Child groomed as a ‘sex pet’

The Australian


FORMER child migrant John Hennessey was groomed into a “sexual pet’’ by a group of clergymen during five years of abuse at a West Australian Christian ­orphanage.

Mr Hennessey yesterday gave evidence to the royal commission into child abuse, where he described in graphic detail the repeated beatings and rapes he suffered between the ages of 11 and 16 after arriving from England in 1947.

He explained that Brother ­Superior Paul Keaney’s grooming programmed him to become used to the “most distorted, twisted patterns of sexual and social conduct” and left him to live a life of pain, confusion and loneliness ever since.

Mr Hennessy accused the state government and police of being in “collusive relations” with the church.

“I was simply exploited and abused by criminals who could relax in the knowledge that the state government and church were my legal guardians and would never bother to meet their responsibilities,” he said.

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