Former Grafton priest jailed for Newcastle child sex

A FORMER Anglican priest who sexually preyed on two young boys before moving to the Diocese of Grafton has been jailed for at least one year and 10 months.

Lindsay Thomas McLoughlin, 65, pleaded guilty to performing oral sex, fondling and attempting to have anal intercourse with a young teen, and exposing himself while approaching another child in the 1980s.

McLoughlin was linked to former senior priest Peter Rushton, whom a royal commission has heard ran a child sex ring from the Hunter region of New South Wales.

Rushton died in 2007 without ever being charged.

McLoughlin carried out the sexual attacks while employed in the Diocese of Newcastle.

He was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison - a penalty on par with those handed down at the time he committed the crimes - with a chance of bail after 22 months.

A Diocese of Grafton spokeswoman confirmed McLoughlin had worked in the South Grafton parish.

"The charges do not relate to Mr McLoughlin's time in the Grafton Diocese," she added.

The spokeswoman said no complaints were made about McLoughlin during his time in Grafton.

"However, we invite anyone who has experienced abuse by clergy or church workers within the Diocese of Grafton to come forward," she said.

"During the past several years Grafton Diocese has met with, assisted and financially supported a number of victims of sexual abuse by diocesan clergy and other staff.

"Our Bishop Sarah Macneil, has, on a number of occasions, publicly and personally apologised to victims of abuse."

Reverend Macneil in 2014 accepted a royal commission's damning conclusion about the diocese's failure to respond to decades of child sexual abuse at the North Coast Children's Home.

"We are committed to offering support to victims of abuse as they rebuild their lives and all claims which come forward are now handled according to diocesan policies," she said at the time.

The spokeswoman said complaints could lodged through police and diocesan director of professional standards Michael Elliott on 1800774945.

"It should be clearly understood the diocesan director of professional standards operates independently of our diocese," she said.

"Any approach to him will be confidential and secure."

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