Lismore teacher 'maliciously' exploited victims, court hears

By Sam McKeith

A FORMER teacher at a Lismore private school convicted of child sex offences "callously and maliciously" took advantage of his victims, a court has heard. 

James Sampson Doran, 83, was last year found guilty of sexual and indecent assaults on several former pupils at St John's College Woodlawn, near Lismore, in the 1980s. 

At a sentence hearing in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Thursday for 31 offences, a number of Doran's victims read impact statements to the court, detailing the effect of Doran's offending on their lives. 

One victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the court he had gone to prison, struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and attempted suicide in the years since Doran assaulted him at a motel in regional NSW. 

"What devastation your supposed friendship would visit on me," the man told the court. "You callously and maliciously took advantage of that." 

The victim said he still struggled to sleep because of the attack when he was aged 17. 

"The longer I am awake in bed the harder it is for me to go to sleep," he said. 

"I wish I had told you back then, I'm not your wife and you can't treat me like your wife."

Another victim, who also cannot be named, recounted how Doran in 1985 lured him to a motel in Sydney's Kings Cross where he was "physically and sexually" assaulted. 

"I felt singled out as weak and vulnerable ... I felt guilty that I had allowed the abuse to happen," the man told the court. 

The man said that in the years since the assault his relationship with his family had deteriorated and he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to a gambling addiction. 

He said he had also struggled with intimacy and found it difficult to "cultivate meaningful relationships". 

"My life has been a struggle," he told the court. 

Doran, who the court heard has "complex health needs" including hearing difficulties, clasped rosary beads as he followed a transcript of proceedings on an iPad while seated in a mobility aid.

The hearing continues before Judge Robert Toner.


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