Ex-Marist brother guilty of sex charges

File photo / NZH
File photo / NZH

A former Marist teaching brother was today found guilty of 11 historic sex offences by a jury in the High Court at Wellington.

Bede Hampton, 62, was on trial for a week on alleged sex offences against two teenage boys at a Masterton Catholic boarding school in the early 1970s.

The jury of eight women and four men returned with their verdicts shortly after 3pm after retiring on Monday to consider 23 individual charges.

They found Hampton guilty on 11 charges - 10 of indecent assault and one of committing an indecent act.

Hampton was found not guilty on two counts of sodomy, three charges of indecent assault and five charges of committing indecent acts.

The jury could not reach agreement on two counts of committing an indecent act.

Justice Forrest Miller remanded Hampton on bail to a residential address before sentencing on December 17.

Hampton returned to New Zealand from his home in Australia voluntarily to face 26 counts. He pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault on one of the boys and a third was dismissed.

The alleged offending happened while he was teaching at St Joseph's College in Masterton. The school has since closed.

Hampton was then in his mid-20s and the complainants in their early teens.

Within a few years Hampton had left the Marist order and his teaching career.

Now an interior decorator based in Queensland, he is married with two adult children.

The two former pupils made their separate official complaints to the Catholic Church and the police less than 10 years ago.

One of them - who left the college at the end of fourth form - now also lives in Australia.

Hampton's lawyer, Chris Stevenson, asked that sentencing be deferred to the New Year, but Justice Miller said Hampton was not going back to Australia before sentencing, and that his sentence would have to be served in New Zealand.

- NZPA

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 29 Nov 2014 18:14:56 Processing Time: 657ms