Australian Media on Paganism
TV obsession led to church attacks
by Court Reporter SAM WEIR , 30th August, 2000 The Advertiser
THE bizarre motives behind a spree of Satanic vandalism attacks
on Christian churches last year has been revealed in the District
But the men who committed the acts of desecration yesterday
avoided immediate custodial sentences.
Jamie Luke Broderick, 29, and a 32-year-old man, whose name
is suppressed, raided eight churches in the Adelaide Hills and
country areas in March last year.
In his sentencing remarks yesterday, Judge John Sulan said:
"It's clear the nature of these offences are such the two of
you were very influenced by satanic thoughts at the time."
The court heard the man, whose name is suppressed, had become
obsessed with a fictional character called "Mab" after watching
a television series.
Mab was the name of the Queen of Darkness in the mini-series
Merlin, which screened before the attacks. The television series
was described as a "titanic struggle between Christianity and
The man told Broderick, who he had met a few months earlier
and had considerable influence over, that Mab would reward him
for doing her bidding.
The court heard that the man, who also came to think St Patrick
was evil, believed the property taken from the churches was
gifts from Mab and did not regard it as stealing.
He believed he was hearing voices telling him what to do and
where to go.
"It was those voices which led you to these offences and you
believed Broderick may have been hearing the same voices," Judge
The attacks on the churches – at Upper Sturt, Stirling, Cherry
Gardens, Ironbank, Aldgate, and Milendella, near Mannum – included
burning an altar and crucifix, driving screws into the Bible,
and defacing a picture of the Pope by daubing on a Blu-tac nose.
Up to $100 was stolen from a collection plate at one church
and a $5000 railway clock from another. In June, Broderick,
of Mile End, pleaded guilty to three counts of damaging property
and five counts of sacrilege. These offences carry a maximum
penalty of life imprisonment.
A month earlier, Judge Sulan had found the other man not guilty
of the offences due to the man's mental state at the time.
Yesterday, Judge Sulan sentenced Broderick, who wept in the
dock, to three years' jail with one year and nine months non-parole.
But this was suspended after he entered into a three-year,
$100 good behavior bond.
Broderick, who has been visiting a psychiatrist for a number
of years, had played a lesser role in the offending and was
a passive and good-natured person, Judge Sulan said.
In relation to the second man, Judge Sulan fixed a limiting
term of 4 1/2 years for his supervision.
He was released on licence subject to conditions including
he be under the care of a psychiatrist and take all medication
prescribed to him.
While the man had played a leading role in the crimes he was
in a highly disturbed mental state at the time, Judge Sulan
The Advertiser, 30/8/2000