My son was sexually abused

ACCUSED murderer Joseph Garrett Button wept yesterday as his mother revealed he had been sexually abused as a boy.

On the third day of her son's trial for the murder of Rockhampton children Kimberley and Russell Griffin, Jessie Elizabeth Diver claimed Button had been abused between the ages of five and nine.

She said on one occasion the alleged offender took him horse riding, ordered him to strip naked and attacked him with a whip before threatening to kill him.

Mrs Diver told Rockhampton Supreme Court Button had become increasingly unstable as he had grown older and had threatened to kill his father just one week before the Griffin children were murdered.

She had become so worried about his condition that in 1999 she sought the help of Rockhampton Hospital's Mental Health Unit and police but was unhappy with the result.

"They just gave us the run- around,'' she said.

Mrs Diver also said the family had not accepted Button's relationship with his de-facto who is also his first cousin.

She said this further alienated Button from his family and led to at least one angry outburst from him.

Button has pleaded not guilty to murdering Russell, 13, and Kimberley Griffin, 9, on October 15 2001, and throwing their bodies off a cliff in Mt Archer National Park.

He has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape against Kimberley.

The court also heard from Deborah Ann Purkis who lived near the Griffins in North Rockhampton.

She said Button turned up at her address around 7.30pm on the night of the murder asking to see her daughter.

Mrs Purkis refused to let him see her daughter, but she said Button, who gave the name Mulley Joe, had a green rope wrapped around his waist which was similar to the one which was later found tied around Russell's neck. The trial continues.



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