May 30, 2005

Progress on sex abuse compo


30 May 2005

Berhampore Children's Home sex abuse complainants are hopeful of a resolution after meeting Presbyterian Support.

The agency has changed tack in its handling of the former residents' allegations of sexual and physical abuse by justice of the peace Walter Lake, who headed the Wellington orphanage.

At least 14 former residents went to police last year with claims they were sexually abused during the 1950s and 60s by Lake, who was made an OBE for social services in 1986. He died last November, aged 84, just before police were to charge him with sex offences.

Allegations of abuse involving Lake have continued to surface, with three siblings telling The Dominion Post last week that they had suffered sexual and physical abuse for years while at the home.

Complainants and Presbyterian Support representatives met on Friday, after the agency agreed to discuss compensation. They issued a joint statement yesterday saying they were pleased with progress, but would make no further comment "in the interests of sustaining a constructive climate for discussions".

Posted by kshaw at May 30, 2005 04:40 AM