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July 6, 2022

Former Trinity principal jailed for child sexual assault

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Peter Pemble, a former principal at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore, outside the Supreme Court at Newcastle, yesterday. Photo Darren Pateman/The Newcastle Herald
Peter Pemble, a former principal at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore, outside the Supreme Court at Newcastle, yesterday. Photo Darren Pateman/The Newcastle Herald

A former principal of Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College has been jailed for nine months for sexual assaults on a child in Maitland in the early 1970s.

Brother Peter Pemble also admitted assaulting two other boys during that period but has never been charged.

Fairfax media reported that the paedophile Marist Brother was sent to the Marist Brothers High School at Maitland in 1971, shortly after finishing at teachers college.

Judge Peter Berman, who heard the case in the Newcastle District Court, said Pemble had selected a boy the following year to help him organise sporting activities before isolating him on at least two occasions and indecently assaulting him.

The victim, who attended Thursday’s sentencing, told of how he withdrew from sport completely after the attacks and went on to fail his school certificate before changing schools and completing his education.

The victim said he carried the shame and disgust of the attacks for decades before widespread reporting of paedophile activity within the Catholic Church began to affect him greatly.

He told his wife in 2013 about the attacks and then alerted police.

Detectives from Strike Force Georgiana met Pemble in Sydney in July 2014 and later charged him with indecent assault of a male.

Pemble entered a guilty plea to one count of indecent assault although two other incidents were taken into account at the sentencing.

After retiring from teaching in 2009, Brother Pemble began doing some study in Australia and overseas.

In mid-2014, while Brother Peter Pemble was studying in Belgium, he made a visit to Australia. He was interviewed by police and charged with assaulting his former student.

In Newcastle District Court in New South Wales, Judge Peter Bernman sentenced Peter William Pemble to 18 months jail with a minimum of nine months behind bars, after which Pemble will become eligible to apply for release on parole.

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  1. How is this…….how can these predators be convicted of such a horrific crime and only get 9 months jail??? This world is more and more insane every day…………


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