By a Broken Rites researcher
When Peter Richard Spratt (born 2 August 1937) joined the Marist Brothers, he adopted the religious name "Brother Bartholomew" (called after an ancient saint). But when Brother Bartholomew Spratt committed child-sex crimes in Australian Catholic schools, he showed that he was no saint. He was harboured in the Marist Brothers throughout his long career before finally being brought to justice by one of his earlier victims.
Brother Bartholomew Spratt's early career included teaching primary pupils at Marist Brothers in Lismore, northern New South Wales, in the 1960s.
A former student at Marist Brothers Lismore ("Melvyn", born 1958) has told Broken Rites:
"When I was at Marist Brothers Lismore in the early 1970s, I knew that an older sibling of mine had been abused at this school by Brother Bartholomew Spratt. My parents also knew about this but they did not report Brother Bartholomew to the police, because in those years there was a stigma attached to being a sex-abuse victim."
Bartholomew Spratt was not the only Marist Brother committing child-sex offences at Lismore.
Bartholomew Spratt's later schools included Marist College in Canberra. In 1996 he pleaded guilty to two acts of indecency against a 14-year-old Marist College Canberra boy, committed in 1979 at a Marist Brothers’ residence at Wategoes Beach, Byron Bay, NSW, and at a holiday centre in Jindabyne, NSW. And Spratt was not the only Marist committing sex-crimes at the Canberra school.
A magistrate at Cooma Local Court in southern New South Wales placed Peter Richard Spratt on a $2,000, two-year good-behaviour bond.
Brother Bartholomew Peter Spratt also taught at Marist Brothers, Pagewood, Sydney.