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Victims urge others to speak out


May 10, 2018 by admin

‘‘Weak’’ sentence’’ Victim Mark Lawrence (right) and complainant Kevin Whitley outside the Downing Centre District Court on Friday. Picture: Chris Lane THE first of Philip William Doyle’s victims to speak out wanted to kill himself when police told him there was not enough evidence to go to court in 1999.

Mark Lawrence, 46, said he felt sick that it was another 10 years before Doyle was arrested, allowing him to sexually abuse another boy in 2003.

‘‘I was told to forget about it and my life just became completely suicidal and not worthy,’’ he told the Leader.

Mr Lawrence shook and cried when he told a court earlier this month of the abuse he suffered at 14 when Doyle employed him as a projectionist at the Mecca theatre in Kogarah in 1980.

Doyle befriended his parents, drove him home from work, took him driving at Kurnell and to his Cronulla unit.

Mr Lawrence said he did not initially tell anyone about the abuse because he feared his parents would not believe him or he would be called a ‘‘poofter’’ at school. His marriage later broke down and he battled mental disorders and drug and alcohol addictions.

‘‘I couldn’t go to anyone. I was so devastated and so trapped [and] so alone,’’ Mr Lawrence said.

He described Doyle’s maximum seven-year custodial sentence as weak but said he was happy he was in jail.

Standing with a group of victims outside court last week, he urged others to come forward.

‘‘Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed or torture your lives by trying to fight it. Speak up,’’ he said.

A victim who could not be named said he was happy Doyle was locked up but thought his sentence should be longer and also urged other victims to speak up.

‘‘It will give you closure and peace of mind on events that have no doubt been plaguing you for many years, if not decades,’’ he said.


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