Disgraced former pastor of Inspire Church Liverpool, John McMartin, has been sentenced today at Campbelltown in the SouthWest Sydney.
McMartin had been found guilty at the end of 2022 of an assault involving an indecent act – specifically that he groped his then 19 year old personal assistant. He was sentenced to a 16 month Intensive Correction Order, what was formerly known as a suspended sentence i.e. a 16 month jail term set aside (“suspended”) and a good behaviour bond issued. McMartin must also complete 120 hours of community service.
John Sandeman reports from the courtroom:
Referring to a defense submission, the magistrate noted that in terms of “extra-curial punishment” (publicity) “I can only take a personal blog into account to a limited extent,” a likely reference to The Other Cheek.
[McMartin]’s demeanour changed noticeably in court during the hearing. Looking tense and worried, he relaxed when the magistrate questioned the police about whether their submissions ruled out an Intensive Corrections Order – the alternative to prison. When the hearing finished a smile crossed his face as he left the courtroom.
The sentencing hearing completed a series of humiliating court appearances for MacMartin, a former NSW state president of the Australian Christian Churches denomination. He had been the lead pastor of Inspire Church for decades, regarded as the complainant noted in her Victim’s Impact Statement as “anointed by God and almost worshipped.”
Inspire Church have not made a public statement at the time of publication.
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How long before he is back at his church?
not to Inspire. He was fired a while back. But will we see him on a preaching circuit in the future? I think Brian H shows us that it’s highly likely.
And on another front, this was reported 2 weeks ago about the guilt of former Fr Louis Daniels :
Would be interesting to know the details of that intervention from a senior Anglican leader, yet Daniels was allowed to stay on for some years later and then resign! With any forfeit of super or other benefits, I wonder? As has happened for Roger Herft. Who made those decisions? And might someone at then Bishop level maybe bear some culpability for not reporting known evidence of possible criminal behaviour – as has landed Peter Hollingworth in trouble?
And still no word from anyone on the progress (eg. why it takes so long?) of enquiry into Peter Hollingworth. Not a good look.
At last, an outcome re Peter Hollingworth but the Anglican investigators appear not to have read the room very well :
The similarities with the Roger Herft case are plain – one wonders if that will apply to the consequences also? Yet more silence from the wider church?