Jailed former Qld priest launches appeal

Former priest Michael Endicott is appealing his conviction for abusing a boy in the 1970s.
Former priest Michael Endicott is appealing his conviction for abusing a boy in the 1970s.

A former priest who took nude photos of a boy while a teacher at Brisbane's Villanova College has been denied bail pending an appeal.

Michael Ambrose Endicott, 75, was found guilty last week of three counts of indecently dealing with the student while in charge of religious education at the school in the 1970s.

He is fighting his conviction on the grounds the law at the time required there to be indecent touching of the child to constitute an offence, Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Friday.

"It's important the court looks at the provision as it existed at the time," Endicott's barrister Deborah Holliday said.

He also believes his 18-month jail sentence, to be suspended after six months, is "manifestly excessive" because he did not touch his victim and has been fully rehabilitated.

But Justice Peter Flanagan denied him bail because the strength of his appeal arguments did not amount to the "exceptional circumstances" required for release.

He rejected suggestions a custodial sentence was too harsh for his offending.

"I would have thought conduct of causing a child to take off their clothes and be photographed naked and do certain other things, to be photographed, is serious conduct," Justice Flanagan said.

In sentencing Endicott on Monday, District Court Judge Leanne Clare SC labelled his crime "substantial" because he had taken advantage of a power imbalance with his victim.

The victim was first abused on a school hiking trip in 1975 when Endicott asked the nine-year-old to accompany him to a creek area in dense bush, where he photographed the student naked.

Three years later, Endicott abused him in the school tower. Again, the boy was photographed naked.

Years later, when the boy was a teenager, Endicott took him into a change room and told him to strip when photos were taken of him in the shower.

The court heard on Wednesday his appeal could be heard in early April.

Australian Associated Press