Reposted from a story by Nigel Hunt The Advertiser May 28, 201310:30PM
AN intellectually disabled man who was sexually abused while a ward of the state and then by his paedophile father is seeking $1 million in compensation from the State Government.
The claim – one of the largest lodged for abuse in state care in South Australia – reveals the man, now 55, was abused as a ward for a decade and then by his father for another 35 years until the father died in 2008.
The claim, which is being considered by the Crown Solicitor’s Office, details repeated warnings by then government welfare officials that the victim, “David”, should not be allowed to stay with his father because he was sexually abusing him.
However, despite the repeatedly documented warnings, David was allowed to stay with his father on weekends while living at the Glandore Boys Home and then Minda Home, during which time he was abused.
The man’s lawyers have been attempting to negotiate an out-of-court settlement since mid-2011 but are now set to launch District Court action.
Duncan Basheer Hannon lawyer Matt Degregorio said David’s case was one of the worst he had encountered “in terms of system failures”.
“In the matters I have been involved in, it’s the worst in terms of how long it went on,” he said.
“Not only was he placed with his father while he was under the care of the minister which was inappropriate given what they knew and what directives had been issued by the department previously, but also because at the age of 18 they appear to have effectively washed their hands of him.”
The man’s case notes – which date back to 1964 – have numerous entries concerning his sexual abuse at the hands of his father but, despite this, authorities continually allowed the father access to his son.
A letter in the man’s file sent to his father in January 1975 – six months after David’s release from Minda – advised him that approval had been given for his son to reside with him at his Elizabeth home, despite the squalid conditions there.
That approval had been given even though the letter stated “the department is not very happy about this arrangement because of your inadequate accommodation.”
Police sources have revealed that at the time of his death, the father, who was then 88, was the subject of an investigation over the sexual abuse of David and a disabled woman who was David’s then girlfriend.
A psychological report prepared by one of Adelaide’s most respected forensic psychologists, provides a damning assessment David’s case.
“From the age of 16 years until the age of 49 years, David was treated as a slave by his abusive father,” he states.
“He has endured decades of servitude and serial abuse.
“I believe that Welfare Services should have linked David to the services of the former Intellectual Disability Services Council (which is now part of Disability SA),” he states.
“David should have been provided with ongoing assertive case management and ongoing community care. He should have been referred to the services of the Public Advocate to make decisions on his behalf and the safeguard his welfare.”