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Lochie Andrew's story

Lochie’s parents divorced when he was four, and he and his siblings went to live with their mother. He was a good student, and attended a private Catholic school in Queensland until moving to a state school when his mother could no longer afford the school fees.

‘My teen years were a bit … rebellious, very much rebellious, I suppose. I wouldn’t be able to say why that was, you know.’

When he was 17, Lochie ‘had a bit of a scrap with me mate … We’d been drinking … He swung a punch at me. I swung one back. He fell over and hit his head and I ended up in remand. I wasn’t there for long … I was only there for a week’.

At the remand centre, Lochie was sexually assaulted by two inmates. ‘I went to the toilet and got punched in the back of the head … One of them was … an Islander or something like that … like a plastic gangster type. Like he’d seen too much Eminem on TV, or too much 50 Cent and all the rappers and all that. He used to carry on like that.’

After he was punched in the head, Lochie was sexually assaulted with a toothbrush. ‘I think it was more of a power play … It’s hard for me to say what the motivation was. I was a bit dazed and confused when it happened.’

Lochie told the Commissioner, ‘I went to report it to the officers … There was a male and a female on. I didn’t approach the female … it was too embarrassing. But I spoke to the bloke, and he told me to have a good long hard think about what I was doing before I did it, because it was just going to create dramas for me in the unit’.

Because his lawyer had told him that he’d be out of jail in a few days, Lochie decided not to pursue the matter. ‘I just sort of forgot about it. Well, just sort of. When I got out I just sort of started pumping drugs. It was only about a year after that I was basically doing armed robberies and pretty much doing anything to get fried, as me mum used to put it. She’d see me, and I’d be fried as an egg.’

Lochie began ‘cooking me own gear … to try and get it cheaper. I ended up getting pinched on a bunch of armed robberies … trying to get chemicals to make it … I ended up using heroin … overdosed a couple of times. Then come back to jail’.

‘I’ve done about 11 years in prison since then. Every time you come back in … it’s confronting. It’s a bit of a worry and … to be completely honest, I’m even a little bit racist towards black people and I shouldn’t be, well not black people, but Islanders and that now … And I just seem to keep coming back to jail. Every time I get out of jail it’s within 24 hours I’ve got a needle in me arm again … and then it’s just a downhill spiral, you know.’

Lochie told the Commissioner that he hadn’t lasted more than two or three weeks out of jail in the last 11 years. He tried rehab in the past, but the place he went to wasn’t suitable for him and ‘I got kicked out of there twice … I ended up getting back on the drugs … But I’m still going to try rehab, so … here I am now. When I seen it on the telephone thing, I thought, you know what, it’s about time I said something’.

The sexual abuse Lochie experienced in the remand centre had a big impact on his life. Before he went to jail, he had experimented with a few drugs. ‘I’d smoked dope and drank a little bit … used a bit of methamphetamine and that, but … nothing that I tried to use to find myself, you know … My life’s pretty much been wrecked by drugs, like completely wrecked.’

Looking back on his life of crime, Lochie was ‘very remorseful about it … If I didn’t try to fry myself on drugs, I wouldn’t have that kind of addiction where I needed … large amount of stock … and doing experiments to try and see how much me body could take without shutting down … Ended up being admitted to hospital a couple of times’.

Lochie came to the Royal Commission because, ‘I know … the path that my life’s taken and honestly, I’d hate to see anyone go that same path, that’s been triggered from something similar. Something needs to be done about it.’

‘I mean, that officer that I approached … he probably just wanted to go home and have a drink … like, all he had to do was a simple bloody report, and actually give a stuff, you know. All he had to do was actually give a shit instead of worrying about himself … or whatever his little agenda was … I’d hate to see some other person go through the same sort of thing.’

After reflecting on how his assault has affected his life, Lochie ‘started looking back at some of the stuff that I’d done, and I refuse to lift a finger to anybody anymore, you know. And a lot of it’s to do with that incident’.

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