Colin's story

After becoming an altar boy at the age of 10, Colin was sexually abused over a four-year period by Reverend Malcolm Jones, the priest at his Anglican Church in New South Wales. Colin’s parents were strong Anglicans and both held positions at their local church.

Colin now believes that, ‘Jones was a bloke who – his whole focus, his whole grooming, everything he ever did when we were kids was textbook really and the only reason he was involved with the Church was to have access to children – no question of it’.

He told the Commissioner of being abused by Jones and another Anglican priest on one occasion and the other priest saying to Jones, ‘It’s unlike you to share, Malcolm’. Colin believes that there were a number of child sexual abusers active among the Anglican clergy.

The abuse stopped after Colin told his mother about it in the mid-1970s. He understands that she reported Jones to someone in the Anglican hierarchy. When she died suddenly several years later – and although the Church hierarchy knew of the abuse – Jones was sent to officiate at her funeral. Colin felt unable to enter the church.

At 18, Colin suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to hospital. It was not long after this that he first reported the abuse to police and was told ‘go and talk to your priest’.

Several years later, Colin gave details of the abuse to the bishop and was told that it would be ‘looked into’. He was very distressed to learn that Jones was promoted within the Anglican Church, and remains concerned that Jones is still active in the Anglican Church in another state.

During the 1990s Colin contacted the Anglican Church Sexual Abuse Hotline but realised that his call had been taken by a close friend of Jones.

He eventually made a statement to the police which resulted in Reverend Jones being charged in the 2000s. The case was part heard and then withdrawn on a technical legal issue. Following this, an article was published in a church newspaper stating that Reverend Jones was a free man and that the allegations were incomprehensible. After that, rumours were spread that Colin’s mother had encouraged the boys to make up stories about abuse.

Colin has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and is on a disability support pension.

More recently, he’d received a ‘fairer’ hearing from a successor bishop which led to him receiving compensation of $75,000 and the publication of an apology in the church newspaper.

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