News State NSW News School’s shocking memorial to ‘molester’

School’s shocking memorial to ‘molester’

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A “notorious molester” at Knox Grammar School had memorial gates erected in his honour with the inscription “He touched us all”, an inquiry has been told.

Scott Ashton, 44 gave evidence on Tuesday at a royal commission hearing into how the Uniting Church and the Sydney private school responded to child abuse allegations.

Historic abuse at Sydney school 
• School was a ‘candy shop’ for paedophile

Mr Ashton said he was deeply confused by the attitude at the school where all were expected to pay tribute to an art teacher Bruce Barrett who had died young.

Mr Ashton said Barrett was a “notorious molester” but the school put up memorial gates at the back entrance to the Wahroonga school in his honour and bearing the inscription: “He touched us all”.

Mr Ashton said he was nine when he went to Knox and from the start he was abused “openly and brazenly” by teacher Barrie Stewart.

In 2009 Stewart was convicted of five counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault.

He was given a suspended sentence.

Mr Ashton was too distraught to read his own statement to the commission.

It was read instead by his friend, Gretel Pinniger, also known as the high profile Sydney dominatrix Madame Lash.

It is understood the school removed the inscription after the allegations about Barrett surfaced.

A number of prominent Australians attended the school including actor Hugh Jackman and Mark Scott, Managing Director of the ABC.

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