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Jed William's story

‘I wish to God I’d shot the fucking dog. I did take a gun to school. I was going to do it.’

Jed doesn’t know why he was sent for counselling at his private school in Queensland in the 1970s, but ‘you didn’t have any choice in the matter. I’d be sitting in class and get called out. And to start with, he’s really nice and blah, blah, blah …’

Jed told the Commissioner that there would be ‘blank spots … I remember going there and it’d be hours later … I remember sort of waking up and doing my pants up or something … I think the first couple of times I saw him, things were pretty normal … He was always very sympathetic and would listen to your problems’.

After initially grooming Jed, Peter Weldon began to provide him with pills. ‘He’d say, “Take this. It’ll make you feel better”, and [then he’d] try and hypnotise you or whatever … Then the injections … How’d he get access to [syringes]? And were they clean? You know …’ Jed recalled being injected by Weldon on more than one occasion.

‘I ended up punching into Weldon … Not long after that, [the sexual abuse stopped]. He gave me pills that day but I didn’t take them, so I was well compos [mentis] and he couldn’t … I should have had a weapon …’

When Jed reported the abuse to the headmaster, ‘I got punished for it … They did fuck all about it, didn’t they. They punished me … I felt really alone. I’ve been alone ever since’. Jed believes that the headmaster and deputy headmaster should be punished for not taking appropriate action.

Shortly after he reported the abuse, Jed was attacked by a group of older boys. ‘I was 12 years old, and I had 17-year-olds waiting for me after school … That school was hell. And I’m pretty certain those seniors were sicked on me from fucking Weldon after I complained … I remember going home with broken ribs … It’s just a fucked up situation completely.’

Before the sexual abuse began, Jed had been good at sports and was achieving good grades. ‘After it started to happen, I stopped doing sports, couldn’t give a fuck about school. I just didn’t want to be there. I ended up getting expelled, robbing [the school] shop. I think I probably did that just to get expelled …

‘It’s incredible. I get punished for bloody complaining and then I punch into [Weldon]. I hit [the headmaster] … He wanted to cane me [so] I grabbed the cane and whipped him across the face. I punched into the gym master. Hit him with a hunk of wood. I didn’t get into any trouble for any of that.’

Jed has been dependent on heroin all his adult life. ‘It’s easy to blame someone else, you know. I’m not completely innocent. I know [Weldon] was the one that first injected me, and [heroin’s] the only thing that keeps me going now …

‘I’ve been involved in the heroin scene for most of my life now. Pretty much most heroin addicts, if you scratch ‘em, you’ll find [abuse] in their background. Must have been pretty prolific back then.’

Jed has been off heroin at times, but always goes back to it. When he doesn’t take it the flashbacks and nightmares return. ‘I really don’t like thinking about it … Now, when I get flashbacks or whatever, you know, I’m a mess for days and like, making it impossible to work. Makes it bloody hard.’

Jed believes that paedophiles are treated too well in jail. ‘They should castrate the fucking dogs … They just fuck people for good when they get ‘em … I will kill them if I get a chance. I can’t go to certain jails, because I will attack ‘em.’

Jed told the Commissioner, ‘I bashed one when I was in jail last time … he was screaming and crying, “It’s not my fault. A priest molested me when I was a kid”. I can’t understand that. Like, that should make you hate ‘em more’.

Counselling is something that ‘freaks me out’, Jed said. He had some at some stage, ‘through some orders I got. You get told to forgive ‘em. Fuck that. I can’t forgive ‘em. No way. And [the counsellor] probably did more harm than good. Like, just brought everything to the front again’.

Jed came to the Royal Commission because it would be ‘the first time I have shared these problems with others. It will be the first time I haven’t been alone. I’ve felt alone most of my life. I still feel shame, guilt and anger …

‘I just hope, out of this, it stops someone else getting hurt … I know personally of quite a few that are dead that got harmed, and you know, their voices aren’t going to be heard … I’m glad that something’s been done about it. I just wish it’d been done a lot sooner.’

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