MAKO/File Online W.T.C   -  # Wifred Dennis

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Name: Wilfred Dennis

Age: 75 yrs old (2010)

State: SA- Vale Park

Offence/ Sentence:

Other: Former Anglican priest.

Wilfred Dennis

Pedophile priest let back into ministry

A DISTRICT Court judge says he is "astonished" an Anglican Church breakaway allowed a priest jailed for sexually abusing three altar boys to re-enter the ministry and commit "strikingly similar" offences.
Judge Sydney Tilmouth today said he found it remarkable that Wilfred Edwin Dennis was left in a position to commit the abuse, after being found guilty of molesting three altar boys in the early 1970s, AdelaideNow reports.
"I must say, whether he volunteered or the church, in effect, was going to do that, its astonishing that he went back to a ministry having (already) gone to jail for abusing altar boys," Judge Tilmouth said.
"He (Dennis) was back in the position where he could prey on young boys again, he was given a ministry and there were altar boys."
Dennis, 74, of Vale Park, has been found guilty of carnal knowledge against a separate altar boy, aged 15-16, between 1975 and 1977.
Outside court, his sister said the Traditional Anglican Communion - a splinter group from the Anglican church- had allowed Dennis back into the ministry because they had trusted him.
Judge Tilmouth told the court that the judge who earlier sentenced Dennis had done so on the "false premise" that Dennis would not be allowed back into the church.
"She sentenced him on the premise that Dennis was not going back to the ministry again and therefore not being exposed to the temptation of young boys."
He said Dennis' crimes were "strikingly simIlar" to his earlier offences, and he must take that into account when sentencing.
In a statement read to the court, Dennis's victim said the abuse had changed him from a "happy outgoing teenager" into a depressed and rebellious young man who is still suffering to this day.
"I am angry that Wilfred Dennis took away my innocence and I feel confused and depressed about the impact he has had on my life."
"I get angry when I hear on the news of children being abused."
During his trial, the court heard Dennis had told the Archbishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion - a splinter group from the Anglican Church - that he had molested "more than 40" boys during his priesthood with the Anglican Church.
Dennis has appealed the conviction.
Judge Tilmouth remanded Dennis on continuing bail to be sentenced in April.

www.dailytelegraph.com.au (25-2-2010)
Ken McGregor

Primate's pedophile warning shelved

AN archbishop who blew the whistle on a priest now facing pedophilia charges has told the South Australian District Court that it took police almost three years to investigate his claims.
Archbishop John Hepworth, who is the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which is aligned to the Catholic Church, told the court yesterday that Wilfred Edwin Dennis, now 73, had called him at home in June 2002 to tell him he was being blackmailed by an alleged victim.
"He said the axe has fallen, which was a dramatic introduction," Archbishop Hepworth told the court.
He then said Mr Dennis had told him the alleged victim wanted the priest to sign over his house in return for his continued silence.
Mr Dennis has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency and one count of having carnal knowledge with two altar boys between 1972 and 1977.
The charges relate to two boys, aged between 10 and 12 and 15 and 16 at the time, at St Martin's, St Barbara's and St John's Anglican churches in Adelaide's northeastern suburbs.
Archbishop Hepworth told the court he immediately drove an hour from his Adelaide Hills home to Mr Dennis's house, where they discussed the allegations dating back to boys-only confirmation classes involving Anglican churches in the mid-1970s.
"I asked was it true, to which the answer was yes," he said. "I asked him how many others might there be, he said `I've been thinking about that, there might be 41'."
When asked what the allegations involved, Archbishop Hepworth told the court Mr Dennis became "slightly flustered".
"He said `I was measuring their erections and teaching them to masturbate but I didn't do anything sexual'."
Archbishop Hepworth immediately suspended the man, contacted three parishes and a lawyer who had represented the church, and called police to report the matter the following morning.
When asked about his dealings with the police, Archbishop Hepworth told the court he made at least three telephone calls in an attempt to get through to a relevant department to report the sexual abuse allegations, and was given "the runaround".
He said a criminal investigation branch officer "took a note ... that's where the matter ended until the pedophile taskforce got in touch with me a considerable time later".
It was not until early 2005 that Archbishop Hepworth was interviewed by police over the matter. He was interviewed a second time in June 2006.
The interviews took place after the South Australian police established a pedophile taskforce in response to the Mullighan inquiry into the sexual abuse of wards of state.

The Australian (21-8-2009)
Verity Edwards

Priest `admitted' abuse

AN Archbishop has told a court one of his priests rang him to say "the axe has fallen" because he was being blackmailed by a child-sex victim.
Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, is facing trial by judge, charged with three counts of indecent assault, one count each of gross indecency and having carnal knowledge with two of his altar boys between at 1972 and 1977.
John Hepworth, Archbishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion - a splinter group from the Anglican church - yesterday told the District Court that Dennis had called him in June, 2002, and told him he had abused more then 40 boys.
Stephen Apps for Dennis, said his client denied admitting the accusations.
He said Dennis had taken the alleged victim on a trip to the Norwood pool and spoke to him about reaching adolescence and about masturbation, but no abuse took place.
The trial is continuing.

Adelaide Advertiser (21-8-2009)

Blackmailed Anglican Church priest Wilfred Edwin Dennis had 41 victims'

A FORMER Anglican priest told the leader of a splinter church that he had molested more than 40 boys after one tried to blackmail him, a court has heard.
Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, is standing trial in the District Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency, and one count of having carnal knowledge with two altar boys between 1972 and 1977.
Opening the trial, prosecutor Phil Crowe said Dennis phoned the former Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia, John Hepworth, after he received a letter from one of the alleged victims in June 2002.
Mr Crowe said that when Archbishop Hepworth asked him if it was true Dennis replied "oh yes".
"Mr Hepworth asked if there were others. He (Dennis) said he thought there were about 41," Mr Crowe said.
Mr Crowe said Archbishop Hepworth then contacted police and helped to organise Dennis a lawyer.
Stephen Apps, for Dennis, said the "exorbitant" letter demanded that his client give him a house to own in return for his continued silence.
It is alleged that between November, 1972, and August, 1974, Dennis committed three acts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency against the boy who was aged between 10-12 at the time of the alleged offences.
It is further alleged that, between 1975 and 1977, Dennis had carnal knowledge of another boy, aged between 15 and 16.
It is alleged the offences were committed at the St Martin's, St Barbara's, and St John's churches while Dennis was a priest with the mainstream Anglican Church.
He later left the church to become part of the Anglican Catholic Church, a breakaway group opposed to the ordination of women.
Archbishop Hepworth will be called to give evidence.
The trial is continuing.

www.news.com.au (18-8-2009)


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