Rockingham man welcomes Bill that opens compensation claims for child sexual abuse survivors


‘Cautiously optimistic’: Dean Wright.
‘Cautiously optimistic’: Dean Wright.

AFTER years of ill health and stress, Rockingham man Dean Wright has cautiously welcomed the passage of a Bill ending limitation periods for child sexual abuse survivors.

On April 10, the Civil Liability Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse Actions) Bill 2017 was passed by the WA Parliament.

With the barrier removed he can now seek compensation for the abuse he suffered by his abuser, former St John Ambulance paramedic trainer Stuart Andrew MacFadyen.

MacFadyen was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on August 10, 2016.

Even though his abuser was convicted, Mr Wright (54) had no legal right to compensation until now.

“It’s been a rough go; I have had strokes and post-traumatic stress disorder. I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on my worst enemy,” he said.

“John Quigley emailed me to let me know it had been passed; he has been absolutely amazing with his support.”

“When Labor won the election they had a party where I spoke briefly to Mark McGowan; he promised me he would do it and he did.”

Mr Wright will now await the legal process to obtain his compensation.

“I have good lawyers; Renee from Bradley Legal has been amazing,” he said.

“I have been lucky; through the support of my family, fellow survivor Kristy Pratt and politicians Paul Papalia, John Quigley and Mark McGowan, I have been able to get through this.

“You trust people when you’re growing up; you would never think they could do it.

“I really wanted to be a paramedic but that was taken from me. I’m cautiously optimistic. You can’t give in; you have to fight.”

The Bill has many provisions to further protect survivors, including caps on legal fees and overriding Federal corporations law to access assets of institutions involved.

Attorney General John Quigley said many individuals had been denied justice for years.

“Survivors of child sex abuse in WA will finally be able to seek justice and compensation in our civil courts,” he said.

He said time should not be a barrier to seeking justice.

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