Having a mild intellectual disability didn’t prevent Beau from telling the Commissioner very precisely the names of all the people who’ve helped him throughout his life, as well as the name of the man who made his life utter misery for 12 months.
Beau doesn’t believe in compensation. ‘I come to see you, first to clear it out of my life and to put it to rest,’ he told the Commissioner, ‘to clear the last vestiges out of my life … of behaviors that aren’t too good and I want to stop ‘em. And I just want to tell you my story ... I just want closure, that’s all.’
Beau was put into a religious institution in Victoria when he was about five years old. His parents were unwell and could no longer look after him. His sisters were placed into foster families.
He was happy there for many years. There were trips to the ocean, lots of swimming and camping and Beau says he learned many good life lessons from his cottage parents, as they were called.
By the time a man called Jim Lockwood moved to the institution with his wife, Beau had turned 17 and was living in his own flat. Many lot of the people Beau knew and trusted had left. Jim Lockwood didn’t have a job at the home, it was his wife who worked there, but it was Lockwood who made friends with Beau and told him he’d help get his place in order and make sure he ‘lived well’.
At first Beau didn’t see anything sinister in Jim, who was in his late 60s. But soon, Beau said, ‘World War started in [the home]. He used to pull down my pants. He wanted to see if we had a wanking, masturbating, sessions with him.’
No one had instructed Beau about what to do in situations like that.
‘I knew that I was with good Christian people and I should have turned to them straight away but I was just too frightened of the consequences, I was just so … oh just terrible, you know, what had happened ... He’s pulled down my pants, put his big penis into me, right? And that went on for a year ... the first few months I was frightened like mad, I was, of him.’
Beau says the abuse turned him into an ‘unstable wreck’. He started fantasising ‘big time’ and acting out sexually in public. ‘It was an evil sort of a pleasure it was ... And how evil he was to do that.’
A care worker told Beau that he was acting strange. Beau told him about Lockwood and was referred on to a youth worker. Beau feels like his carers didn’t believe him. 'We won't be angry if you're telling stories' his youth worker said. However he did say that if Lockwood came back, then he’d report him to the police.
Beau is pretty sure that someone did finally report Lockwood and that he was warned off. ‘He kept dead quiet after that. He didn’t want to do anything out of the ordinary … so I was right.’
Beau found out that Lockwood had also been sexually abusing another younger, more disabled, female resident.
In the 1980s Lockwood and his wife moved to the UK.
Five years before the abuse happened, Beau had the chance to move in with his sisters but the extra room in their house was never organised. He is very aware that he would never have met Lockwood if that move had gone ahead. It makes him extremely sad.
In the late 2000s Beau began counselling. Although the abuse happened over 30 years ago the betrayal of trust still makes him angry.
‘I thought people his age knew how to behave and not to be like an animal.’
Beau still lives alone but now he has many supportive people around him including his family. He still goes to church as well.
‘I’ve got beautiful people I have,’ he told the Commissioner.