A sexually abusive Christian Brother became a university lecturer who trained new teachers

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 1 December 2019

Christian Brother Terence Anthony Simpson originally worked in Catholic schools in Queensland and New South Wales. At St Joseph's College in Gregory Terrace in Brisbane in the 1960s, he was behaving indecently against his pupils. When victims complained, Simpson's superiors merely moved him to Christian Brothers schools in New South Wales, thereby putting more students in danger. Later, Simpson became a university lecturer in Queensland, training a new generation of teachers. Gradually, many years later, some of his Brisbane victims spoke (separately) to the police. In 2019, Simpson appeared in court, where another victim submitted an impact statement describing how this abuse has damaged his life. This victim's statement appears towards the end of this Broken Rites article.

First, here is some background about Simpson's previous court appearances.

First court case, 1998

Terence Simpson appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court 7 August 1998 (then aged 58), regarding two of his victims from the Gregory Terrace school. The court was told that Simpson used to indecently grope boys as they stood behind his desk in front of the class, even during "religion" lessons.

Simpson evidently had numerous victims, two of whom contacted police in the late 1990s, after 36 years. One said he contacted police because he now had children of his own and wanted all children to be protected better than he had been.

Simpson pleaded guilty to indecently dealing with two these boys, aged eight and nine, in 1962.

Simpson's lawyer, Keith Tronc, blamed the Christian Brothers for sparking Simpson's crimes. Tronc said the Christian Brothers were an "evil, depraved organisation that fostered and sheltered paedophiles."

As a young trainee Brother in Sydney, said Tronc, Simpson noticed a senior Brother indecently dealing with a small boy. Simpson tried to report this crime but was criticised by the senior Brother and was sexually assaulted himself.

Later, Simpson himself started molesting his own pupils.

Simpson and the Christian Brothers order later parted company. Terence Simpson eventually became a university lecturer in Queensland, with a PhD degree in education.

Judge Manus Boyce gave Dr Terry Simpson a two-year jail sentence which was suspended.

Second court case, 2004

In the Brisbane District Court in October 2004, Terence Anthony Simpson pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecent treatment involving three former students aged nine and 10 years, at the Gregory Terrace school in the 190s. He admitted molesting the boys during class at his desk and at the back of the classroom.

The court was told that Simpson went on to have a long and successful career as an educator, and was involved in teaching, at tertiary level, an estimated 10,000 teachers.

In sentencing, the judge acknowledged that Simpson should have been sentenced regarding these three victims in 1998 when he first came before the court. The judge gave Simpson a wholly suspended jail sentence regarding these three victims.

Third court case, 2019

In the Brisbane District Court on 18 June 2019, Terence Simpson was sentenced for indecently dealing with another boy, aged ten, at the Gregory Terrace school in 1962. Simpson pleaded guilty regarding this boy.

This victim exercised his right to submit a Victim Impact Statement to the sentencing judge, describing how this church sexual abuse had affected the victim's later life. The victim (who Broken Rites will call "Donald" - not his real name) stated:

"I, the undersigned, am a victim of the actions of the defendant [Terence Anthony Simpson] in these proceedings and desire that the matter set out in this statement be taken into account by this honourable court in sentencing the defendant.

"In 1962, I was a skinny shy boy of 10 years of age. I was living a happy childhood in a loving family environment.

"In the same year whilst at School, defendant sexually and physically abused me whilst he was in a position of trust and control.

"The physical abuse I endured resulted in a strong and relentless deterioration in my willingness and ability to learn. I hated him, all teachers, the School, and learning in general. I disengaged from education.

"The result was a lifetime as an unskilled worker and a failure to reach my full potential.

"The sexual assault resulted in the creation of a profound sense of insecurity. As I progressed into adulthood, this insecurity manifested itself in a number of failed personal relationships leading to relationship dysfunction and that is when suicidal thoughts and substance abuse came into my life.

"Today I live a solitary life - simple and with few possessions.

"Children should be safe at school and not abused by people in a position of trust and authority. This defendant needs to be accountable."

The judge sentenced Simpson to twelve months jail, wholly suspended.

New South Wales

A former student from New South Wales has told Broken Rites that he remembers Brother Terence Simpson teaching at St Edward's College in Gosford, north of Sydney.