A DISGRACED Anglican priest wants his prison sentence forchild sexual abuse reduced, claiming his "genuine love" for his youngmale victim was not taken into account.
Raymond FrederickAyles, 61, formerly of Queensland, sought leave to appeal against hisfour-year prison sentence for indecently assaulting Ian Michael Tolley,of Para Hills, in the 1970s. Ayles was found guilty three months ago inthe District Court of sexually abusing Mr Tolley while he was a14-year-old altar boy at St Augustine's Parish, Para Hills.
Ayles, who was 28 and priest in charge of the parish, pleadedguilty to one count of indecent assault but denied he had committedbuggery with Mr Tolley, now aged 47.
Judge Andrea Simpson found him not guilty of buggery and four countsof indecent assault before sentencing him to four years in prison witha two-and-a-half-year non-parole period.
Giving evidence during the trial, Mr Tolley described how Ayles hadsexually assaulted him over a 18-month period before regularly sendinghim letters, declaring his love and asking him to marry him.
Mr Tolley's parents, Mike and Ann Tolley, intercepted one of theletters and took it to church officials, who told them not to reportthe matter to police because they "would take care of it".
His lawyer, Kevin Borick, QC, has told Supreme Court Justice KevinDuggan at an appeal hearing that Ayles was "genuinely in love" with MrTolley and "very confused" about his sexuality.
"He considered he was in love," he said. "It wasn't just a sexual thing, it was love."
Mr Borick said Ayles sought advice from a church official aboutwhether he should hand himself in to police after Mr Tolley's parentsdiscovered the letter.
"He sought counsel from someone in the church who told him that itwas the church's view that forgiveness should prevail and things thathad happened in the past should remain in the past," he said. JusticeDuggan refused Ayles leave to appeal against his sentence but approveda separate application to appeal against his conviction.