Former Naracoorte church minister jailed

Former Naracoorte church minister Michael Stuart Grieve, 74, has been jailed for historical indecent assault crimes.

Grieve, who was the Presbyterian Church minister in Naracoorte in the late 1990s, was found guilty of nine counts of indecent assault in the Adelaide District Court on Wednesday and was jailed for at least a year.

The charges relate to the indecent assault of nine boys when they were teenagers in the period from approximately February 1982 to December 1985. The offences were found to have occurred in the Mount Gambier area.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Gordon Barrett said the offending related to Grieve spanking or smacking the boys with his hands.

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Grieve had several postings with the Presbyterian Church, in Mount Gambier, Gilgandra, Seacliff and Naracoorte. He was originally posted to the Naracoorte position in about 1997.

The sentencing remarks mentioned other convictions against Grieve, including two cases in Naracoorte, for which he had been sentenced in 2003.

In the incidents involving the two boys in Naracoorte, the judge said: “You engaged in a course of conduct with both boys, getting them over your lap and smacking them on the bottom while they were clothed.”

On the matters considered in court this week, Grieve, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of one year.

Judge Barrett said victim impact statements from six of the nine victims showed how badly some had been affected.

“I accept that each offence taken alone is towards the lower end of seriousness for this sort of offence but this was extensive offending against nine victims,” he said.

Grieve’s sentence started immediately on Wednesday.