‘The weird thing is I can walk past a park or a school and if I see an old person there, automatically in my head he’s a paedophile. I seen people hanging around like that. And that shouldn’t be in my head.’
Milton was abused by so many men, it’s difficult for him to imagine any other kind of childhood. As a young boy in the 1970s in Sydney, Milton spent a lot of time fending for himself. His mother and stepfather were alcoholics and, although he was placed under the care of the Department of Community Services, he lived at home.
In a written statement he gave to the Royal Commission, Milton said of his DOCS case workers, ‘I remember them not doing anything for me except giving my mother money to continue drinking alcohol’.
Milton would often hang around at the pub, waiting until closing time to be given dinner, leaving him vulnerable to predators. He was sexually abused by his mother’s drinking buddies, including one who bought him a bike in return for performing oral sex on him. When his case workers found out about the bike they told Milton to stay away from that man as he was already known to DOCS.
When he was 12, Milton got in trouble with the police and was sent to a care home, where his house father would watch the boys shower. He ran away and was sent to another home where he was allowed to come and go as he liked. On a trip out, he was befriended by Geoffrey Alan, who made Milton masturbate in return for marijuana. Geoffrey continued to see and abuse Milton but nobody at the home ever asked where Milton had been or who with. Eventually Geoffrey asked if Milton wanted to go and live with his family.
‘I was so happy … I had no one to care for me and I was lost … The day I left the home to live with Geoffrey and his family, he came to pick me up and not one worker there asked where I was going and didn’t even ask Geoffrey who he was.’
Geoffrey continued to abuse Milton at his home, and also passed him over to his friend James who gave him drugs and alcohol and raped him on numerous occasions. Milton shared a room with Geoffrey’s son and one night the son woke up to the noise of the abuse.
‘[He] asked his dad what he was doing and Geoffrey said to him that if he and his mother weren’t around anymore to look after him, that this was a way to survive and he said to him that I didn’t have a family and that’s how I survived.’
Milton got in trouble again and was sent to another boys’ home, where he was raped multiple times by older boys in the dormitories. He told the supervisor, who said he’d look into it but Milton was simply moved to another house. One day Geoffrey came to take him on an outing. No one stopped him and that day he abused Milton again.
He was released from there into his mother’s care but she was still struggling and he went back to James and stayed in his caravan, exchanging sexual favours for money, alcohol and drugs. Milton found out James was putting sleeping pills in his food and one day he found an envelope full of naked photos of himself that must have been taken when he was drugged. When he was older he saw those photos again on a child pornography site.
While living back with his mother, he became involved with a community organisation that was looking for young people to join up. It turned out to be run by men who were frequent child abusers and would often host large parties where boys were there for the picking.
‘They’d drug your drink, you wouldn’t know what you’d had in your drink. You’d wake up in the morning, you’d be in a double bed, you’d have semen and blood coming out of your backside or a condom hanging off the bed or whatever. And you was told to keep your mouth shut, everything’s sweet, they’d give you money for doing that and looking after you and that.’
He ended up living on the streets of Sydney where he again fell in with a group of men who would ply him and others with drugs and money in return for sexual favours.
‘All I ever wanted was a family who cared for me. Every person I came across in my life wanted something from me. And it was mostly sex. I never asked for a life like this and I don’t wish it upon anyone to go through what I’ve been through.’
Milton continued to get into trouble and now has a significant criminal history. He said, ‘Would I have done all the jail I’ve done if I hadn’t been abused or had been looked after properly by DOCS? I don’t know. That’s the question I’ve been searching for for years.'
‘I’ve tried to kill myself that many times, I’ve slashed my wrists, I’ve taken all the pills and ended up in hospital, I’ve used heroin, I’ve used alcohol all my life. I killed a man when I was on alcohol because I thought he was a paedophile. Now that I’m on the morphine program I’m great. I don’t need to use drugs no more which is great, and I’ve got my head together. But still, I don’t have a life no more.’
Milton said he now has a good relationship with his mother, and he also has an adult daughter who he gets on well with. He recently finished a jail term and has been staying with a friend who has been a great support.
In the mid-2000s, Milton assisted police with an investigation into Geoffrey Alan and appeared as a witness in his criminal trial. He was awarded financial compensation as a victim of crime, but that money was then distributed to the victims of Milton’s own crimes.
He said of his decision to speak out now, ‘I was too scared then to say what I needed to say and I thought, "Well this is a chance and this is … probably the only chance I’m going to get".
‘If I believe that I can help even one person out, my voice, I’m happy to.’