A former Waikato Catholic priest convicted and jailed for molesting young boys in the 1970s and 80s has today admitted further historic offending.

Father Mark Mannix Brown pleaded guilty to four representative charges when he appeared today in Hamilton District Court.

The former priest was jailed for 15 months in March 1990 for indecently assaulting two altar boys in the 1980s.

The now 74-year-old was the parish priest at St Mary's Church, Hamilton, at the time.


While he has not reoffended since being jailed, he hit the headlines 11 years ago when he took in serial child-molester Howard Vivian Kitching.

Despite Corrections Department psychologists warning the Parole Board, Kitching, who had a brain injury and was showing signs of reoffending, and Brown were allowed to live together on Mt Eden Rd, Auckland, just 700m from Three Kings School.

In June last year a further 11 charges were laid involving three new victims who were abused between 1973 and 1986.

The crown laid four representative charges of indecent assault on a boy aged 12 to 16, attempted sodomy and indecent assault on a male.

The charges involve three victims who, at the time, ranged in age from 6 to 16.

When approached by the Herald outside court, Brown said he didn't have anything to say to his victims. However, when asked about if he would like to apologise to them, he replied "oh yes".

"For what I've done, yes, I'm sorry."

Asked if he regretted what he did, he replied "oh yes, always. Because it's very historic, you know."


He declined to comment when asked if there could be anymore victims.


The youngest victim was aged 6 when he met Brown in 1973.

The boy was an orphan and had been living in an orphanage in Auckland where Brown's sister was a nun.

Brown regularly visited the orphans to provide "spiritual time" or counselling and religious teaching.

The defendant showed particular affection to the victim and would visit him under the guise of having one-on-one "spiritual time" with him.

The victim was in awe of Brown because of his position in the church and the attention that he gave him.

Brown would take the victim into a room, close the door and abuse him.

Brown would sit the boy on his lap and the offending initially started off as kissing before skin-on-skin contact was involved.

Brown told the victim, who is now in his 50s, that the sessions were their "special secret" and that if he told anyone he would be separated from his brothers.


The boy's father had already died and his mother was dying of cancer when Brown took the victim into his care in 1983.

He sexually assaulted the teen, aged 16 at the time, on several occasions over a two-year period at Brown's family property in Raglan.

During the night he would get into the victim's bed where offending occurred and "tell him that he loved him and ask him if he liked it".

The victim didn't tell anyone what was happening because he looked up to him as a father figure.


The third victim was 9 and an altar boy at the church where Brown was a priest.

The boy was completing his duties in preparation for a service on a Saturday night when he became sick.

Brown took him to the "priest building", which contained a toilet where the boy began vomiting.

Brown started rubbing his back before putting his hands down the boy's pants.

The boy froze, stopped vomiting and looked at Brown before he stopped.

The offending had significantly affected all three victims who are now aged in their 40s and 50s.

Brown was remanded today on bail until sentencing in July.


Brown was living in Rotorua and aged 47 when he was jailed for his first set of offending against the two altar boys.

The victims were 19 and 21 when he was sentenced.

At the time, Judge P J Bate said Brown abused the boys' trust over several years.

"You were their minister and confidant," the judge is reported saying in the Herald at the time. "They were in a position where they had little option but to suffer in silence."

At least one of the victims felt what Brown was doing okay as he used it as a way to express his love to them, the judge said.

The boys had kept Brown's offending secret as they never thought anyone would believe them.

Brown's lawyer at the time, Roger Clark of Hamilton, said his client was remorseful for his actions and would engage in rehabilitation.

He said Brown's life had had its own tragedies and now his life as he knew it "was finished".