Yet another priest is jailed for child-sex crimes at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst NSW

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 July 2018

Father Glenn Humphreys, a priest in the Australia-wide Catholic order of Vincentian Fathers, has had a long career ministering in three Australian states. From the outset, at his first postings in New South Wales and Western Australia, Humphreys committed sexual offences against boys. He later became the priest in charge of the Townsville cathedral in North Queensland. Eventually some of his earlier victims spoke to police, resulting in Humphreys being convicted in two states: in 2014 he was jailed in Western Australia; and on 21 June 2018 he was jailed in New South Wales. His NSW case includes offences committed at St Stanislaus College, a boys' boarding school in Bathurst. This school has become notorious because of a number of convicted pedophile clergy at this school.

The NSW charges were heard in a jury trial conducted in Sydney by Judge Paul Conlon.

In Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on 21 June 2018, Judge Conlon sentenced Humphreys to an aggregate of seven and a half years' jail, with the right to apply for release on bail after three and a half years.


Glenn Michael Humphreys was born on 6 July 1953.

Broken Rites research has found the main locations of Fr Glenn Humphreys' priestly career:

  • St STANISLAUS College boys' boarding school in Bathurst, central-west New South Wales. Father Humphreys was listed as teaching here in the late 1970s.
  • SYDNEY: Broken Rites has found that Rev. G. Humphreys has been listed at various times at the Vincentian Community in Eastwood, as well as St Anthony's parish in Marsfield and St Vincent's parish in Ashfield.
  • WESTERN AUSTRALIA: In 1983, Humphreys moved to a Vincentian Fathers parish (called St Vincent's) in Kwinana, Perth.
  • QUEENSLAND: In 2002 Father Humphreys went on loan from the Vincentian order to the Townsville diocese in north Queensland. The Vincentian national headquarters in Sydney provided a Letter of Clearance to Townsville Bishop Michael Putney, claiming that Father Humphreys was clear of complaints about behaviour. After a short stay at Kirwin parish (in a suburb of the city of Townsville), he was appointed to the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish in Townsville, where he became the administrator, running the cathedral parish on behalf of the bishop.

Police investigations

In 2011, Humphreys was being investigated by Western Australian Police and the New South Wales Police regarding offences committed in each of those states. The WA charges reached a court first.

Western Australia

In 2014, Glenn Humphreys was charged in the West Autralian District Court with four counts of indecent assault, committed against a teenage boy on church property in Western Australia between 1983 and 1986 while Humphreys was an assistant priest at a parish in Perth.

The court was told Humphreys had assaulted the boy in the church's presbytery and in a bathroom at a nearby primary school.

Humphreys admitted having an "inappropriate" sexual relationship with the boy but claimed that their actions were consensual.

Giving evidence, Humphreys said he accepted that he took advantage of a vulnerable young person. He admitted that he started to feel a sexual attraction to the boy in the second half of 1985, shortly before he took him away for a holiday.

The victim, aged 45 at the time of the trial, told the court that the abuse left him confused and shocked, describing some of the incidents as "highly traumatising".

Two men who were allegedly abused by Humphreys in New South Wales (at St Stanislaus College, Bathurst) in the mid-1970s and early 1980s gave evidence during the West Australian trial, speaking by video link from NSW. The men testified that Humphreys would put on music, often by his favourite artist Barbra Streisand, before touching them inappropriately. [However, the charges in the W.A. court were confined to incidents that occurred in WA; any NSW matters must be handled by a NSW court.]

In 2012, after the West Australian victim revealed the abuse, Father Humphreys sent this victim a letter of apology and asked for his forgiveness, the court was told.

Prosecutor James Mactaggart said Humphreys blatantly abused his position of trust.

On 21 August 2014, the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Later, during pre-sentence submissions, Humphreys' lawyer told the court that, at the time of the abuse, his client was struggling to deal with his sexuality. He said his client had little exposure to the “real world” and was immature. He said Humphreys entered the seminary at 17 years and was ordained as a priest six years later.

District Court Judge Philip Eaton said that, at the time of the abuse, Humphreys was twice the age of his victim. Humphreys would have known that his behaviour was "grossly inappropriate", the judge said.

The judge told Humphreys: "You are a well educated and intelligent individual ... and would have been well aware that what you were indulging in was grossly inappropriate," he said.

The judge sentenced Humphreys to 22 months jail in Western Australia.

