An elderly former Sydney school boss jailed for the brutal bashings and sexual assaults on young vulnerable girls he frequently told “nobody would believe” will likely die in jail after losing his appeal.
Noel Greenaway, 84 was found guilty in 2019 of 18 charges, including five counts of rape, three of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of buggery.
Greenaway’s claim that his aggregate head sentence of 20 years, with a non-parole period of 10 years, was “manifestly excessive,” was dismissed in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday.
Given his crimes involved four victims at Parramatta Girls Training School between 1965 and 1967, and another at the Ormond School at Thornleigh between 1971 and 1973, one ground of appeal was the extended delay in bringing the matter to trial.
But Justice Helen Wilson said the delay only operated in Greenaway’s favour, living most of his life a free man after his offending aged 27 and 29 when he relieved the deputy superintendent at the school.
Greenaway’s name came to light during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse more than five decades later.
“That there was delay at all is substantially due to the applicant’s own conduct, in selecting victims who would find complaint difficult,” Justice Wilson said.
“And in seeking to further silence those victims by emphasising to them their ‘worthlessness’ as persons others would not accept as credible.”
Justice Wilson said Greenaway was in a position of trust with complete power and authority over his victims who were vulnerable because of their backgrounds and the situation they were placed in.
“The applicant exploited those vulnerabilities to abuse children who were entirely without a means of escaping his predation,” she said.
Many of the girls, aged between 13 and 17, were either wards of the state or estranged from their parents and with a history of treatment through mental health facilities.
Threats to expose his behaviour would be met with statements like: “Go ahead, you’re only a state ward, nobody will believe you, you’re a slut, you’re worthless, nobody wants you”.
Greenaway denied his horrific sexual exploitation and violent acts saying “they are known to be delinquent girls, who are attempting to pay back people like me because I incarcerated them”.
His barbarity included punching his victims, slamming their heads against the wall, throwing them to the ground and keeping them trapped in isolation cells where he would sexually assault them.
One complainant was dragged underneath a building and detained for about three weeks following an assault by Greenaway that left her with blood coming out of her eyebrow and an eye so swollen she could not see.
His wife of more than 56 years at the time of his trial believed the allegations were false.
The sentencing judge said Greenaway’s conduct must be denounced, noting he may well die in custody as a result of his jail term.