Former Marist Brother provincial Alexis Turton has denied shipping a wanted paedophile out of the country in 1989 to foil a police investigation.
According to a memo presented in evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Brother Turton learnt on August 13, 1989 that police were investigating claims Greg Sutton had molested students at St Thomas Moore Primary School in Sydney in 1984.
It says Brother Turton then had Sutton, who was a Marist Brother at the time, put on a plane to a counselling centre in Canada on August 18.
On Wednesday before the commission he did not deny he first spoke to the manager of the Canadian centre, known as Southdown, about Sutton on August 15, 1984.
But Brother Turton denied writing an incriminating memo that refers to Sutton as ''Bart'', even though he accepted Bart was Sutton. He did not indicate who he thought had written the memo.
According to the memo, written in the third person, ''Brother P'' told Brother Turton on or about August 13 that he had been contacted by ''a concerned parent south of Sydney at Onslow who had seen strong written evidence and official evidence of Bart interfering with 10 to 12 year old children in a serious manner (about five years before)''.
''Children, and the parents of children, in the original class were being interviewed. The situation looked extremely serious,'' the memo read.
''The parent contacting was very concerned and even distraught for the Brothers' good name, angry at Bart. Wanted to see Alexis [Turton]. Alexis reluctant, consulted legal advice and declined to see the parent to protect both parent and self and brothers.''
Brother Turton told the commission on Wednesday he had not been aware at that time that on August 9 and 10, 1989 two students at St Thomas Moore Primary in 1984, ADM and ADQ, had given statements to police detailing abuse by Sutton.
Simeon Beckett, the counsel assisting the commission, presented a record of an interview between Sutton and a member of the Southdown staff in which he said he had been shipped out of Australia because of the police investigation.
"He [Sutton] told me that his provincial had decided that he should come to Southdown for assessment two weeks ago. This was due to the fact that investigations were occurring on himself for school activities five years ago regarding his child abuse," the history of present Illness report written by Steven B. Stokl on August 31, 1989 stated.
"When I asked him about the investigations he stated that they had not finalised their results."
Another report made a direct link between Sutton's departure from Australia and the police inquiry.
"Shortly before Greg (Sutton) came for an assessment in September of this year, investigations began to surface regarding his sexual activities with children some five years earlier. Greg states that within three days he was on a plane heading for Canada,” Dorothy Stewart wrote in a clinical report dated December 7, 1989.
Brother Turton said while this may have been Sutton's understanding, it was not correct and he had not shipped him out of the country to hinder the police investigation.
Earlier on Wednesday, Brother Turton, the second highest ranking member of the Marist Brothers in 1985, said he would have needed specialist legal advice to determine if an adult touching a child on the genitals was a criminal offence at that time.
He also told the commission he would have needed specialist advice to determine if it was a criminal offence for an adult to make a child touch them on the genitals or to masturbate a child.
He knew what a paedophile was at the time and was aware in 1985 that sexual intercourse between an adult and a child was a criminal offence.
Brother Turton, who became the provincial of the order in 1989 and later served as its first professional standards director, said when he was made vice-provincial in 1983 he was not briefed on any sex offenders within the order.
Brother Turton played a key role in the order's responses to allegations against serial paedophiles Kostka Chute and Gregory Sutton in the 1980s and 1990s.
Chute had previously admitted to offences dating back to 1959 and received a "canonical warning" in the late 1960s.
Sutton had previously admitted to offences involving more than 20 children.
Brother Turton told the commission he first became aware that Sutton had abused a student in 1989 when ADO, a former student of Sutton's at a north Queensland school, committed suicide.
When the boy's father learnt his son had been abused by Sutton, and it had been a factor in his death, he travelled to Sydney with Brother John Hunt to confront the abuser.
Brother Hunt later told Brother Turton that Sutton had admitted the abuse to ADO's father.
Brother Turton then interviewed Sutton, who admitted abusing ADO.