That conversation reveals Pickering – who abused Victorian children and then escaped justice by fleeing to the United Kingdom – had substantial assets in Australia including a tenanted shop in Melbourne, a farm and a property in Victoria, and a house with five acres in Tasmania – something victims may have found important when seeking compensation.
An unreported crime is exposed in another insurance document relating to Father Barry Robinson who had admitted to abuse in the United States and Chile before being returned to Victoria and allowed to work as a fill-in priest as recently as 2010. When it emerged he was still working the church defended his work as a fill-in priest arguing Robinson had never been convicted.
A Catholic Church Insurance risk management claim form reveals Robinson had previously also confessed to sexually abusing a child in the United Kingdom – an unreported incident. Robinson died in 2014.
The full scale of the archive only became apparent last year when the royal commission openly made a specific request to access the files in relation to a number of dioceses and paedophiles of which the church "had prior knowledge".
Catholic Church Insurance failed to meet the two-month deadline to provide the information. At a directions hearing in Sydney in July 2015, the commission heard there were 1960 files that related to 63 offenders.