Convicted in NSW

In November 2015, while Humphreys was in jail in Western Australia, the NSW Magistrates Court issued a warrant for Humphreys' arrest on the NSW charges, dating back to when Humphreys was working at St Stanislaus’ College Bathurst in the 1970s and early 1980s. Therefore, the West Australian court system required Humphreys to serve his WA jail term in full, instead of him being able to apply for early release on bail.

When he was being released from prison in Western Australia on 16 August 2016, NSW police arrested him and extradited him back to NSW, to be charged in the NSW court system.

After a preliminary hearing in a NSW Magistrates Court, Humphreys underwent a jury trial in Sydney in 2018 and was convicted. Judge Paul Conlon then held some pre-sentence procedures, during which the prosecutor and the defence made submissions to the judge about what kind of sentence should be imposed.

The pre-sentence procedures were completed in a two-hour hearing on 14 May 2018. In court, Humphreys was supported by senior priests from the Vincentian order.

Jailed in NSW

In Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on 21 June 2018, Glenn Michael Humphreys (now 64) was sentenced by Judge Paul Conlon on two indictments.

  • The first indictment, eight counts of indecent assault to which he pleaded guilty, related to the assault of a student under his care at St Stanislaus’ in 1982.
  • The second indictment — to which he pleaded not guilty but was later found guilty by a jury — included seven counts of indecent assault and one of sexual intercourse without consent, but had no connection to the Bathurst school.

At the sentencing, Judge Conlon lifted non-publication orders that had been in place during the trial, saying he saw “no reason to maintain them”.

Bathurst's Western Advovate newspaper reported that, according to facts agreed to by the prosecution and the defence, the victim had been a boarder at the school when he was called to Humphreys’ room at lights out one night. Humphreys, who was dorm master at the time, got the student to sit down and listen to music. Humphreys told the student he looked tense and needed a massage. He told the student to take off his top before massaging his back with oil. The student later left and returned to bed.

One week later, the student was again called to Humphreys’ room where again he massaged his back before instructing the student to lay on his back. Humphreys removed the student’s pyjamas, which made him feel “vulnerable and exposed”, and massaged his legs before brushing his penis and testicles and masturbating him. He then said to the student “it’s getting late, go back to bed”.

Similar incidents occurred over the next few weeks, including Humphreys forcing the student to masturbate him and Humphreys performing fellatio on the student.

While no threat was made against the victim, Judge Conlon said Humphreys had abused a position of trust to groom the victim. He said at the time of the offence, Humphreys was a 29-year-old man responsible for the welfare of students who took advantage of his position of authority.

In sentencing, Judge Conlon said the offender was now a 64-year-old man whose only conviction on record was in the District Court in Perth on four charges of unlawful indecent assault, for which he served a total of 22 months’ imprisonment. Since his release, the court heard, Humphreys had undertaken treatment.

In a document tendered to the court in April 2018, Humphreys detailed the stresses which were on him at the time of the offending conduct and spoke about his lack of awareness of skills in setting and maintaining boundaries. However, Judge Conlon said this was something he found difficult to understand, saying he thought Humphreys’ boundaries “would have been set in stone when he undertook his vows, including the vow of chastity”.

The court also heard that since his release from jail in Western Australia, Humphreys has been living with aged members of the religious community and enjoying the social support of priests of the Vincentian religious order. A psychiatrist’s report given to the court spoke of Humphreys’ progress and said he was a below average risk of reoffending. Humphreys’ pre-sentence report also said he was in a low risk category of reoffending, relative to other sex offenders.

References and testimonials provided to the court told how his life’s work was for “the care of others, particularly those in less fortunate circumstances”. The references said Humphreys was held in “high esteem” by all who came in contact with him.

Reverend Father Burke, who has known Humphreys since 1974 and visited him in jail in Western Australia, said that while in custody Humphreys was dedicated to helping fellow inmates.

In sentencing, Judge Conlon found Humphreys’ lack of offending for 32 years and his service to the community meant he was unlikely to reoffend. While he did not accept the offender pleaded guilty to the charges relating to Bathurst at the earliest opportunity, he said the timing of his plea still carried some utilitarian value.

Humphreys was convicted on both indictments and sentenced to an aggregate term of seven years and six months in jail, expiring on December 19, 2025. A non-parole period of three years and six months will expire on December 19, 2021. Judge Conlon recommended Humphreys be jailed in a minimum security facility.