National

Former Sydney magistrate jailed for abuse

By AAP Newswire

Former NSW magistrate Graeme Curran has been jailed for at least 16 months for indecently assaulting an underage boy in the 1980s.

Curran was on Friday handcuffed and led away by prison officers in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court - in the same building as the Local Court where he sentenced numerous offenders over the years.

The 69-year-old was found guilty by a jury in April of seven of nine charges of indecent assault committed in the early 1980s when his victim was aged between 13 and 15.

Acting Judge Anthony Rafter jailed Curran for two years and four months with a non-parole period of 16 months.

Describing the offences as a "very grave breach of trust", he said Curran exploited the vulnerability of his victim for his own sexual gratification.

Curran would sleep naked with the boy - whom he called his "little chicken" - and would perform a "ritual" on him each Saturday morning which involved massaging him and touching his penis.

He took advantage of the boy, whose father had earlier died, grooming him with presents, sailing trips and holidays to Europe. Some offences occurred during a three-day boat trip.

Curran was regarded as a trusted family friend, while the victim said Curran became a father figure to him.

In his victim impact statement, the now middle-aged man said the effects of the abuse stopped him from living the normal, productive, successful life he otherwise would have led.

"While the physical acts have been impossible to forget, Graeme Curran's psychological manipulation of me proved crippling," he said.

"The stories and lies that were made to keep me silent and the resulting emotional breakdowns of my late childhood, left me with a chronic sense of helplessness, changing the direction of my life monumentally."

Curran was admitted as a solicitor in 1975 and as a barrister in 1988. He was sworn in as a magistrate in 2002 and suspended after being charged in November 2017.