Melbourne priest Philip Murphy, 54, above, found himself in the dock of an Australian court after he said in online chats that he fantasised about raping infant boys.
According to this report, Judge Phillip Coish, presiding at Murphy’s child pornography trial this week, described the priest’s discussions as “grossly offensive and deeply disturbing” but said they related to sexual fantasies and not actual events.
So instead of jailing Murphy, who used the name “Pervert” in his Skype discussions, he handed him a 12 months’ suspended prison sentence, on the condition he is of good behaviour, is supervised by sex offender management for 12 months, and completes a sex offender programme.
The judge said:
I accept there was no actual sexual activity with children, nor were any photos or videos of children involved.
He rated Murphy’s prospects of rehabilitation as good and accepted he was genuinely remorseful.
In a statement, the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, above, said Murphy had been suspended from all church duties until the matter was dealt with by the church’s professional standards board.
Murphy, who worked in Sunshine in Melbourne’s west, told police he used his position as a priest to gain the trust of the men he was chatting to online, sending them photos of his clerical collar.
I am profoundly saddened to hear of the Rev’d Philip Murphy’s conviction for child pornography offences. By his actions, Mr Murphy has betrayed children and the trust invested in him to work as a priest of the church.
Under the name “Pervert”, he used the gay dating app Grindr to find other men who wanted to chat about sexually abusing children.
During one of the chats, a man discussed wanting to sexually abuse his own one-year-old nephew:
bi_1077: sis has a new baby boy should try and sit lol
[sends picture file]
Murphy: F*** mate. Sit the boy. You could visit me then if it was mid week and we could play
How old is he
In another of the online discussions, another man boasts about sexually abusing his sons.
id love to have slept with them when they were v yng.
He once told one man he was in a “very pedo mood”, and told another he couldn’t play “host” as he lived in a “church house”, but that he could rent a motel room.
Murphy was arrested at Melbourne Airport on his return from a trip to Hong Kong in February 2017.