Mother of one of Peter Kasatchkow’s victim’s speaks out
THE heartbroken mother of one of Peter Kasatchkow’s victims says her daughter has become a prisoner since the attack, feels totally helpless and wakes up most nights having nightmares about her ordeal.
Today, Kasatchkow admitted to sexually assaulting the woman’s 30-year-old daughter in her wheelchair in February while she was a passenger in his cab.
Kasatchkow also admitted a string of other offences relating to four other wheelchair-bound women who were passengers in his taxi.
In total the Dianella taxi driver pleaded guilty to 33 charges in relation to the five victims when he faced Perth Magistrates Court this morning.
The mother of the 30-year-old victim, who has cerebral palsy, told PerthNow the incident had “shattered her family unit.”
“Throughout her life my daughter has endeavoured with our support and encouragement to live an active and as normal life as possible within the limits of her disability,” the victim’s mother said.
“She has attended regular mainstream schools, had a job, been socially active. This event has completely shattered our family unit. She is struggling to get through this emotionally and psychologically.
“When the police were initially taking statements we had to interpret for her which was heartbreaking. It is crushing for siblings to hear what was done to their sister.
“My daughter remarked to her sister that she hasn’t really felt disabled throughout her life because of our love and support but since her attack she feels totally disabled and helpless. She wakes most nights with nightmares and as she can’t just hop out of bed and come and have a cuddle with me. We all feel badly that this is a situation that we can’t fix.”
The woman said her daughter was being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was now too frightened to use taxis.
“The lack of any transport for her electric wheelchair is significant and a complete restriction to her getting back to her life,” the woman said.
“She has been using multipurpose taxis since she was about 12, one of her great achievements was she could get to and from places on her own by using them.
“She cannot get to work or anywhere else in her electric wheelchair because she is too frightened to use a multipurpose taxi.
“What has happened is unfathomable and despicable — but where is the support? We looked at hiring a van for her carers to drive but (at) $1000 per week this (is) too prohibitive to access. “Not only is my daughter dealing with the attack and trapped in a body that is not functioning how she wants it too, dealing with the psychological issues … she is spending most days at home because she can’t access transport to go to work, movies (and) social gatherings.”
The victim’s mother said she hoped the “full weight of the law” was brought against Kasatchkow at his sentencing in a few months.
“I hope that he is given the maximum sentence available,” she said.
“He should not be given any consideration, just as he gave no consideration for his victims … he obviously doesn’t care about the lives he has shattered his victims (and) their families. I hope the judicial system sets an example that people with disabilities should be treated with compassion and understanding and that the full weight of the law is used against him.”
Kasatchkow was remanded in custody today and will be sentenced in the District Court on June 13