A former Anglican priest previously jailed for sexually abusing three altar boys has been ordered to spend more time in jail for molesting a fourth.
20 Jun 2016 - 2:08 PM  UPDATED 20 Jun 2016 - 2:08 PM

A former Queensland Anglican priest previously jailed for molesting three altar boys will spend more time behind bars after pleading guilty to abusing a fourth child more than 40 years ago.

Barry John Greaves was on Monday jailed for three months after pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court to indecently dealing with a child under 14 years.

He had been sentenced to three years' imprisonment in 2009 for sexually abusing three other boys while working as an Anglican rector for the Boonah and Harrisville districts in the early 1980s.

The 79-year-old was sentenced to a head term of 12 months, to be suspended after three months have been served, with Judge Tony Moynihan describing the offending as "a gross breach of trust".

The court heard Greaves was a priest stationed in southwest Queensland when he asked his 13-year-old victim to get permission from his mother to serve as an altar boy.

Later, he showered with and masturbated the child in a granny flat behind the church.

He then forced the child to masturbate him.

"This is a very serious offence," Judge Moynihan.

"You offended against a very young and vulnerable boy."

The court heard the victim was left feeling confused and alone by the abuse but didn't tell anyone about it because he thought it would shame his family.

Judge Moynihan noted the offence took place before Greaves eventually spent nine months in custody for molesting the other altar boys and "substantially" extended the overall timeline of his offending.

It came after defence barrister Chris Wilson submitted it would be "unduly harsh" to put the pensioner behind bars given his age and chronic illnesses.

The court heard Toowoomba-born Greaves commenced studying for the priesthood in 1959 before being ordained in 1961.

Greaves left the church in 2008 after charges were laid.