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Duncan Basheer Hannon

- 9 Jun 2015
  • Personal Injury

Findings offer no respite to Perkins’ victims

BY JORDANNA SCHRIEVER & NIGEL HUNT
ADVERTISER

THE mother of one of Brian Perkins’ vulnerable young victims says the royal commission findings would allow those affected to “get the real truth”, but the horrific crimes would live with them forever.

Helen Gitsham told The Advertiser the commission had confirmed her beliefs about the scandal that “anything that could go wrong did go wrong”.

Her son, David, attended the St Ann’s Special School from 1975 to 1988 while the paedophile bus driver was employed there.

His behaviour deteriorated years later, but it was not until 2001 when the abuse was uncovered publicly they began to suspect he had been a victim. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2005 and died shortly after.

Mrs Gitsham said the findings had vindicated her suspicions about the entire process — that everyone involved had failed the victims of abuse.

“It was a healing process to find out the information that no one would tell us before,” she said.

“This has been totally consuming for 13-14 years, we are glad to finally see an end to it.”

A lawyer for seven of the victims said the findings would do nothing to alleviate their suffering. Duncan Basheer Hannon lawyer Peter Humphries, above, last night said that “there are no winners in this”.

Mr Humphries said three compensation cases had been settled this year, but another three were still being negotiated. He now wants the Catholic Church to formally apologise to the victims.

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The Advertiser – 5 June 2015 – page 5