Notorious paedophile Catholic priest Michael Charles Glennon has died in prison.
Corrections Victoria spokesman Mario Xuereb confirmed on Wednesday that Glennon, 69, died overnight of natural causes at the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat.
Glennon was serving a 14-and-a-half year sentence with a 10-year minimum for child sex offences.
In 2003, a court heard that he faced 30 charges for molestation against four victims between 1983 and 1991.
Most of the offences were committed at youth camps held at Karaglen, a rural property at Lancefield, north of Melbourne, which Glennon helped operate.
The former priest was convicted of sexually abusing 15 children between 1974 and 1991, mostly at Karaglen.
Broken Rites, victim support group researcher, Dr Bernard Barrett said the Glennon case is of Australia-wide significance.
“Until Glennon was first jailed in 1978, abusive priests seemed to be immune from prosecution,” Mr Barrett said.
He said Glennon’s 1978 jailing prompted his victims and other victims of clergy abuse to come forward.
“The children in Glennon’s court cases were not his only victims, they were merely those who eventually spoke to the police,” Mr Barrett said.
“The world will never know exactly how many children Father Glennon abused. Even Glennon himself would have lost count of the real number.”
Broadcaster Derryn Hinch spent 12 days in jail in 1987 and was fined $15,000 for contempt of court after he revealed Glennon’s 1978 sex conviction while a trial was pending.
He took to Twitter to express joy at Glennon’s death.
Good News to start 2014. Just heard evil paedophile priest Michael Glennon is dead. Died where he belonged: in jail. Victims rejoice.
— Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) January 1, 2014