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Group links more than 45deaths to child sex offenders

The late Catholic headmaster Father Tom Brennan was convicted of making a false statement to police and faced charges of sexual abusing a boy at the time of his death.

HE is the smiling Hunter boy who represents many a child who became a sullen teenager and later a troubled adult cartier replica love ring gold, whose suicide at 40 was put down to a life that had gone off the rails.

Silenced: Peter was a smiling boy; the apple of his parents' eye, until he became a sullen teenager and silent adult who committed suicide in 2010. Now his mother weeps at the thought he was the victim of sexual abuse.

Now his mother weeps at the thought Peter died alone in 2010 with a horrifying secret that he was sexually abused by not one, but multiple child sex offenders.

"He was surrounded by them," said Peter's mother, who asked to be called Jane, and for the family's surname to be withheld.

"We could never understand Peter's behaviour and what went wrong."

She has added her voice to a Hunter submission before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, listing about 45 boys and men who died by suicide, drug overdoses or possible suicide, and who were subsequently found to have significant links to known or alleged child sex offenders.

The youngest was just 13 when he died in 1974. The most recent suicide was early this year.

"They're the silent victims who can't tell their stories to the royal commission," said victims' advocate Bob O'Toole who heads a group that has compiled the submission.

Submission: Hunter child sex victims' advocate Bob O'Toole has asked the royal commission to investigate the most silenced of all victims the ones who have already died.

"For many of them we will never be able to say for sure whether they were victims of sexual abuse or not, but many died after very public battles, including with drugs, alcohol and crime. Many families had to cope with the public view that their loved ones were no hopers.

"It's time we looked at whether there were reasons for their silence and their battles, and gave them a voice."

Peter was raised in a prominent Hunter family and was "a beautiful, smiling" only son, said Jane.

He was a Cub and Scout in the 1970s and 1980s, with direct and regular contact with identical twin Scout leaders Stephen and Richard Mateer, now 63. Stephen Mateer was jailed for 10 years for sexually assaulting six boys, and Richard Mateer was jailed for 12 years for sexually assaulting boys five boys love cartier bracelet cheap.

They were charged three years after Peter's death.

Peter was sent to St Pius X Catholic high school at Adamstown, although his family was not Catholic.

"We sent our children to Catholic schools. We thought they were going to get a good education," Jane said.

Submission: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chairman Justice Peter McClellan. The royal commission has been asked to investigate more than 45 Hunter deaths with links to child sex offenders.

Peter was at the school after convicted child sex offender priest and teacher John Denham left in 1979.

But in October, 1985 Jane wrote to the then director of Catholic Education in the Hunter, Father Frank Coolahan, alleging serious physical and mental abuse of her son by a St Pius X teacher. The teacher was later investigated by police after reports of troubling behaviour with boys.

In the letter Jane recounted how she complained directly to the teacher for telling Peter in class that he hated him cartier replica diamond rings. The teacher responded that "he would continue to do so if he felt it was needed".

She described some of the teacher's alleged physical abuse as "sadistic" in manner.

Jane wept as she produced a document from 1985 in which the school acknowledged the link between the teacher, Peter and his failing school results, despite being a high performing student.

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