Jaidyn is in the middle of a long prison sentence for murder. He grew up in Queensland in the 1970s, living with his mother and stepfather. His stepfather was physically abusive, and Jaidyn’s early childhood was troubled. He spent time in two boys’ homes, where life was brutal. Then life with his own family became impossible.
‘I think the first time I got kicked out I was 10 or 11’, Jaidyn told the Commissioner. ‘I got put in a foster home then, and that’s when the abuse started with the foster father.’
Jaidyn was placed with a couple in their 30s, Sam and Nicole Moore. He lived with them for two years. Sam Moore sexually abused Jaidyn many times while Jaidyn was in his care.
‘After the first time I ran away.’
Jaidyn fled to Brisbane. ‘I got in contact with the social worker and I said, “Look … Sam gives me alcohol and drugs and then he does things, you know?” And then she basically turned around and told me, “Well it’s either that or back into jail”.’ Jaidyn did not want to return to the boys’ home, so he allowed himself to be returned to the Moores.
Using a Freedom of Information request, Jaidyn has seen his department file from the early 1980s. His detailed complaint about the abuse by Sam Moore is noted in the file, with no comment from the social worker. No action was taken at the time, as far as Jaidyn knows. The abuse by his foster father continued.
Moore took steps to cover his tracks and discredit Jaidyn. One day when Jaidyn was in high school two detectives turned up and pulled him from the class. They questioned him about a sexual assault. Jaidyn believes Sam Moore was behind the allegation.
‘They were saying I was the one who perpetrated this on this man – mind you this man’s six foot four and a hundred-something kilos … as far as I was concerned I told them what had happened. I just wanted to get out of the jack shop, ‘cause I thought they were going to charge me. That’s the only time I’ve said anything about it.’
Jaidyn has not disclosed the sexual abuse to anyone since then. ‘The two main men that were part of my life up until that age, one used to flog me at home – my stepdad, and then this one was sexually assaulting me, and I was scared of both of them. What do you do when people don’t believe you? I suppose you just learn to deal with it however you can.’
Sam has been living with the impacts of the abuse ever since. He has not been able to maintain a normal sexual relationship. ‘It just kept on bringing back shit that I didn’t want to, and that pretty much has happened all through my life in relationships.’
‘Something might happen or a situation might arise and then, I don’t know, the wall goes up and something kicks inside me and I pretty much self-destruct.’
Violence has dogged Jaidyn’s life and landed him in prison many times. ‘I learnt early on the only way you get through life is with violence … One day I had a fight with someone over something else and I won, and I thought to myself, “Never again will I be scared of a male. I will never let anyone intimidate me anymore”.’
‘I wanted to be the violent person. I wanted to make sure nothing ever happened to me or my friends.’
‘I just got more violent and more violent and more violent. I know where that’s from. I know I wasn’t dealing with stuff … from the physical and sexual abuse. I know that, I know where I am because of what happened.’
Jaidyn has spent time in 25 different jails. He has not had counselling for the abuse he has suffered, but he has had a lot of time to think and take his life in hand.
‘I’m trying to put all that behind me now.’
‘It’s not a part of my life that I can really deal with – I’ve hidden it for over 30 years. Most of my life has been on the back of the violence from that. It’s not something I’ve addressed or know how to address.’ But for the last decade Jaidyn has explored Eastern religions and has found comfort there.
He also hopes sharing his story with the Royal Commission will help him let it go, ‘so I can say I’ve dealt with something and hopefully move on a bit’.