder.”

Mr Ryan worked in Mildura during the1960s and ’70s andwas the first officer to investigate Day’s crimes.

Mr Ryan is expected to detail to the inquiry how he was forced off the caseby his superior offices and claims there was a a catholicelement of the police force which sought to protect paedophile priests.


More damning allegations about Cardinal George Pell’s intricateknowledge of the brutality andsexual abuse of boys at St Patrick’s College have emerged.

Theroyal commission into child sexual abuse heard fromWitness BWF on Tuesday morning who told the inquiry how he sought help from Cardinal Pell afterhis younger brother BWG was brutally bashed and molested by disgraced brother Edward Dowlan.

“I went to the presbytery on the corner of Sturt Street and Dawson Street to seek out Father George Pell,” he said. “He was a well-known influential priest in the area and I wanted someone of authority outside of the school to know what was happening there and somebody who would be able to do something about it.”

BWF told the inquiry the quickly conversation became heated.

“Pell became angry and yelled at me….’young man, how dare you knock on this door and make demands.’ We argued for a bit then and he finally told me to go away and shut the door on me,” he said.

Under intense cross-examination by Cardinal Pell’s lawyer Sam Duggan questioned the validity of BWF’s claims telling the inquiry that Cardinal Pell did not live in the presbytery in question when the alleged incident occurred.

“I want to suggest to you that you are making this story up visiting Father Pell at the cathedral presbytery and you never confronted him there do you accept that?” Mr Duggan said.

He went onto to question BWF about how he knew his brother had been sexually abused and not just physically beaten with a belt.

BWF said his brother had severe bruising tohis legs and buttocks. He saidheinstinctivelyknew he’d beensexually abused which his brother confirmed to him years later.

Mr Dugganproduced a police statement from BWG detailing the incident and accused BWF of having no knowledge of it until 1993.

“That is wrong,” BWF said. “He’d been (sexually)abused at the back of the classroom on another incident.”

The hearing continues.

The Courier, Ballarat

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