Dilworth School image via Getty
Dilworth School image via Getty

'Incredibly distressing': Dilworth survivor speaks out after former school chaplain jailed for sexual offending

Lloyd Burr 02/12/2021

WARNING: This article and interview contains discussion of sexual abuse and suicide. Please be advised.

One of Dilworth's most prolific child sex offenders has been sentenced to six and a half years in jail.

Dilworth School's former chaplain Ross Douglas Browne pleaded guilty to 16 charges of indecently assaulting boys

Most of the boys were between 12 and 16 years’ old.

Browne’s disgusting behaviour left a trail of devastated young men and ruined lives.

One Dilworth survivor on a campaign for justice is Neil Harding, who told Lloyd Burr Live today was 'incredibly distressing'.

Browne was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, to which Harding said is not long enough.

"It's not." Harding said after being asked if the sentence was long enough. "But unfortunately, the laws of the time, I think that was as much as he could probably have got given the laws that were relating to when his period of offending (was).

"I'm not a lawyer, but I was looking at that thinking that's probably as much as he was ever going to get."

When asked about the other cases of offending at Dilworth, Harding said "This is the tip of the iceberg."

"The the the problem here is that it goes beyond the offending of the pedophiles. But actually the biggest story is Dilworth's knowledge and cover up of what's gone on. And we know that previous and current trust board members have covered it up and continue to cover up their part and their role in what happened.

"And we're seeing that we have over 100 sexual abuse survivors in our class action, and a lot of them, pretty much all of them know that the school knew." 

Harding went on to discuss how when boys came forward, they wouldn't be believed and would be 'caned' by teachers and school staff rather than investigate the accounts properly.

Harding also said that if proper investigations took place earlier on, he might have avoided being sexually assaulted entirely.

Listen to the full interview above with Neil Harding.

Magic Talk | Lloyd Burr Live, weekdays from 4pm

Missed an interview on Magic Talk? Subscribe to the Daily Dialogue now.