WARNING: This article contains explicit sexual content, child abuse and mutilation which may shock and trigger some people. Reader discretion is advised.
Beatings, genital mutilation, botched circumcisions and sexual assault.
It sounds like the plot of a twisted horror movie.
However, these were just a few of the crimes committed against the boys who were detained at Daruk Boys Home in South Windsor, New South Wales. Now known as “a paedophile’s paradise”, Daruk was a house of horrors for school-age children who were considered “juvenile offenders”.
The home was run with military-style discipline by squads of “enforcers” who would punch and slap the boys, or squeeze their genitals to the point of horrific pain just for being in the way.
Some of the boys were also stripped naked and forced into isolation for up to four days. The isolation room, nicknamed “the boob” by the boys, was also where some of the enforcers sexually abused detainees.
There were multiple offenders walking the halls of Daruk Boys Home. In this article, we expose some of the horrific crimes that occurred there and encourage survivors to contact us to seek compensation from the establishment.
Boys were stripped naked and abused in a secluded cell
Image: 9 News
Daryl Stanton, a former resident of Daruk Boys Home, spoke to 60 Minutes in 2018 about his time there. He walked through the abandoned building and recalled an incident where he was attacked after raising complaints.
When Daryl was 14-years-old, he was taken to a public bathroom and sexually assaulted by staff carer, Christiaan Beullens. Afterwards, Daryl tried to escape Daruk but was caught and sent back to the superintendent at the time, Alasdair Webster — who is now a retired federal MP.
He told Webster he had been abused by Buellens. In response, Webster sent Daryl to “the Boob” where he was beaten and sexually assaulted by some older boys. He was told he was being checked for contraband.
“They used to lock kids up for anywhere between two and four days at a time. We were caged children at the mercy of a major serious paedophile ring,” he said.
Image: 9 News
“He [Webster] was standing in the doorway of the Boob, of the cell… He’s ordered them to strip me down. All of a sudden there’s this [older boy’s] hand being forced right up my rectum… Then he [Webster] turned on his heels. The door slammed and I was left there.”
Since his time at Daruk, Daryl has suffered from lifelong medical and emotional problems. Webster responded to the allegations published in 60 Minutes in written form — he denied the allegations vehemently.
“He cut my penis off” — sadistic staff member performed illegal circumcisions on the boys
Image: 9 News
Genital mutilation was also common at Daruk Boys Home. Gordon Myers fell victim to this horrendous treatment — he was 13-years-old when he was sent to Daruk in 1978. For the five years he lived there, he was repeatedly beaten and sexually assaulted by various staff members.
Gordon told the Royal Commission there was a medical officer named John Munger who “didn’t like little boys with foreskins” and performed illegal circumcisions at Daruk. The surgeries were sometimes botched, leaving boys mutilated, hospitalised and in some cases, unable to have an adult sexual life.
“He cut my penis off,” Gordon said.
“I had just turned 13. He took me into the clinic and said ‘we have permission to circumcise you’. I said ‘no you don’t’. He knocked me out with a needle and I woke up in the middle of it and there was (a second staff member there as well), I screamed in pain.”
“Because I was so tiny, he probably thought, stupidly, ‘don’t give him as much anaesthetic to put him under’.”
He said there was blood everywhere and he was sent to Windsor Hospital to have his penis sewn back on. Gordon claims the hospital covered up the incident and a spokeswoman for the Hawkesbury District Health Service said there were no records as they had likely been destroyed.
“Having checked with our hospital’s Medical Records Department, the records for the old hospital would have been destroyed if the patient had not presented again within a certain period of time,” the spokeswoman said.
“The Medical Records manager confirmed that she has previously discussed the subject with the patient identified, and advised that unfortunately no records can be located.”
When Gordon returned to Daruk Boys Home, Munger tried to sexually assault him again.
“Every now and then he’d grab a kid to rape or circumcise and I was one of them,” he said.
“He wanted to have another go and rape me a second time. He raped me heaps of times before that but I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I just lost the plot and flogged him. I turned very violent.”
Whenever Gordon tried to tell the superintendent, Alisdair Webster, about Munger, he — like Daryl — was locked up in the Boob.
“He [Webster] did nothing to protect us. His job was to oversee the people looking after us and it just never happened.”
Gordon said his penis “never grew” after the botched surgery. A doctor examined his genitals during the Royal Commission and confirmed that Gordon’s genitals were “childlike”. He was also referred to a urologist for further assessment.
The failed circumcision had a profound impact on Gordon’s life. He said he no longer has nerve endings there and cannot have children or have sex.
“His excuse was ‘it’s clean to be circumcised’”
Image: 9 News
Like Gordon, Carl Orne also fell victim to Munger. He recalled how the offender would taunt the children and sever their penises.
