‘Parra Girls’ forced into slave labour
Survivors of brutal sexual and physical abuse whilst attending the Parramatta Girls Training School and The Hay Institution for Girls are encouraged to come forward.
The abuse began during the 1940s and continued until the closure of the centres in 1974.
‘Parra Girls’ were forced into slave labour and worked long days washing and ironing hospital and prison linen without payment.
Kelso Lawyers has negotiated significant financial settlements for around 130 former ‘Parra Girls’, and can help other survivors seek compensation without the need to attend court.
Father David O’Hearn finally brought to justice
Catholic priest David O’Hearn has been convicted of 44 child sex offences after four years of trials, appeals and retrials.
O’Hearn was found to have abused six boys from Muswellbrook, Cessnock and Waratah in the Newcastle area. The court was told he gained sexual gratification from wrestling with the boys and told victims to look at pictures of Jesus as he sexually abused them.
O’Hearn also took photos of one naked boy to show to another priest and was found to have maliciously groomed and manipulated his victims by telling them his abusive acts were ‘what God wants’.
The conviction was upheld despite O’Hearn’s argument that the charges were part of a conspiracy against him.
The fallen priest has been at the centre of a range of other child sex abuse claims. He was first convicted of child sex crimes in 2012, and in the early 1990s was an assistant priest in Cessnock with Vince Ryan who has since been convicted of abusing more than 30 boys.
O’Hearn was stood down from the church in 2008, and currently awaits sentencing.
Independent witnesses the key to convicting paedophiles
A university study paid for by the Royal Commission has found that juries are more likely to find paedophiles guilty when the victim’s credibility is high and there is an independent witness.
The study was based on data gathered from 90 mock trials and also found that there is no unfair prejudice to the accused in joint trials that involve multiple victims.
However, conviction rates tend to be lower in trials that involve a single victim.
Philippines president-elect slams the Catholic Church
The Philippines president elect, Rodrigo Duterte, has slammed the Catholic Church as a ‘hypocritical institution’ and is set to take on senior Bishops in an upcoming debate.
Duterte has alleged that church leaders have taken advantage of the poor and disregarded the separation of church and state.