A former Catholic priest who abused three Victorian
schoolboys in the 1960s will spend another four months behind
James Patrick Jennings, 81, indecently assaulted the boys
while a priest at Bendigo's St Vincent's College in the
He was jailed today for three years, but two-and-a-half years
of the term was suspended.
The sentence takes into account the two months he has already
served in jail before his sentencing, meaning he will serve
four more months.
Victorian County Court Judge Wendy Wilmoth said Jennings knew
when the school boys he abused would be alone and in which
dormitory they slept.
She said he was in denial over his crimes and even blamed the
victims for falsifying the charges for financial gain,
despite there being no evidence of this.
Judge Wilmoth said Jennings' crimes not only involved a gross
breach of trust but an awareness his crimes were wrong.
"You were in a position of power and authority," she said.
"You knew the offences were very wrong, so your moral
culpability was high."
Jennings, who lives in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, was in
February found guilty of five counts of indecent assault
against the three boys.
He was acquitted on a sixth charge of indecent assault.
The judge took into account his age and health which would
make his jail time more onerous.