Noel Trevor's story

Noel grew up in Western Australia in the 1950s. He doesn’t have many fond memories of his childhood.

‘When my parents died, I received my share of the estate, and I gave it away. I didn’t want it. People don’t understand that … Mum used to yell at me. At first it was like, “You should have been a girl” and then, for the slightest thing I did, Mum would yell at me and say, “Well, you wait till Dad gets home” and Dad would belt the living crap out of me. I couldn’t do anything …

‘I know [my brother] tried to kill me on one occasion … When I got home, I told them what [he] did to me and I copped a hiding for being a tattletale. So, yeah.’

When Noel was six or seven he was down at the local oval. This was where he first encountered Shaun Bailey, an older acquaintance of his brother. ‘The first time I met him … I found a 10 shilling note … As I get older and you think back, I’m thinking he planted it for me to find.’ In those days, 10 shillings seemed like a lot of money to a small child. Bailey began sexually abusing Noel, and the abuse continued until he was about 14 or 15.

‘As a kid I remember Bailey had guns up in the manhole and I can remember … times when he held a gun in me mouth and everything like that.’

Noel’s schoolwork suffered, and he began walking for five or six hours at a time, but no one asked him why.

Noel began working at 15 and he would sometimes hitchhike to his job in the city. One day he was picked up by Father Paul from the local Anglican church. Father Paul took Noel to a motel where he was again sexually abuse. This continued regularly until Noel joined the army in his late teens.

It was only when he attended a party around that time, ‘and there were drag queens and everything there, which I’d never seen before’, that he realised he was gay. He told his father, but ‘My dad punched me out and took me to the police station where they subjected me to examination and everything’. At the time, homosexuality was still illegal in Western Australia.

When he was at the police station, Noel reported the abuse he had experienced at the hands of Bailey and Father Paul, but nothing was done about it. Instead, ‘what happened to me was … I was treated like a leper by my family … I was made to eat off paper plates and they’d be thrown into the oven and burnt after I’d had something to eat’. He was also made to wash himself in the laundry in his family’s house.

After Noel applied for compensation from the Anglican Church, he contacted the police to again report the abuse. ‘They said to me that under the Western Australian laws, because I was over 14 years of age, that for them to charge him, they’d also have to charge me.’

Noel has a history of sexual offences, including against children. During one of his court appearances, a judge acknowledged that ‘some of my earlier offending is no longer against the law’, but, ‘to me, what happened earlier is in a lot of ways why I’m here now’.

In prison, Noel has attended a number of programs for sex offenders. During one course, ‘it was bringing back memories. I was beside myself and … I was diagnosed with post-traumatic … you know, which wasn’t the first time I was diagnosed with it.

‘If it’s happened to me, it’s happened to other people and it makes it very hard to move forward … One of the psychiatrists … said that I’m suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and so that I can move forward, I need to have that dealt with before I deal with the offending issues and that, so that I can deal with it properly.’

Noel told the Commissioner, ‘I’m trying not to be the victim. I don’t want to be the victim anymore. If I stay as a victim, I can’t move forward’.

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