Ex-priest David Joseph Perrett charged by Armidale detectives with historical sex abuse offences

Queensland arrest: The 79-year-old was charged at Tenterfield Police Station on Friday afternoon.
Queensland arrest: The 79-year-old was charged at Tenterfield Police Station on Friday afternoon.

AN EX-PRIEST has been extradited from Queensland to face historical sex offences upon young boys in the New England.

David Joseph Perrett was charged on Friday afternoon by Armidale detectives in Tenterfield with nine counts of indecent assault upon a male.

Detectives allege the 79-year-old former Catholic priest assaulted four young boys between 1970 and 1982 in Armidale and Guyra.

New England Inspector Roger Best said the lengthy investigation by detectives culminated in an arrest on Thursday.

“Armidale detectives travelled to Queensland on Thursday morning where a 79-year-old Wallangarra man was arrested by Wallangarra police,” he told The Leader.

“The man was taken to Warwick watchhouse where New England detectives applied to extradite the man back to NSW in Warwick Magistrates Court.”

Perrett appeared in the court on Friday morning where the extradition was granted.

He was taken into the custody of two Armidale detectives who took him to Tenterfield Police Station where he was questioned and later charged with nine sex abuse offences.

“Detectives will allege a 79-year-old indecently assaulted four boys aged between 9 and 12 at various locations in Armidale and Guyra between 1970 and 1982,” Inspector Best said.

“He was charged with nine counts of indecent assault upon a male, the charge that was in place at the time of the alleged offending.

“The man was refused bail and will front Armidale Local Court on Saturday morning.

“I want to assure the community that despite the passage of time, New England police will investigate any report of abuse, no matter when it occurred.”

The Leader understands Perrett was a serving Catholic priest in the Armidale Diocese in several areas including Armidale, Guyra and Walgett in the 1970s through to the 90s.

In a statement, the Diocese said it was cooperating with the investigation.

“The Diocese is aware that a priest who ministered in the Diocese of Armidale from 1961 to 1995, has been arrested in relation to historical child sexual abuse allegations,” a statement said.

“He has not been in ministry since August 1995. The Diocese is cooperating with the NSW Police. ”