Former New England Catholic priest David Joseph Perrett charged with 43 new child sex offences by Armidale detectives

Still on bail: David Jospeh Perrett walks out of Armidale Local Court earlier this year. Photo: Rachel Baxter

Still on bail: David Jospeh Perrett walks out of Armidale Local Court earlier this year. Photo: Rachel Baxter

A FORMER Catholic priest has been charged with 43 new historical child sex charges after 12 more alleged victims came forward.

David Joseph Perrett was charged with the fresh counts by Armidale detectives and now faces a total of 52 offences, accused of abusing 16 different children.

Detectives allege Perrett, who was a Catholic priest in the New England, molested the children between 1970 and 1986.

He remains on conditional bail after the DPP tried unsuccessfully to have the now 80-year-old’s bail revoked in Armidale Local Court.

The DPP submitted that following the fresh charges, Perrett was an unacceptable risk of endangering the safety of victims, witnesses and the community and could interfere with witnesses.

A solicitor for Perrett said his client had significant health problems, submitting medical evidence to the court.

Magistrate Michael Holmes found Perrett was an unacceptable risk but they could be mitigated by strict conditions. 

He ordered Perrett to live with family under house arrest in Armidale, and must not leave the address unless in the direct company of family.

Perrett is also prohibited from leaving the Armidale Regional Council area unless for legal appointments and must not approach any departure points out of the country or contact witnesses or any alleged victims.

He’s also been ordered not to go within 50m of schools or recreation areas or touch alcohol or drugs.

Mr Holmes also ordered the former priest to post a cash surety.

Perrett is yet to enter pleas to the charges of buggery, two counts of sexual assault and commit and act of indecency, four counts of common assault and 45 counts of indecent assault on a male – the charges in place at the time of the alleged offending. 

The Leader revealed Perrett’s extradition from Queensland in early-May to face nine charges of indecently assaulting four boys.

Since the arrest, 12 more alleged victims have contacted police claiming they were abused by the former Catholic priest in the 1970s and early 80s.

Detectives allege the young boys were abused by Perrett while he was serving in Armidale, Guyra and Lower Creek.

Detectives have been granted extra time to compile the brief of evidence with the former priest ordered to return to court in October.