convicted paedophile teacher has accused students of making up stories about him after he was convicted of a child sex offence.
The conduct of former music teacher Gregory Robert Knight, as well as that of former counsellor Kevin John Lynch, is under scrutiny at the child sexual abuse royal commission underway at the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
Both men worked at Brisbane’s St Paul’s School during the 1980s and 1990s.
Knight later resigned from St Paul’s and moved to the Northern Territory to work at Darwin’s Dripstone High School, where serious allegations of child abuse were made against him in 1993.
The school and the NT Department of Education refused Knight’s offer to resign, with the school sacking him on the spot.
In 1994, Knight was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail with a three-year non-parole period for child sex offences in the Northern Territory.
In 2005, he was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing a former St Paul’s student, identified at the inquiry as BSG.
He appeared this afternoon at the commission via video link.
“Now in Darwin as I have stated I went off the rails, I behaved badly and I’m not dodging around that one bit,” Knight said.
“It was after that and at the time when compensation was being handed out to students who had been at St Paul’s well after I’d left there that we had BSG come along and start asking ‘Oh, can I put in a bit of a story’ and away it went.”
BSG’s lawyer, Roger Singh, challenged Knight’s statement.
Roger Singh, lawyer for former St Paul’s School student BSG
“You were charged, convicted and sentenced for horrific sexual violation against BSG,” he said.
“There was no successful appeal, and for you to proclaim your innocence is absurd and delusional.
“You are a disgrace. It cannot be denied that you are a paedophile.”
Counsel assisting the inquiry David Lloyd also reminded Knight of his paedophile conviction and suggested: “It’s just delusional isn’t it, your position?”
Knight replied: “No, it isn’t.”
Knight sacked by BBC before being being employed by St Paul’s
Former Brisbane Boys College (BBC) principal Graeme Thomson told the inquiry he sacked Knight after hearing reports of questionable conduct from students in 1980.
Mr Thomson employed Knight unaware of crimes he had committed in South Australia, but said when boys from BBC came to him about strange behaviour around boarders in the showers, he took action.
Graeme Thomson, former BBC principal
He said he subsequently told St Paul’s principal Gilbert Case about the behaviour, yet Knight was still employed by the school.
“He [Knight] made no effort to offer an explanation and did not refute the details,” Mr Thomson said.
“I was confounded by his inability or his unwillingness to make a comment [about the allegations].
“When Knight did not respond with any denial, I took cognisance and gave pre-eminence to two well-known truths, where there’s smoke there’s fire and prevention is better than cure.”
Mr Thomson said he then registered his concern with BBC’s governing body and they agreed Knight had to go.
“I told Knight that his position was summarily terminated and I instructed him to make sure he left the school in the next 24 hours,” Mr Thomson said.
Former SA education minister ‘could have done more’
Earlier today, former South Australia education minister Dr Donald Hopgood said he could have done more to prevent Knight from ever teaching children again.
Knight had worked as a teacher in South Australia, where a 1978 inquiry held by the Education Department found he had engaged in disgraceful conduct towards students.
Dr Hopgood and Knight were in a band together at the time of the abuse.
That inquiry recommended Knight be dismissed from teaching, but Dr Hopgood instead accepted Knight’s resignation and gave him a positive reference “in the way in which he was able to lead a band”.
Knight admitted he had likely used the reference to gain a teaching job in Brisbane.
“It was a nice reference and it wasn’t drawing him into any conflict,” he said.
Yesterday, the commission heard from BSG, who said he was threatened with the loss of his scholarship at St Paul’s after he raised allegations about Knight in the 1980s.
Two prestigious Queensland schools failed to protect students from sexual abuse, doing nothing about complaints from victims who were not believed, a royal commission has found.
The culture at Brisbane Grammar School for 24 years under former headmaster Dr Maxwell Howell meant boys who alleged abuse were not believed, the commission said on Wednesday.
After counsellor Kevin Lynch moved on to the Anglican St Paul’s School where he again sexually abused students during counselling sessions, two boys who went to headmaster Gilbert Case were labelled liars.
Mr Case’s inaction when told Lynch and teacher Gregory Robert Knight had sexually abused children meant he did not achieve his most fundamental obligation to keep students safe, the commission said.
It said Mr Case, who was headmaster at St Paul’s from 1979-2000, was put in charge of all Anglican schools in Brisbane despite former archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth and diocese general manager Bernard Yorke, knowing about allegations he took no action when told of abuse by Lynch.
Brisbane Grammar missed opportunities to discover Lynch’s abuse because it failed to keep adequate records of students’ attendance at counselling sessions and their absence from classes, the commission said.
