Man who had penis cut off prompts call for investigation

The man, once known as Gordon Myers, who wants the Royal Commission into Child Abuse to further investigate allegations surrounding a "high profile paedophile ring".
The man, once known as Gordon Myers, who wants the Royal Commission into Child Abuse to further investigate allegations surrounding a "high profile paedophile ring".

REVELATIONS a man had his penis severed by a male nurse at a boys' home in the 1970s have prompted renewed calls for authorities to investigate a high-profile paedophile ring believed to have been operating at the time.

The Royal Commission into Insitutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard in July the brutal account of 50-year-old Gordon Myers (no longer his real name), who had complained to police of horrific abuse at a number of NSW boys' homes in the 1970s.

Mr Myers alleged that a male nurse at Daruk Training School had "cut off" his penis during a botched circumcision, and that he was trafficked as a sex slave between boys' homes by wardens.

Gordon Myers as a young boy.
Gordon Myers as a young boy.

His testimony has prompted renewed calls from prominent advocate Nicky Davis (formerly of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) for police to investigate "government corruption that had allowed these crimes to continue and no one to be held unaccountable".

"We had an underclass of vulnerable and defenseless children that were considered fair game for any atrocity, and were denied access to the normal protections," Ms Davis said.

"There were lawyers, judges, police and all these people involved and there was a criminal conspiracy and we need to investigate it.

"The fact that no one has been held accountable is truly shocking."

Ms Davis said she was aware of "dozens" of victims exploited at brothels and "call-out services" operating from boys' homes and cited Mr Myers' case as a shocking example of extended abuse over many years.

Mr Myers' ordeal began when, aged just 12 years, he was apprehended by an off-duty police officer for riding as a passenger in a stolen vehicle at Surry Hills, Sydney.

A 2005 report prepared for legal proceedings described the Aboriginal boy as one of six children of a single mother, who allowed authorities to take her son into care at Charlton Anglican Home at Ashfield.

Gordon Myers as a schoolboy
Gordon Myers as a schoolboy

In a statement prepared by his solicitor, Mr Myers alleged he was stripped, had his genitals felt, had a finger inserted into his anus, was slapped in the face, kicked in the head, masturbated and repeatedly raped at various boys' homes between 1978 and 1980.

In one incident, Mr Myers alleged that in 1978, when he was 13, a male nurse at Daruk Training School botched a circumcision on the boy, requiring him to be transferred to Windsor Hospital for suturing.

No record of the incident has been found but subsequent medical reports state Mr Myers now has a "childlike" penis.

Hawkesbury District Health Service chief executive officer Strephon Billinghurst - whose organisation St John of God Health Care took over management of Windsor Hospital in 2015 - told Australian Regional Media the service would undertake its own investigation of the case.

"While SJGHC understands the previous operators undertook a search for records, as the new operator we will also now undertake our own investigation," Mr Billinghurst said. 

"The lapse of time means the investigation is not easy, however Mr Myers' story is tragic and moving and as an organisation we would like to ensure we have also left no stone unturned to assist."

After Daruk, Mr Myers was transferred in and out of custody from Mt Penang juvenile detention center near Gosford, and Endeavour House at Tamworth, where on his first night in 1981, aged just 14, he was allegedly beaten.

Other former inmates have told an ABC investigation they too were beaten, starved and isolated at the institution.

The Royal Commission has heard Mr Myers was one of many children who were mutilated and severely abused at boys' homes.

In a written submission to the Royal Commission, Wagga Wagga man Carl Phillip Orme said from age 12 he was raped and assaulted at Yasmar and Mt Penang, and threatened with having his "penis cut off" at Daruk in 1978.

Both men have told Australian Regional Media it was common for boys to be driven by staffers to be "prostituted" at "The Wall' at Darlinghurst or the notorious Costello's Brothel at King's Cross, and that prominent Australians visited the boys' brothel.

They believed a pedophile ring running the boys' institutions had allowed for the capture, grooming and prostitution of its victims to prominent Australians.

Carl Phillip Orme as a boy
Carl Phillip Orme as a boy

Ms Davis said the links between boys' homes and brothels are an important part of the story and "the RC is giving them as much attention as the paint on the walls".

Mr Orme reported the abuse to authorities as a teen, while Mr Myers' reported his abuse to the Aboriginal Legal Service, Department of Community Services, various ministers and the NSW Police.

However, a Department of Community Services litigation officer told Mr Myers in a written statement: "It seems as though your files were among a number that were destroyed… I am at a loss as to what DoCS can do for you." Mr Myers' claims also exceed the statute of limitations.

The Royal Commission confirmed it could "make referrals to authorities including police", while NSW Police said it was inappropriate to comment on matters before the Royal Commission.

The largest commission in Australian history, the Royal Commission is investigating the sexual abuse of children in institutions. It is expected to sit until 2017.

Topics:  editors picks royal commission

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