Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry News and Updates
Detention centre rape, cuffing ignored
- by: Michael Madigan From: The Courier-Mail
- December 06, 2012 12:00AM
A FORMER John Oxley Youth Detention Centre worker was concerned an alleged rape of a teenager had been "swept under the carpet", an inquiry has been told.
Daniel Francis Lannen - a former youth worker at the centre - also raised concerns about staff inappropriately using handcuffs at the centre during the 1980s, including once cuffing an 11-year-old with "hands over the head".
Mr Lannen also told the inquiry medication had been used to control the behaviour of at least one young inmate.
He told the Carmody Inquiry into Child Protection that none of his concerns about these matters was addressed.
Mr Lannen met in 1989 with Barbara Flynn, a former nun who worked with magistrate Noel Heiner in collecting evidence from John Oxley workers as part of an inquiry into mismanagement at the centre in Wacol, west of Brisbane.
When the then National Party Government lost office to Labor in December 1989, Crown Law advised the Heiner inquiry had been improperly constituted and all documents and tapes associated with it were destroyed in 1990.
Since then there has been speculation that evidence of sexual abuse of children at the John Oxley Centre was covered up by the incoming government, headed by premier Wayne Goss.
Also yesterday, a teacher who worked at the centre in 1988 said he believed an alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl from the centre had been "swept under the carpet".
The teacher, Gordon Cooper, told the inquiry he and other staff took several inmates to the Mount Barney National Park in May of 1988.
He said he did not notice anything in the girl's demeanour that indicated an attack had taken place but several days later he had been informed the girl had been sexually interfered with during the excursion.
Mr Cooper said he had been approached four times by police officers in the years after the event to discuss the incident but had never been asked to make a formal statement.
The alleged rape led to $120,000 compensation payout paid to the now middle-aged woman by the Bligh Government in 2010.
Witnesses have told this inquiry that interviews at a 1989 inquiry concerned mainly bullying and unfair treatment at the hands of management.
The inquiry continues this morning.