> Former Nudgee College principal Stephen McLaughlin attended school celebration despite allegations of child sexual abuse

Former Nudgee College principal Stephen McLaughlin attended school celebration despite allegations of child sexual abuse

A Christian Brother who was suspected by police of being a paedophile was able to attend a birthday party at exclusive Brisbane private school St Joseph’s Nudgee College, despite his order being in negotiations to pay a settlement to one of his alleged victims.

Former college headmaster Stephen David McLaughlin, who had been the subject of unproven child abuse allegations in the 1990s and early 2000s, was photographed at the celebration for a former staff member at the school on May 31, 2017.

Some students from the college were present at an official welcome prior to the function that was then attended by McLaughlin, who had been boarding master at the school in the early 1980s before becoming College headmaster in 1988 and then leader of the Brother’s Xavier province in 1996.

Nicknamed Stumpy by students, McLaughlin was investigated in the late 1990s and 2000s and in one case committed for trial on indecent dealing charges, but was never convicted in relation to allegations made by four alleged child abuse victims.

Some of the allegations revolved around the then Brother taking young children, often from single-parent families, to stay with him alone in Brisbane motels. 

Blurred image of Wilson with his family.
The teenage complainant obtained a settlement from the Christian Brothers.(Supplied)

Investigating police found payment records showing McLaughlin paid for the motel stays using his credit card.

Two of the complainants had siblings who had attended Nudgee College.

At the time, McLaughlin denied all allegations and his legal team argued the complainants were unreliable and their statements contradictory.

But in early 2017, Brisbane solicitor Peter Deed, acting on behalf of one complainant from the late 1990s, approached the Christian Brothers seeking compensation for his client.

The complainant alleged that when he was a 15-year-old schoolboy in Brisbane he had been introduced to McLaughlin by self-confessed child molester and Nudgee old boy Dennis Norman Douglas in 1997, according to legal documents sighted by the ABC.

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