After some thoughtful consideration and speaking with members this case paralells a volunteer case early 2023. That case was openly put out on a blog as well as other cases when volunteers have appeared in court. The point of republishing this case is that we always hear the bad side of the volunteers and very little of the staff. The VFFA has been made aware of other cases involving staff and we will be keeping an ear to the ground and will report on the results if necessary.
A disgraced Rural Fire Service superintendent has been found guilty at trial of sexually abusing a boy in the Tweed years ago. Here’s what we know.
Corey Anthony Philip in a Facebook photo.
The shocked dad and brother of a suspended Rural Fire Service superintendent found guilty of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy decades ago hugged the man before he was led to prison.
Corey Anthony Philip, 44, appeared in Lismore District Court on Friday, where he was found guilty by a jury after a trial which started Monday.
The jury of seven men and five women took about three hours to find Philip guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a victim under 16 and aggravated indecent assault of a victim under 16 in the Tweed about two decades ago. No action was taken on a backup charge of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16 years old.
Philip pleaded not guilty and tried to fight the charges.
He is from Coonabarabran and linked in court documents to NSW RFS Castlereagh zone.
An RFS spokesperson confirmed before the trial Philip was suspended following his arrest.
Crown prosecutor Kate Biffin told the court Philip gave the boy alcohol and the pair passed out on a Tweed headland in the early 2000s.
Corey Anthony Philip outside court in Tweed after charges were laid. Picture: Liana Walker
The complainant woke the next morning on his back, his shorts pulled down around his ankles and Philip was giving him non-consensual oral sex, the Crown told the court.
The court heard Philip was asked “what the f–k are you doing” and the assault stopped for a time.
Philip then put his hand down the victim’s shorts and kept touching his bottom, attempting to penetrate the boy, the jury was told.
Defence barrister Mark Higgins told the court Philip remembered the time around the alleged offending well because he had just been promoted at a North Coast supermarket.
Mr Higgins argued Philip’s work hours meant he had to leave the campsite about 4am and would not have been drinking the previous night.
Philip learned his fate in Lismore Courthouse.
Police admitted not checking Philip’s work roster for the timeframe in question.
Mr Higgins told the court the complainant gave police several different versions of the alleged offending and that he struggled with alcohol use.
The jury was also told the man faced family issues and had taken to using cannabis.
Mr Higgins told the court the complainant’s life “went off the rails” and he “thought his life was a lie”.
The court heard the man – who the jury later found had been sexually assaulted – was “a troubled boy”.
Ms Biffin told the court Philip was sexually attracted to the boy and that he had placed his hands in the boys’ shirt and played with his nipples before the attack.
Philip told the court while giving evidence he found the complainant attractive at 16, when the pair were on a road trip.
During the drive, Philip asked the complainant if he’d like to go to his house for a massage.
When the complainant refused, Philip dropped him off at his house and continued home, the court was told.
Philip has been suspended from the RFS – and it’s expected he will be let go entirely.
Ms Biffin accused Philip of having a “tendency’” to touch males in their sleep without consent.
She told the court there had been another incident in which Philip had come on to a man at a party and then touched the man’s chest and groin while he slept.
Ms Biffin said it supported the inference Philip was sexually attracted to the victim.
Before the verdict, Judge Robert Newlinds told the jury to consider the disadvantage Philip was at due to the delay in the case coming to trial.
Philip was arrested 15 months after the first allegations were known to police.
After the jury decision, Philip’s father offered his verbal support and his brother stood in the gallery, arms crossed and seemingly in disbelief.
They uttered choice words about the judicial system before six sheriffs took Philip into custody.
Judge Newlinds denied bail while sentencing is organised.
The case is due to return to Lismore District Court on December 14.
The report expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Volunteer Firefighters Association (VFFA). The VFFA respects all objective views of NSWRFS members and members of the public, and any views or opinions are not intended to malign any group, club, organisation, company or individual. The VFFA is supportive of open dialogue, full transparency and we encourage others to come forward.