Car crash sparked memory of Anglican abuse

After being involved in a car crash a Tasmanian man started having flashbacks of the childhood sexual abuse he suffered and had previously repressed.

More than four decades after the childhood sexual abuse his mind had repressed, a car crash brought the memories flooding back.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on Tuesday told a royal commission that as an Adelaide teenager in the late 1960s he was abused by five men, each with links to the Anglican church.

But he had no recollection of the abuse until 2010, after an accident when his car rolled.

"I started having flashbacks about the car accident and then I started to have flashbacks about the sexual abuse," the man told a public hearing in Hobart.

"These flashbacks escalated over the next month and began occurring every day."

It made the man remember the abuse he suffered after joining the Church of England Boys' Society at St Richard's in the Adelaide suburb of Lockleys.

Offenders included society leader Robert Brandenburg and four others with links to the group, as he was abused while attending camps, church events and even at the men's homes.

"I now believe that the five of them ... were operating as some sort of group, perhaps exchanging information on which boys were vulnerable or approachable for sexual contact," the man said.

He didn't take his complaints to police.

Brandenburg was charged in 1999 with 34 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 341 counts of indecent assault against boys.

He drowned in a reservoir days before he was due to face court, the commission has been told.

The public hearing is also investigating offending on the part of former Brisbane priest John Elliot.

Psychiatrist John Colin Slaughter on Tuesday gave evidence that in 1993 he was asked by then-Brisbane Archbishop Peter Hollingworth to assess Elliot.

Allegations had surfaced that Elliot abused a boy about a decade earlier when working as a bursar at Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar school.

The doctor met Elliot during a series of consultations when it was confirmed he had engaged in masturbation with a boy.

But Elliot insisted that since his ordination he had no sexual contact with children.

Dr Slaughter subsequently told Dr Hollingworth of the revelations during a phone call.

"I remember saying 'once a paedophile, always a paedophile' and it was not a treatable condition and wouldn't change," the psychiatrist said.

Elliot remained for another three years as rector of his Dalby parish.

He was later jailed for sex offences against seven boys.

The ongoing hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is also considering offending by Louis Daniels, Simon Jacobs and Garth Hawkins (now known as Robin Goodfellow) who each had links to the boys' society and were jailed for sexual abuse.

The commission will consider how the dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney responded to reports of sexual assault.

When Bishop John Douglas Harrower became leader of the Anglican church in Tasmania in 2000 he issued a public apology to the victims of abuse and on Tuesday spoke about the importance of acknowledging victims and their suffering.

"The shepherd needs to be available for the injured sheep."

Source: AAP