Teacher pleads not guilty to 37 child sex-related charges

FORMER St John's Woodlawn College teacher James Doran will stand trial in the District Court after pleading not guilty to 37 child sex-related charges.

Police have confirmed seven former students of the college have taken their own lives since suffering alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Doran and fellow dormitory master Richard O'Connor.

Doran, who is on bail, appeared in Lismore District Court for his arraignment and was represented by his solicitor Chris Pratt.

List of charges

The 37 charges he faced included six counts of homosexual intercourse by a teacher of a pupil older than 10 but less than 18, eight counts of sexual assault knowing no consent given, six counts of sexual assault of a person under 16 and 10 counts of sexual assault and commit an act of indecency.

Now believed to be 82, Doran went on to be principal at Inverell's Holy Trinity School and Teresa's College in Abergowrie, far north Queensland, was initially charged with 19 offences when he was arrested at his Kingscliff home on September 16 last year.

A further two charges were laid when Doran appeared at Lismore Local Court in April.

Yesterday Crown Prosecutor Jonathan Baxter-Wright told the court he was in a position to lodge a 37 count indictment against Doran.

The court heard the charges related to six victims.

Pleading not guilty

Mr Pratt told the court his client would be entering the same plea on all charges - not guilty.

Judge Laura Wells said: "We will indicate to the court that he has not been formally arraigned, but there is an indication by Mr Pratt that he will plead not guilty."

She then asked both the prosecution and defence how long they estimated the trial of Doran to run.

Mr Baxter-Wright said three to four weeks, while Mr Pratt told the court his advising barrister's estimate was four to six weeks.

"Generally speaking a matter of that length would go to Sydney," Justice Wells said.

Mr Pratt then enquired about a subpoena of school records of the complainants and other records regarding school policy and procedure.

Afterwards Justice Wells adjourned proceedings to enquire about the subpoena and holding the trial in Lismore.

Doran is to appear in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court in November and Mr Pratt was given access to the subpoena.

Topics:  editors picks lismore court sexual abuse woodlawn

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Footy dad: I can hold my head high

Geoffrey Whittaker says it's 'awesome' to see justice served after enduring a trial this week. He was found not guilty of assault.

'I'm glad I'm not the one that looks like the idiot any more'

Footy fight: Coach accused of spiteful, 'vicious' act

Geoffrey James Whittaker, who has pleaded not guilty to assault charges at a football carnival.

'Sometimes it's appropriate to defend oneself by striking first'

Dad 'head-butted' footy coach during kids' rugby carnival

Geoffrey Whittaker has pleaded not guilty two assault charges. The offences are alleged to have occurred during a children's football carnival in 2016.

Geoffrey James Whittaker pleads not guilty to two assault charges

Local Partners