'Monster' NSW priest won't change: victims

A former Catholic priest has been spared a lengthier sentence for the historical sexual abuse of two young boys after a Sydney judge said he was rehabilitated and unlikely to re-offend.

But his victims say the idea the "Monster of Merewether" will change is "a load of bulls***".

Vincent Gerard Ryan previously spent 14 years behind bars for the sexual abuse of more than 30 boys after confessing to police in a bid to "wipe the slate clean".

He was confident he had remembered them all, admitting he used to recite their names while "self-grooming".

But there were two children he overlooked and in March the notorious pedophile was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault in the NSW Hunter region in the 1970s and 80s. They were aged between 10 and 12 at the time.

Ryan abused one of those victims at a funeral. His other victim was initially abused while trying out to be an altar boy.

In the NSW District Court on Wednesday, Judge Dina Yehia jailed the 81-year-old for three years and three months, with a non-parole period of 14 months.

Gerard McDonald was among the dozens of victims who initially came forward and saw Ryan sent to prison in 1996.

He was 10 when he was abused twice a week for most of 1975 in Ryan's car, as the priest dropped him home from altar boy practice in St Joseph's in Merewether.

After seeing Ryan previously jailed for his sexual crimes, he was again in court on Wednesday to watch his abuser sent back to jail.

"Very happy he's got to do more jail. It's not enough. He gets a couple more years, we've got life - we've got this for life," he told reporters outside court.

"The judge said he was reformed. What a load of bulls***. He is not reformed. He is a serial pedophile. He is a monster."

Judge Yehia labelled Ryan's actions "brazen and arrogant".

She indicated the offences warranted an accumulated sentence of six years and seven months in prison, but said there were "special circumstances" in this case.

"I am satisfied that he is rehabilitated and is unlikely to re-offend," she said.

"I am not of the view that he poses a risk to the community."

Among her considerations was the opinion of a medical expert that Ryan was the most "remorseful" offender he had encountered and sending him back to jail would be potentially "catastrophic" for his mental health.

The court heard that the nature of Ryan's crimes made his previous time behind bars particularly "onerous" as he was the target of violence and threats.

Nevertheless, Judge Yehia said there was no other punishment that "adequately" reflected the seriousness of Ryan's crimes, leaving her no option but to send him back to jail.

Victims and supporters applauded in the public gallery as Ryan was handcuffed and led away.