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‘He took my soul’: Abuse victim Matthew Burns speaks out after Christian Brother jailed

Christian Brother John Laidlaw has been jailed for sexually abusing students in Victoria for more than two decades.

Laidlaw, 80, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and two of sexually penetrating a child while teaching at a range of Catholic schools between 1963 and 1984.

County Court Judge Peter Berman jailed him for four-and-a-half years on Thursday.

One of his victims, Matthew Burns, told Tom Elliott he was relieved the court process was over.

“He took my soul at that particular time in my life,” he said in the emotional interview on 3AW.

“At 16 years of age he took everything that I believed and everything I believed that was good.

“At the end of the day, I trusted him and respected him and he took that from me.”

Mr Burns said his attacker wasn’t remorseful as the judge read out the sentence.

“The judge noted there was actual no remorse,” he said.

“He still doesn’t get it and still don’t necessarily believes what he’s done.”

Mr Burns said he hoped sharing his story publicly helped other victims of abuse.

“Even though you might be listening this and feeling that there’s no hope, there is hope,” he said.

“There is hope for your story to be heard.

“There is hope to hear the words ‘guilty’ and there is hope that these evil people will spend the rest of their lives in jail.”

Click PLAY to watch Matthew Burns’ important message on 3AW

Click PLAY to hear the full interview on 3AW Drive

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