- Ronald Buckley, 93, indecently assaulted boys who lived at his orphanage
- They were aged between nine and 14-years-old when the incidents occurred
- Buckley pleaded guilty but has showed no remorse or empathy, a court heard
An elderly man who preyed on disadvantaged and disabled boys under his care at a Melbourne orphanage during the 1960s has been jailed for three months.
Ronald Buckley, 93, of Geelong, had pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault against boys who lived at the orphanage he ran for 26 years.
Because of his advanced age and the inability of Corrections Victoria to properly deal with his vulnerability in prison, prosecutors did not ask for an immediate term of imprisonment.
But Victorian County Court Judge Mark Dean said jail was the only appropriate response to his crimes.
Judge Dean said Buckley targeted vulnerable children to satisfy his criminal and amoral sexual desires and it was clear the attacks he admitted to took place in the context of other offending.
‘It was your primary responsibility to secure the welfare of vulnerable children in your care. Instead, you sexually abused them,’ Judge Dean said on Thursday.
The orphanage housed boys from broken homes, and many of them had behavioural issues, mental and physical illnesses and intellectual disabilities.
Judge Dean said the four victims, aged between nine and 14 at the time of the offending, had suffered from complex depressive illnesses characterised by substance abuse and suicidal ideation as a result of the abuse.
He said Buckley, who requires the use of a walking frame, expressed no remorse or empathy.
Judge Dean jailed Buckley for 18 months, but suspended 15 months of the jail term.