Prison sentence reduced on appeal

FORMER St Patrick’s College, Sale, woodworking teacher, Lawrence Todd Stevenson, has had his prison sentence for sexually assaulting boys in the 1970s and ’80s reduced to four months.

Stevenson, aged 87, faced the Latrobe Valley County Court on Monday to appeal the 12-month sentence he was given last year.

He was accused of touching boys in his care, aged between 11 and 14, between 1979 and 1982, including one incident at a school camp.

Stevenson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Another former St Patrick’s staff member, Laurence Fitzpatrick, will face a 10-day committal hearing in Melbourne on November 13.

The 89-year-old Marist Brother, also known as Brother Majella, is accused of 99 sexual offences from at least 18 complainants.

Fitzpatrick is charged with 38 counts of buggery, some allegedly against children aged under 14, one count of detaining a male against his will and other charges of indecent assault.

The alleged offending is said to have taken place in Sale, Briagolong, Stratford and Rosedale between 1971 and 1976.

Both cases are the result of investigations by the SANO Task Force.

The task force was established to investigate historic and new allegations that have emanated from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child sex abuse involving religious and non-government organisations.

The task force also co-ordinates investigations emerging from the Australian Government Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

People with information about child sexual abuse in an institutional context can email the SANO Task Force or phone the SANO Task Force on 1800 110 007.

To report a child at immediate risk or danger, phone 000 or a local police station.

For more information about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, visit the website, www.childabuseroy

Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) is a not-for-profit organisation working to increase public awareness of the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on men in their adult lives.

For more information about SAMSN, visit, which also has links to other related organisations.

St Patrick’s College was a Marist Brothers school, as is Catholic College Sale, formed following the amalgamation of Our Lady of Sion College and St Patrick’s College.