Catholic Diocese of Bathurst

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is a Latin Church suffragan diocese of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Sydney. It was established in 1865, and it covers the Central West and Orana regions of New South Wales. The Diocese covers an area of 103,560 square kilometres and it comprises the territory immediately west of the Great Dividing Range.

Like many other dioceses around Australia, the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst has also been subjected to and being involved with cases and allegations dealing with child sexual abuse. The following are some of the main perpetrators and institutions that were looked at by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They include:

  • St Stanislaus College (Bathurst) which has been described as a "pedophile paradise" by a former student. The College has received 29 claims of child sexual abuse;

  • William Stanley Irwin – a former employee of St Stanislaus College and a member of the Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers and Brothers (also known as the Congregation of the Mission) – was convicted in 2011 on two counts of gross indecency on a male under the age of 18;

  • Kevin Francis Phillips - assistant chaplain at St Stanislaus College - pleaded guilty in 2010 to four counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 18, and was later sentenced to a total of 15 months jail; and

  • Brian Joseph Spillane – chaplain at St Stanislaus College and a Vincentian Father - was convicted on 30 November 2010 on nine counts of indecent assault against three girls aged between eight and seventeen while he was based in Sydney around 1979. During bail proceedings it was heard that Spillane faced a further 135 charges relating to alleged offences against boys at St Stanislaus' College. In 2016 Spillane was convicted of assaults on five St Stanislaus' College students after a trial in 2013, and in 2015 he pleaded guilty to assaulting four other boys at the school in the late 1980s. It was reported that during 2016 Spillane was convicted of attacks on five students between 1974 and 1990.

Artemis Legal has represented and is still representing clients who were victims of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst and by members of the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers.

We invite former victims to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.

Call us or complete the confidential enquiry form below.