Media Statement: Catholic Church responds to sentencing of Peter Hercock

Media Statement

May 3 2016

Catholic Church responds to sentencing of Peter Hercock

Former Catholic priest Peter Hercock has been sentenced to six years and seven months in jail for charges of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault against teenage girls in the 1970s and 1980s.

Cardinal John Dew said that while justice had finally been done for the victims, the effect of Hercock’s offending on their lives was long-lasting and painful.

“Great harm was done to the victims by a person in a position of trust”, said Cardinal Dew. “We deeply regret that this ever happened.”

“Sexual abuse complainants who approach the Church are encouraged to take their complaint to the police. For many this step is very difficult. The courage of the victims of Peter Hercock in seeking justice through the courts is humbling and to be admired.”

For more information or to speak to Cardinal Dew, please contact Anne Dickinson, Executive Officer, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, 027 242 9994