MOVING FORWARD: Former Neerkol Orphanage resident Margaret Campbell is trying to take action against Rockhampton man Kevin Baker.
MOVING FORWARD: Former Neerkol Orphanage resident Margaret Campbell is trying to take action against Rockhampton man Kevin Baker. Austin King

Neerkol orphanage victim continues her fight for justice

NEERKOL Orphanage victim Margaret Campbell, and her lawyer, are making formal representations to the Queensland boss of public prosecutions to review the case against Rockhampton man Kevin Baker.

Yesterday Aaron Kernaghan, Ms Campbell's solicitor, told The Morning Bulletin he was making those formal representations early next week.

Mr Baker allegedly sexually abused Ms Campbell in 1961 at Neerkol Orphanage, the Royal Commission panel was told at its Rockhampton hearing.

In 2002, the Department of Public Prosecutions decided not to proceed any further with legal action against Mr Baker because of several technical legal issues.

Mr Baker at the time was facing sexual assault charges.

Ms Campbell alleged in her evidence to the Royal Commission last week that Mr Baker raped her with a broom handle at the orphanage when she was 10.

Mr Kernaghan said he was making those formal representations based on Ms Campbell's evidence to the commission.

Mr Baker has firmly denied all the allegations against him.

Child sexual abuse at Neerkol Orphanage has been described as being among the worst the Royal Commission has heard.

Those who have been following the commission, which started in 2013, have said the harrowing ordeals relived in the past couple of weeks were among the most graphic in the Royal Commission Inquiry into child sex abuse.

The Royal Commission hearing into the orphanage finished on Wednesday.

Most of the stories related to physical and sexual abuse inflicted between 1940 and 1975 at the orphanage.

It all started last Tuesday, when a victim known as AYB courageously opened up.

She bravely confronted her old demons when she told the commission pedophile priest Father Reginald Durham penetrated her with several items when she was a little girl.

Then there was Mary Adams, who told the commission she was made to drape her mess-riddled sheet over her head after she wet the bed when she was a young girl.

Joseph Kiernan was another witness who described being forced to lick up his mess after he vomited all over the floor.

He started shaking in the witness stand when he described in detail the time he was sexually abused with a broom handle.

Former Bishop of Rockhampton Brian Heenan gave testimony. He said he was protecting the church's reputation when he tried to quash allegations of sexual abuse by former priests at Neerkol.

He apologised for these actions after his testimony, as did Sister Berneice Loch, who heads the Sisters of Mercy which ran the orphanage. She said she could have done better to handle the allegations in the 1990s.



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