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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Roy "Dootch" Kennedy faces court

Roy "Dootch" Kennedy played the victim on Friday when he faced court and blamed society for not giving him proper support and counselling for his alcoholism.

He was once the respected chairman of the Illawarra local Aboriginal Land Council and a prominent voice for the local indigenous community, but now he's known for what he really is - a brutal child rapist.

The real victim was a 15 year old girl who he knew he could use and abuse without any fear of reproach.  But he didn't plan on her ever having the courage to one day come forward and make him accountable.

On Friday, she stool up and read out a statement on how Roy Kennedy had ruined her life.

"Falling pregnant very young was very difficult when it became time to give birth, my body wasn't fully developed in the way it should have been and the birth itself was very traumatic physically and emotionally" she said.

Kennedy subjected her to five years of physical and sexual abuse in the mid 1990s when he was in his late 30s and she was a teenager.

She gave birth to two babies - one when she was 15 and the other almost 12 months later.  A third pregnancy - twins - ended with a miscarriage at 12 weeks.

Because Kennedy was a respected Aboriginal elder, she declined Aboriginal services "because of the shame."

"I've had to break away from my mob....I was always fearful that coming forward and telling the truth would create a backlash from my community, especially because "Dootch" was seen in a positive light, as an elder, he had a lot of power and responsibility.

Kennedy was arrested in January 2014 and swore he was innocent. He stood down from his role as Land Council Chairman and on December 7, he pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated sexual assault including the last incident in 1999 when he pulled her by the hair into the backseat of a car and brutally raped her while she begged him to stop.

Kennedy said he took responsibility for her "horrific" teenage years and felt "deeply shamed" for his actions.

"I understand what it's like to be shunned in an Aboriginal community..I feel exactly the same" he said.

But it wasn't his fault.  The troubled events of his early life were the reason he turned to alcohol. "Why wasn't I given further counselling or some support after being in hospital?"

Judge Paul Conlon spoke at that point. "I see no correlation between that and what you did to a 15 year old girl in the 1990s."

Kennedy arrived at court on Friday a free man but was taken into custody and will be sentenced on March 14.