Armidale detectives lay more charges against former New England Catholic priest David Joseph Perrett

New charges: David Joseph Perrett, now 80, outside Armidale Local Court. Photo: Rachel Baxter
New charges: David Joseph Perrett, now 80, outside Armidale Local Court. Photo: Rachel Baxter

A FORMER priest has been charged with more historical sexual assault offences after new alleged victims came forward.

David Joseph Perrett appeared in Armidale Local Court flanked by family after the new charges were laid by Armidale detectives.

The Leader first revealed Perrett’s arrest and extradition by detectives in May on charges of molesting four boys before new charges were laid in June. 

Now detectives allege that number has grown to 14.

“There seems to be some additional charges,” Magistrate Michael Holmes said, examining the court papers.

“There are additional charges,” solicitor for the Director of Public of Prosecutions (DPP) Clare Magni told the court.

“My understanding is that they are different complainants.”

According to court documents, Perrett, now aged 80, is accused of indecently assaulting 14 boys between 1970 and 1987 in Armidale, Lower Creek, Guyra, Walcha and Moree.

Five of the alleged victims were molested by Perrett in Armidale, including one who was also allegedly abused in Moree as well.

Charges surround three boys in the Lower Creek area and five in the Guyra area. One boy was allegedly abused in Walgett.

There are additional charges ... My understanding is that they are different complainants.

DPP solicitor Clare Magni

In June, The Leader revealed upwards of 10 further complainants had come forward, claiming they were abused by Perrett while he was a Catholic priest in the New England.

Detectives laid 43 charges, before more were served at court, last week.

Ms Magni said the investigations by detectives were ongoing.

“My instructions are that investigations are still being completed,” she told the court, asking for further time to compile the brief of evidence.

Mr Holmes granted the adjournment, which was not opposed by Perrett’s solicitor, Greg Birtles.

Detectives now have until mid-November to serve further evidence before the case returns to court in Armidale.

Perrett remains on bail and as part of his conditions, he has been ordered not to leave an Armidale address, where he is living with family, unaccompanied and must report to police four times a week.

He is also prohibited from going within 50m of any school, playground or place frequented by young people.

Perrett served as a priest in the Diocese of Armidale from 1961 to 1995.