Desmond Laurence Gannon – Repeat Sex Offender – Pedophile Catholic Priest still supported by Church (Naturally)

“At last I can finally speak out.
Not like the dark old days, people are listening now.”

A JUDGE who jailed an elderly former Victorian priest for sex offences against a boy 41 years ago has damned the repeat pedophile offender for his lack of true remorse.

Judge Frank Gucciardo yesterday told the man his absence of contrition “displays a turpitude of character that borders on the scandalous and is offensive to morality and the law”.

Judge Gucciardo said Desmond Gannon’s explanations for his conduct, when interviewed by police last year, betrayed self-delusion and a “lack of understanding of the impact of your behaviour” on his victim.

He told Gannon, 79, that his demeanour in the interview and in a taped conversation with the victim was disturbing but “consistent with your appearance in court, clearly nonchalant and dismissive”. Gannon, prosecuted for the fifth time for offences between 1958 and 1976, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault on a boy aged 11.

From August to September 1968, when Gannon was a priest in Kilmore, he assaulted the boy in a car, on a bush track, in a church and at a pool. Now 51, the man said in a victim impact statement that after the abuses he had felt “broken, old, clumsy, dirty, ugly, guilty, confused, rejected, worthless and scared”.

Judge Gucciardo said it was his view that “the vindication of a victim’s plight in cases of this kind is central to the function of the criminal justice system”.

A psychiatrist reported that Gannon had a perverse psychosexual structure and had made “some progress” by expressing concern for the victim and the gravity of the offences.

But Judge Gucciardo said such progress was not the same as contrition and remorse “unaccompanied by empathy or compassion for the victims but delivered with indignation at your own fate”.

While Gannon posed little risk to the community, the jail sentence “is a recognition of the significance of the wrong inflicted”. Gannon was jailed for 25 months with a minimum term of 14 months.

In a statement to the court, the victim, who is now in his 50s, said he had gone from being a happy boy who wanted to be a policeman, to a delinquent who spent time in jail.

“Father Gannon has succeed in destroying all my hopes and dreams,” he said.

“At last I can finally speak out. Not like the dark old days, people are listening now.”

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

The court heard that despite these convictions, the Catholic church continued to support Gannon by helping to pay his rent.

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