A number of complaints about Lynch were made to senior Brisbane Grammar staff, most significantly to its 1965-1989 headmaster Dr Howell, who died in 2011.
The commission said Dr Howell did not investigate a 1981 complaint or report it to police or the school’s board of trustees, failing in his obligation to protect students.
“We find that during Dr Howell’s period as headmaster there was a culture at Brisbane Grammar where boys who made allegations of sexual abuse were not believed and allegations were not acted upon.”
St Paul’s also took no action to deal with complaints about Lynch sexually abusing students, the commission’s report said.
The commission rejected Mr Case’s evidence that two students did not tell him they had been abused by Lynch, who committed suicide a day after being charged in 1997 with sex offences against another St Paul’s pupil.
“Mr Case told the students they were lying and threatened to punish them if they persisted with the allegations,” it said.
There were allegations during Knight’s three years teaching music at St Paul’s that he sexually abused a number of students.
The school’s only action was that Mr Case accepted Knight’s resignation in October 1984, giving him a favourable reference, the commission said.
Knight was accused of sexually abusing students at a South Australian school before joining St Paul’s and afterwards at a Northern Territory school, where he tried to resign but was immediately sacked and reported to police.
Dr Hollingworth’s successor as archbishop Phillip Aspinall reached a negotiated settlement for Mr Case to leave his position as executive director of the Anglican Schools Commission, a role that required him to ensure the schools had proper child protection policies.
Current Anglican Schools Commission executive director Sherril Molloy said measures were now in place to better protect children, including trained student protection officers in each school.
Brisbane Grammar repeated its unreserved apology and said it has learnt from its past failures.
NOTE: Brisbane Boys’ College & (Anthony) Kim Buchanan is by no means included in this trend. Other related parallels/similarities are also becoming revealed. Details of (Anthony) Kim Buchanan’s St Paul’s & Ipswich Grammar School adventures are also being collected.
Of high importance to any School Institution is the memories & impressions left with their learners. Imagine what damage has been done to leave comments such as:
“protruding erections) during these (repeated) canings.”
“It seems that there was a hidden level of BDSM amongst various levels of 🏫 perpetrators”
“used the strap and cane in me twice in the late 🔥💥 and he loved it! ”
“What a joke a fucking pedo breading ground.”
“I went to 🏫 in the mid 😳’s and have had serious mental health issues after leaving”
“This school ruined my family”
These Statements of Impact have not been Shared to dismiss the value of these Educators. Only to address the tragic outcomes that existed between ‘Elite’ Students & some of those from other backgrounds. In this age of transparency & openness, it is hoped that greater learning & fairness may be achieved.
From what’s becoming known, Salvation Army is by far the last of Institutions having been caught out for fixing of “Hush Money, NDAs & Deed-of-releases” forced agreements, with unrepresented Minors-Students-Victims. Whilst these matters are now viewed as appealing, they were an expected action within various Institutions.
ABC Radio Recorded the following
Following the trails (before & after) some of BBC’s Perpetrators is now listed as the following: (News)
Alleged Perpetrators learn, practice & pass on their harmful, illegal & immoral actions among environments in each of these Institutions. Related Info will be collected, for each of these & additional Institutions. Churches bring with them their form of ingrained behaviours.
After meeting with another CSA Survivor of Buchanan’s behaviours in the 1980’s, more common traits have stood out. Following a similar meet with a CSA Survivor of Secondary abuse, resulting from Buchanan’s initial abuses, there is no wonder that Institutions (Churches, Schools, Teams etc) invest more in silencing this explosive tigers-dragons-mines!
Names of involved staff will soon be posted…
It is with bewilderment that some Survivors of CSA bring forward their stories and certain ‘foundations of society’ do not show any compassion, only displaying defence. Throughout the current Royal Commission in Australia, I have experienced challenges and legal threats, for somethings included in my own “Coping Mechanisms”.
From the growing multitude of evidence, witnesses and cited Institutions – Australia is truly `leading the way’ amongst our world’s countries. This is truly a much-needed change, away from a long-term culture of “Hidden Secrets”.
Great Public Schools Association of Queensland Inc. and Queensland Girls’ Secondary Schools Sports Association Inc (QGSSSA) will now be included in this RC Report. Following further research, numerous publications were apparent (via print, privately, online et al). As continual elements exist, they will be used in provision of the RC Report.
As numerous graduates of each of the GPS and QGSSSA schools have studied and become involved in particular industries (stated later). Messages are planned to be sent amongst past-student/Alumni groups of each of these schools (also stated later).
(images taken from Wikipedia; 17 Apr 13)