Former priest and Campbelltown teacher Carl Stafford charged with child sex offences

A FORMER Campbelltown teacher and East Gosford priest has been charged with sexually abusing children in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Catholic diocese of Broken Bay confirmed priest Carl Edward Stafford was charged on October 16, nearly six years after his right to act as a priest was removed following a church investigation.

Father Stafford, 78, was arrested in a north-west NSW town and charged with 13 child sex offences against three boys. He is alleged to have sexually abused two boys at East Gosford in the 1990s while a priest in the parish, and a third boy in Sydney in the 1980s before he became a priest, and while teaching at a Campbelltown school.

In a statement the diocese said Father Stafford was “removed from public ministry in 2010 and the appropriate civil authorities informed”, and had not lived in the diocese since 2012.

“At all times the diocese of Broken Bay has, and will, continue to cooperate fully with NSW Police in their investigations,” the statement said.

“The matters referred to are now in the hands of the criminal justice system. As such, the diocese is unable to comment further at this time.”

Father Stafford was ordained a Catholic priest. His name also appears on a published list of current and former Marist Brothers.

The matter is listed in Gosford Local Court on October 31.

This story first appeared in the Newcastle Herald.