A south-west victim of clergy sex abuse believes he is doomed to die a lonely old man.
The victim of defrocked Warrnambool priest Paul David Ryan delivered a chilling impact statement during a Melbourne County Court hearing on Thursday.
Ryan, now of Western Australia, was shuffled from parish to parish across the south-west under former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns, abusing children wherever he went.
He pleaded guilty in March to three offences, involving the indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 in Warrnambool in 1981, the oral sexual penetration of a teenager at a school camp in 1985 and an indecent act with a child under the age of 16 in Ararat in 1992.
The south-west victim recalled that psychiatrist David Wiesman asked about his future following the court case against Ryan, who is now aged 70.
"My reply was simple: I will die a lonely old man," the victim said.
The key victim on Thursday said he told Bishop Mulkearns about being abused by Ryan when he considered joining the priesthood.
"The only 'what if' I have in life is this: I told Bishop Mulkearns about my abuse in the early 1990s," he said.
"I trusted him to do something. To my knowledge he did nothing.
"It's been well documented that a boy from Ararat (a Ryan abuse victim) killed himself after this.
"If I had gone to the police, instead of Bishop Mulkearns, that boy may still be alive. I apologise to him and to his family. I let you down and I will carry that anguish forever."
The victim said he was raised a Catholic and trusted members of the clergy but that trust was abused by Ryan.
He said since being abused he had struggled to find happiness, had never let anyone get close because he could get hurt.
"I'm lucky I suppose, for I have nothing of value relationship-wise, therefore I can't let anybody down or bring them into my world," he said.
"Friendships are few and far between, as I can't let people too close for fear they may know the full extent of my secret or my pain. That cannot happen under any circumstance .... not even my parents."
The victim said he had dark thoughts, alcohol abuse, post traumatic stress, was anxious in confronting situations and constantly relived his nightmare.
He said he was scared of enclosed spaces like shops where people waited to be served, even in bakeries.
"I hate people behind me breathing on the back of my neck," he said.
The victim said he strongly disliked the term survivor.
"I am a victim of sexual abuse, but I am not a survivor," he said.
"You survive a bushfire, a flood or a car crash. You don't survive sexual abuse. It stays with you forever. I am, in fact, damaged for life. For me there's no healing.
"For me there's no medication that can dim the pain. For me there's no quick fix. For me there is no cure."
The plea hearing before Judge Susan Pullen will lead to a sentencing hearing, probably next week.
Former Warrnambool police detective Colin Ryan's investigation in 2006 led to Paul Ryan's first criminal conviction for molesting two altar boys at Penshurst.
"My investigation showed that Paul David Ryan was sponsored into the seminary by Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns, knowing he had a history of being kicked out of the Adelaide seminary," he said.
"Bishop Mulkearns was advised Paul David Ryan should not be admitted and yet he went on to offend against children."
Abuse allegations were made even before Ryan was ordained as a priest in 1976 and almost everywhere he worked - from Ballarat to Warrnambool, Terang, Penshurst and Ararat - until he was removed from the priesthood in 1993.
Victim welcomes prison term
A sex abuse victim of a Warrnambool Christian brother in the 1960s has welcomed a minimum 38-month jail term.
The victim, who cannot be named, said he was pleased that John Sutherland Laidlaw, 80, was jailed on Thursday in the Melbourne County Court for four-and-a-half years with a minimum 38 months to be served before being eligible for parole.
"He's going to jail. I'm very pleased he's being held accountable. His crimes were read out in court and he's now a registered sex offender," the victim said.
"He possibly won't survive jail. The whole criminal justice process has been very satisfying. It's a bit unreal.
"After such a long time, justice has been done ... it's actually happened. Finally someone believed what had been going on."
The victim said the offences Laidlaw pleaded guilty to were committed between 1963 and 1984.
"I believe he would have continue to offend. I believe there are a lot more victims out there."
The man said he didn't know the other Warrnambool victim in Thursday's Laidlaw case.
"It is surprising that today in the Melbourne County Court there were two priests and a brother involved in a sex abuse case who all have connections to Warrnambool," he said.
"It's amazing, it was so extensive."
Laidlaw pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and two of sexually penetrating a child while teaching at various Catholic schools in the state between 1963 and 1984.
His six victims were boys aged 12 to 17 years.
Judge Peter Berman noted that Laidlaw could die in prison.
"You are going to jail for a finite number of years. Your victims will never be free from the effects of your exploitation of them," he said.
"Had you done recently what you did so long ago, much longer sentences would have been imposed."
Laidlaw sexually assaulted two boys while working as a sports coach in Warrnambool during the early 1960s.
The Standard revealed two months ago that Laidlaw, who was a volunteer welfare officer at the Collingwood Football Club, intended to plead guilty to sex charges.
The Age reported Laidlaw was shuffled between schools after the Warrnambool crimes despite a report raising concerns he was unfit to work with children.
He was moved between six Victorian schools up until the late 1980s and another school in Adelaide despite a 1973 report doubting his suitability because of allegations of improper conduct and "serious indiscretions" at past schools.
Laidlaw tried to make up for the damage he caused by giving back to the community through caring for the elderly, working with alcoholics and AIDS sufferers and in voluntary roles.
He has Parkinson's disease and heart problems and uses a walking stick.
Another year for former priest
A former Warrnambool pedophile priest and repeat offender who used "the disguise of holy orders" to access children will spend at least an extra year in jail after confessing to more historical sex crimes.
Robert Claffey "mocked the priestly authority" in a faith that he "pretended to practice" when he molested two young boys in Ballarat during the 1980s.
The pedophile was already serving a minimum of 13 years and four months' jail for sexually abusing 12 boys and girls aged as young as five, between 1969 and 1992.
But he will now spend at least an extra 12 months on top of that sentence in jail following the fresh allegations.
Claffey's previous offences happened in various western Victorian cities and towns, including Ballarat, Warrnambool, Apollo Bay and Portland, between 1970 and 1992.
Claffey was aged 38 to 41 when he abused the two boys in Ballarat, one who was aged between 12 and 15, and the other boy who was aged six to seven.
On Thursday, County Court Judge Paul Higham condemned Claffey's "gross sense of entitlement".
"You used the disguise of holy orders of the faith that you pretended to practise," he said.
"Your priestly role provided you with various opportunities to access these children. You indulged your deviant desires and offended against them."