THE Hunter Catholic priest who was once punched by a teacher, and who fought child sex allegations in court for eight years, will be sentenced on Monday.
Father David O’Hearn has spent most of the past four years in jail, but will learn on Monday how many years he will remain in custody after he was found guilty of more than 40 child sex offences involving six victims.
The offences occurred in the Hunter while O’Hearn worked as a trainee priest and priest in parishes including Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Windale in the 1980s and 1990s. Victims ranged from nine to 13.
In a statement in May after the last of O’Hearn’s trials, Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright expressed “great shame that another member of the clergy has been guilty of crimes of this kind”.
The bishop said he had initiated processes to have O’Hearn defrocked.