Likely to be more cases, detective believes

Detective Mark Lodge was tasked with interviewing Fr Murray's victims. Photo: Linda Robertson
Detective Mark Lodge was tasked with interviewing Fr Murray's victims. Photo: Linda Robertson
Mark Lodge has seen it all in a long career with Dunedin police child abuse unit.

But the seasoned detective still describes the offending against children by Fr Magnus Murray as "particularly insidious''.

Det Lodge was tasked with interviewing Fr Murray's victims when the allegations against the former Dunedin Catholic priest, dating back to between 1958 and 1972, first emerged publicly in 2002.

He said the church had been "very helpful'' in assisting with the police investigation at the time, but the impact on victims of child abuse was always "massive''.

"You're taking away a part of someone's childhood, their whole sense of security and worth.

"This was particularly insidious, because he was a priest at a time when clergy were on a much higher pedestal than they are now.

"There was a level of trust and so a massive breach of trust on his part.''

But, despite four men coming forward with complaints against Fr Murray, it was unlikely to be the full picture, Det Lodge believed.

In his experience, it was "much, much harder'' to get male victims of sexual abuse to make a complaint, although that attitude was changing, he said.

"I don't think he would have stopped at four boys in Dunedin.

"If four came forward ... I think we'd be sticking our heads in the sand to assume that was all there was.''

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