A FORMER Jehovah’s Witness who sexually assaulted three young boys says his homosexual inclinations were repressed by his religion and manifested in his crimes.
Gavin Andrew Lamont, 46, was jailed for four years today for assaulting two vulnerable teenagers in the early to mid-90s and another boy about 20 years later.
Lamont encouraged the teens to give him massages and suggested he needed help checking for testicular cancer.
District Court Judge Linda Petrusa said Lamont, who knew he was homosexual from about age 13, had significant cognitive distortions around sex because of his religious beliefs.
She said the victims, who were aged between 14 and 16, were vulnerable because of their youth and lack of sophistication.
Judge Petrusa sentenced Lamont to four years behind bars for indecently dealing with a child and four counts of indecent assault.
Lamont was kicked out of the Mundaring congregation in 1997 after one of his victims complained to other members, but was reinstated after doing counselling with elders.
He was kicked out of the congregation for a second time in 2014 after another victim made a complaint.
Lamont’s crimes came to the attention of police last year through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Defence lawyer Seamus Rafferty described the case as complex, saying Lamont struggled with his sexuality because his religion told him it was a sin.
He told the court the church was the essence of Lamont’s being and said his client tried to repress his sexuality and ended up behaving in “naïve, unsophisticated and pathetic ways”.
Lamont’s parents and sister are all living with complicated health issues and rely heavily on his help and care.
Mr Rafferty asked Judge Petrusa to give Lamont a conditional suspended jail term, saying he was the glue that was holding his family together.
“This is a case for the exercise of mercy, its mercy towards them (his family) and nobody else,” he said.
Judge Petrusa accepted a prison term would be tough on Lamont’s family but said an immediate jail term was the only appropriate punishment.
In a statement to the court, one of the victims said he felt that he was “forever stained” by Lamont’s crime.
He said the abuse had made him self-conscious in his dealings with his own child.
Lamont will be eligible for parole after spending two years behind bars.