Boy in the Hood stripped and left in bare cell

'Most of the time I'd cry': Dylan Voller tells of torture

A TROUBLED teen who was strapped to a chair and covered with a spit hood in a Northern Territory detention centre has spoken out about his treatment behind bars.

Dylan Voller, now 19, made headlines after the ABC's Four Corners program last year aired disturbing images of him in Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

 

Recalling the incident, Voller said he felt "trapped" and "angry".

"It makes you more agitated until you get too tired, you start getting sick ... you just want to get out of it," Voller told 60 Minutes tonight.

"It makes you more angrier, think more about suicide, and to be honest it made me even more being in there."

Voller had been locked up for about eight years, including long stints in isolation, after committing property damage, assault, making threats and a violent attack while under the influence of the drug ice.
 

Boy in the Hood speaks at Royal Commission.
Boy in the Hood speaks at Royal Commission.

 

He told 60 Minutes he apologised for his crimes.

"I know what I did was wrong," Voller said.

"I always felt bad. Most of the time I'd go and cry ... I'd think to myself, what did I do? Why did I do this? I'd be really upset with myself."

Voller was diagnosed with ADHD after significant childhood trauma, prompting disruptive, troublemaking and hostile behaviour.

"I had behavioural problems ... trauma," Voller told 60 Minutes.

"You feel lonely ... (there's) no-one there and no-one cares. You feel like (you're) going mad. You start talking to yourself."

Four Corners' report, which featured images of Voller wearing the spit hood, prompted the Prime Minister to order a Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT.

Voller is now out on bail and trying to rebuild his life, with hopes to study law.

When asked if he thought he deserved to be treated the way he was in detention, Voller said: "I thought that for a while. I thought that I did deserve it".

"It took me a while to realise no one deserves it. No young kid at all deserves to be put down."

For now, he has a stirring message to troubled touths.

"They can turn their life around ... and I'm an example of that."

Those experiencing personal problems are urged to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au.

News Corp Australia


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