Diocese of Sandhurst

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its Final Report released in 2017 on Religious Institutions revealed that the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst was a diocese with one of the highest overall proportion of priest members who were alleged perpetrators (14.7 per cent) in Australia. The diocese covers the central and north-east regions of Victoria, including Bendigo. The period looked at was between 1950 to 2010 and it was double the national average (7 per cent). The diocese contained 133 priests of which 16 were accused of child sexual abuse.

One of the worst abusers in the diocese was Father Kevin Howarth who was ordained in the Diocese of Sale in 1963 and worked in various capacities throughout the diocese until 1996. Just like with other priests in other dioceses throughout Australia, the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Sandhurst had knowledge of Father Kevin Howarth’s propensity to reoffend but continued to protect him and place him in positions of responsibility. However, in October 1996, Father Howarth was convicted of child sexual abuse after pleading guilty to offences committed in the diocese.

Artemis Legal has in the past represented and is still representing clients who were parishioners of the Diocese of Sandhurst. We invite former and current members/parishioners 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.