The Federal Railways trainee who took his own life last year, and whose father was convicted of the murder of two of his four children, were both fired for their roles in the horrific abuse of the children in a notorious South Australian family, a royal commission has heard.
An inquiry into the case has heard that the parents of the five-year-old trainee, David, who died in 2013, were accused of a range of crimes, including child abuse and neglect.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard David and his father were both accused of the horrific murder of their two sons in South Australia in 2012.
A coroner found the boys had been subjected to a range, including sexual abuse and forced penetration.
David and his wife, Catherine, who were in a relationship, were found to have repeatedly raped and abused their son.
In 2016, the boys were convicted of murder and were sentenced to life in prison.
Their son, Nathan, died from injuries suffered in the incident, as did his older brother, Nathan who was 14 at the time.
Nathan’s father, William, was jailed for life for his part in the murders.
After the pair’s deaths, a former trainee in the group was arrested and charged with murder.
William, a white-collar businessman, was found guilty of the first offence and given a 12-year jail term.
He pleaded not guilty to the second.
When the investigation into the trainees allegations was opened, the Federal Government took action.
Then in May, the Department of Children and Families ordered a review into the circumstances surrounding the childrens deaths, which concluded that “the Government’s actions did not meet the high standards of the Australian Government’s response to the tragic deaths of children”.
The department said the investigation found there was no “systemic” or “systematic failure” in the Federal Rail.
“It is clear that the perpetrators were not properly punished for their conduct and that their punishment did not reflect the gravity of their crime,” it said.
But a report into the conduct of the Federal Railway says the rail was “disciplined” to “avoid potential liability for child sexual abuse”, despite “multiple failures” to protect the children.
It was reported that the Federal rail’s director of corporate and professional responsibility, James Smith, said in 2016 that he was unaware of any child abuse in the organisation.
Smith said in response to an inquiry into child abuse that he “did not know that there were allegations of abuse in this group of employees.”
“As a result of my inquiries I have no recollection of any incidents of child abuse or sexual abuse occurring within the Federal railway.”
It is understood that Smith resigned in 2017 and was replaced by former deputy minister John Williams, who is now the Federal Opposition’s national child protection spokesperson.
As a former child protection officer, Williams has been responsible for a number of high-profile cases.
During his time in the role, the then Federal Government had received numerous reports of child sexual exploitation.
More recently, he was the Federal minister for health, which oversees the Victorian child protection agency.
Williams has not responded to requests for comment.
Former Minister Williams said the review found that “we have made no attempt to identify, prosecute, or punish perpetrators of abuse within the organisation”.
“We were only able to identify the perpetrators because we had information that was reported to us by members of the public, and they then provided us with evidence to support their reporting,” he said.
“I am satisfied that the report, which has been prepared by the Royal Commission, has not made any findings of criminal liability for any members of staff or members of an organisation.”
A Federal Government spokesperson said the inquiry was being conducted by the Department for Children and Children’s Services, and it was a matter for the Federal Minister for Children.
If there are any further issues, they will be communicated to the Federal Parliament.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,family,police,coronavirus-and/or-disaster-prevention,community-and.disaster,community,education,sa,australia,south-austraana,vic Source Recode Australia title ‘Frozen’ victims to pay for childrens abuse, royal commission hears article The Royal Commission will examine the actions of Victorian and South Australian railway staff who were at the centre of a child abuse scandal involving at least 50 children, including the alleged murder of one.
Royal Commissioner Fiona Nash has said the commission will examine whether the actions taken by the state and territory governments were sufficient to protect children.
She will also examine the adequacy of child protection measures and other aspects of child welfare.
She said the “frozen victims” of the case had been paid for by their families, and the children were now receiving support and protection from the Australian