An 80-year-old former Fairy Meadow Catholic priest should go to jail for sexually assaulting an altar boy 40 years ago, despite the man's age and poor health, Wollongong District Court heard yesterday.Solicitor Kristy Pearce, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that while age and health were relevant to the length of any jail term, they should not necessarily be factors against prison."This is a serious offence involving a significant breach of trust over a lengthy period," she told Judge Paul Conlon during submissions on sentencing.Kelvin Sharkey, who was parish priest at St John Vianney's Church, Fairy Meadow, has pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting the boy, and a charge of buggery, dating to 1969 and the early 1970s.Much of the abuse occurred inside the church and later at Sharkey's home in Batemans Bay, where he was transferred in 1971.The victim was 10 when the first incident occurred sometime towards the end of the 1969 school year after the boy agreed to help Sharkey run afternoon Mass at St John Vianney's Church.Sharkey warned the boy he would go to hell if he told his parents of the assault. Assaults continued until Sharkey was transferred to St Bernard's Church in Batemans Bay in 1971.Several months later while visiting Fairy Meadow, Sharkey saw the boy and asked him to go to Batemans Bay in the holidays, threatening to expose their activities if he didn't.During the second night of his stay in the 1972 school holidays the then 13-year-old was raped by Sharkey.He was raped again by Sharkey two years later.The last sexual assault was in 1974 or 1975. Sharkey retired from active church life in 1988. He now lives in Parramatta.Defence barrister Mark Dennis, who tendered lengthy written submissions, said it was highly unlikely Sharkey would reoffend.He said he would be inviting the court to accept special circumstances due to Sharkey's age and health.Judge Conlon will give his sentence on April 29.