“There was a male (staff member) there, and I will never forget his name. He was a very sick man,” Carl said.
“He’d start fondling you and things and he would always threaten to circumcise everyone. He used to scare you and everything, he’d get scissors out and grab hold of the old fella’ saying, ‘I’m going to cut it off if you don’t sit still, I’m going to cut your willy off’.”
“His excuse was ‘it’s clean to be circumcised’.”
Carl said Munger would specifically target new arrivals. He would pick the boy he liked the most and take them back to the hospital with him. A couple of days later, the boys would return looking traumatised and shaken. The other boys would be nice to him as they had been in the same position before.
“I was taken to the hospital and told that they were going to circumcise me. I went off my brain and started to fight the officers in the room,” Carl recalled.
“I threw everything that I could at them, as I’d heard that two months before, one of the little boys had his penis cut off and I was so scared and wasn’t going to allow anything like that happen to me.”
“All my life I have wondered about that little boy, I still to this day try and think of his name. I also wonder whether he made it through life.”
However, Munger wasn’t the only staff member to torment Carl. One of the welfare officers, Robert Barracluff, would assault Carl on a regular basis.
“He used to punch me, slap me. One time he slapped me right across the side of my head. He knocked me down. He also squeezed my private areas.”
Carl also alleges he was taken out of Daruk, plied with alcohol and sexually assaulted by staffer William Thomas Wright.
“He would come up and sit right next to me,” he said.
“I said ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He says, ‘It’s okay’. He would say things like ‘You know I like you… I only do this because I love you’.”
“Then he would force himself onto me.”
After a while, Carl just “gave in” to the abuse. He said no one noticed what was happening to him and “stopped fighting”. Whenever Carl tried to tell the superintendent that he had been abused, he was promptly ignored.
“I told him everything and he just wasn’t interested. He didn’t care.”
“He virtually said to me, ‘It’s not the first time I’ve heard this mate. You’s are always complaining. You expect us to look after you, then all you do is whinge about us’.”
Three victims reported the abuse later in life, triggering an in-depth investigation
Image: 9 News
Carl, Gordon and Daryl reported Daruk Boys Home to police in 2018, triggering an investigation into the offenders who worked there. Their lawyers said it was hard to estimate how many abusers there really were at Daruk.
“These institutions were a paedophile’s paradise. It was systemic, right through,” they said.
Police said the net was cast wide over the abuse ring as detectives warned possible suspects that charges were imminent. Detective Ben Hallam from the New South Wales Police said the abusers should be nervous.
“The particular abuse ranges from extreme punishment measures to quite horrific sexual abuse,” Detective Hallam said.
“There are multiple victims and quite a number of alleged offenders. These were vulnerable kids from broken families.”
All abusers that were mentioned in the 60 Minutes piece are on notice with the police — but at the age of 81-years-old, a staffer named William Thomas Wright was arrested and charged with 11 counts of indecent assault on a male and four counts of buggery in 2018.
Wright denied all the allegations of abuse — but he wasn’t the only one who has been hauled into court over allegations of abuse at Daruk.
Superintendent Alasdair Webster and staffer Peter Henry face trial
Image: Daily Telegraph
Following the 2018 60 Minutes piece, police also cast their eye on Alasdair Webster — a former federal MP and the superintendent at Daruk between 1973 and 1984. It was found Webster wasn’t just neglectful of the boys at Daruk — he was also allegedly one of the offenders.
Webster pleaded not guilty to a string of child sex offences in Penrith Local Court in 2020. He was joined by staffer Peter William Henry who also vehemently denied the allegations.
Webster was charged with buggery, attempted buggery, assault involving actual bodily harm and 10 counts of indecent assault on a male. It is also alleged that Webster touched four of the victims’ genitals and forced them to perform oral sex on him.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the other allegations against Webster were “too graphic to publish”.
Henry, on the other hand, is facing eight charges of indecent assault against a male at Daruk. He has also been charged with indecent assaults in Marrickville and Gosford in the early 1980s.
Henry was supposed to appear in Parramatta District Court on December 18th 2020 and Webster was meant to appear in Sydney District Court on January 22nd 2021 — however, due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it is assumed that both trials were delayed.
There has been no news on when the trial will go ahead.
Disturbingly, both men were allowed out on bail until their trials.
If you were abused at Daruk Boys Home, Kelso Lawyers can help you win compensation
Several survivors of Daruk Boys Home have taken the first step towards justice. Reliving emotional, physical and sexual abuse can be traumatic, but it’s a necessary evil to bring offending institutions to justice.
At Kelso Lawyers, our experienced and compassionate solicitors are here to help you through the process.