Jailed: A Catholic Brother committed buggery against a Sydney schoolboy, aged 11

By a Broken Rites researcher

Brother Michael Jeffrey Stanton (who was known in the Patrician Brothers religious order as "Brother Jeffrey") worked in Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales. On 12 February 2016, when he was aged over 60, he was jailed for sexual crimes committed against an 11-year-old boy at Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown, in Sydney's west. The crimes, including buggery, occurred in 1980, when Brother Jeffrey was in his mid-twenties.

In court documents, Stanton's forename was given as Michael.  Research by Broken Rites reveals that he became a Patrician Brother in 1975, when he was about 20.

On joining the order, new Patrician Brothers used to adopt a "religious" forename; thus Michael Stanton became "Brother Jeffrey". Broken Rites has found a Patrician Brothers document which refers to Stanton as "Jeffrey (Michael) Stanton", while another Patrician Brothers document refers to him as "Michael Jeffrey Stanton".

Broken Rites has found that some of the schools where Stanton worked were: St Michael's Regional High School in Wagga, south-western NSW (in the 1970s); and later at the Patrician Brothers schools in Blacktown and Granville (in  Sydney's west).

How the case unfolded 

In October 2011, the NSW Police sex crimes squad established a unit called Strike Force Avia to investigate alleged assaults on children at Patrician Brothers College Blacktown and a Catholic primary school in Lalor Park (both in Sydney's west) in the 1980s. Altogether, four men - two teachers and two former Brothers - were arrested and charged.

On 21 May 2014, when he was aged 59, Michael Stanton appeared in Parramatta Local Court. The charges included eight counts of indecent assault on a male, one count of buggery, one count of attempted buggery and one count of common assault. Police alleged that Stanton committed the offences against an 11-year-old boy in 1980. Stanton's address in 2014 was given in court as Lithgow (150km west of Sydney).

Later, more charges were added to Stanton's case.

In the Parramatta District Court, on 12 February 2016, Judge Andrew Colefax sentenced Stanton to a total of 23 years jail relating to 19 charges, including 13 counts of indecently assaulting a male and two counts of buggery. 

Stanton will have to serve a minimum of 13 years and nine months, and will be eligible for parole in September 2029.