The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a Supplementary Report to Case Study 34 after an anonymous tip helped reveal that former teacher Kevin Lynch was convicted of sexual offences in NSW before he began teaching in two schools in Queensland.
The report of Case Study No 34: The response of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse was tabled in the Australian Parliament and published on 15 February 2017.
During a public hearing in November 2015, the Royal Commission heard that Kevin Lynch sexually abused a number of students when he was a teacher at Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School in Queensland. The Commissioners found complaints against him were not investigated by the schools.
On 22 January, 1997 Kevin Lynch was charged with child sex offences while he was still employed as a school counsellor at St Paul’s. He committed suicide the next day.
The anonymous tip received in May 2017 allowed the Royal Commission to uncover that Kevin Lynch had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault against a male person in 1957 and was subsequently summarily dismissed from a position with the NSW Department of Education in March 1958.
An accompanying note to the police record states that Kevin Lynch refrain from taking part in an organisation where he will come in contact with children and the Royal Commission is satisfied the offences probably involved a child or children.
The Royal Commission concludes that despite the discovery of this new evidence, it would have been unlikely that any further reasonable inquiry on the part of Brisbane Grammar or St Paul’s would have revealed his conviction or dismissal from the NSW Department of Education.
The report states that at the time of his employment at Brisbane Grammar in 1973 and St Paul’s in 1989, there was no Working With Children Check scheme in place in Queensland and there was also no requirement that a criminal history check be undertaken. Even if a police check had been undertaken in Queensland, it would not have revealed the NSW offences.
"The evidence revealed in this supplementary report adds further weight to the Royal Commission’s recommendations for a nationally consistent scheme contained in our Working With Children Checks report, published on 17 August 2015," the report states.
Read the supplementary report.