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  1. #31
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by boydogs View Post
    I think I'm more, he's cheapening his experience by going to the courts. It's implying that money can fix what happened

    I was kind of with him going to the media, you need to shine a light on these things to ensure systemic issues are addressed and victims are comfortable speaking out, but going to the courts after the club publically apologised feels like a gotcha

    Everyone deals with trauma differently, some are private some are public, some will never drive again after a car crash and some want to get back on the horse and move on. He obviously feels like the time is right to speak up, I guess I'm just putting myself in Ameet's shoes where he is being held accountable for the distant past and has had to switch gears from a heartfelt apology to a corporate no comment
    Everyone has to put themselves in the victim's shoes. You're indirectly (or maybe even directly) victim blaming. No-one is blaming today's administration anymore than Aboriginal people are blaming you for the genocide that occurred 200 years ago.

    The thing with deep trauma such as this is that most people are emotionally shattered their entire lives. Most sexual trauma victims never find the strength to deal with this. It's clear in 1993 that Adam was not the one who came forward and I applaud Adam for having the courage and strength to face this. It must be extremely difficult and it's not until now, at the age of 49, that he's finally in a place to deal with it.

    Can you imagine the pain Adam is going to be faced with during the court case having to rehash all of the terrible things that were done to him? Adam needs to do this to move on with his life because I guarantee you it's been an absolute emotional shit fight for him up until now. Showing amazing courage.

    One thing that might save the club financially is that Greg was a volunteer and not an employee. However, we need to hear Adam's story, everyone does. The more we hear about these traumatic events the better we get as a community to help ensure they do not happen again. I coach my daughter's AFL team and the hoops I had to jump through to be a volunteer coach were full-on, which is a good thing.

    Our knowledge of how to be better has only come about because of the courage and strength of the victims.

  2. #32
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Adam Kneale sues Bulldogs after Graeme Hobbs alleged sex abuse

    A child abuse survivor has given horror evidence of how a Footscray Football Club star volunteer regularly met him in a Whitten Oval stand to commit abuse in exchange for match tickets and money for meat pies.

    Adam Kneale detailed his six years of sex abuse from the age of 11 at the hands of pedophile Graeme Hobbs, known around the club as ?Chops?, during a Supreme Court trial where he?s suing the Western Bulldogs for vicarious liability.

    Mr Kneale said in 1984, a school friend asked if he wanted ?easy money? and told him to meet a fat man at the top of the stairs in the John Gent stand, who wore a big blue coat with a fur collar.

    The 11-year-old found the ?friendly guy? in the stand, who told the boy if he ?needed some money to buy some pies and a drink ... anytime I could go up the stairs to meet him?.

    ?I just saw that as an opportunity,? Mr Kneale said of the ?big fat man? with greasy hair, who was a heavy smoker and ?didn?t smell the best?.

    About a month after their first meeting, Mr Kneale said the club?s fundraising volunteer asked him during a game if he wanted to check out the Footscray FC offices.

    In the conference room, Hobbs opened the door to a tall cupboard where his victim?s attention was caught by footballs sitting on the top shelf.

    But the open cupboard door also blocked the view from the hall, and Hobbs touched him over his clothes.

    ?Honestly I just froze,? Mr Kneale told the court.

    ?I worked out quite quickly this is what the money was for ... I was trapped in that situation ... I thought that must be the worst of it but it wasn?t.?

    The little boy was then taken into the club toilets where he was raped - the first occasion of a six-year nightmare that involved repeated abuse by Hobbs and a wider pedophile ring.

    Mr Kneale said he recalled after that first time walking home from Whitten Oval and thinking, ?the money would be worth it because this won?t affect me when I?m older?.

    ?That was a fatalistic moment that has stayed with me forever,? he said.

    The man, now 51, detailed how he then regularly met Hobbs at the top of the John Gent stand?s stairs where he was taken to be abused in the club offices, bathrooms and change rooms and handed cash and match day tickets for himself, his friends and his father.

    He?d also meet the pedophile in the Footscray FC car park, where they?d catch a taxi to a hotel, or later to other sex offenders? homes.

    Mr Kneale said at the time he felt like it was ?my fault? and that he ?went along with it willingly, but I didn?t realise I?d been trapped, I?d been groomed to a point I felt obliged to maintain this friendship and there was no way out?.

    Once, Mr Kneale recalled travelling with Hobbs on the Footscray FC cheer squad bus to Sydney where he ?thought I?d actually be safe on this trip because I was surrounded by people?.

    But Hobbs laid a jacket over his lap and abused Mr Kneale on the bus, both on the way to Sydney and the way home.

    He said he later learned ? upon being taken to other pedophiles? homes after meeting Hobbs in the Footscray FC car park ? that the sex offenders were abusing other children.

    ?I was trapped, I found myself in a world of mess that I could not escape,? he said in answer to questions from his barrister Tim Hammond SC.

    ?There?s no way I had the maturity to understand what was going on at the time, I couldn?t run, I couldn?t hide, there was no turning back at this point, I knew this was my new normal and I was too immature to understand.

    ?I had no idea of the consequences that I would face when I got older, I just didn?t know what to do.?

    The pedophile even came to Mr Kneale?s house and met his mother.

    ?She just thought I had some little paid job at the ground and didn?t think anything of it,? he said.

    After six years of abuse, from the ages of 11 to 17, Mr Kneale reported Hobbs to police in 1993 when he was aged 21.

    His first child, a little girl, had been born just two months earlier and he said that was the moment ?everything changed?.

    ?The moment she was born I realised what I had to do,? he said.

    Mr Kneale said he was aware Hobbs had been committing offences against other children ?not long out of nappies, these were babies, two years old - I couldn?t be a role model for my daughter if I hadn?t done something about this?.

    He gave a 12-hour interview to Altona Police, then drove with officers around the western and northern suburbs of Melbourne, pointing out the homes of Hobbs and his pedophile friends.

    Mr Kneale is suing Western Bulldogs, formerly Footscray FC, for damages arguing the club was vicariously liable for their star volunteer who raised much needed money for the cash-strapped team.

    The Bulldogs, through its barrister Jack Rush KC, has denied the club knew about the abuse and argued it was not liable for the criminal actions of their volunteer, who was jailed and later died in 2009.

    Mr Kneale?s evidence, before Justice Melinda Richards, continues on Wednesday afternoon.

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  4. #33
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    We’ve got Jack Rush. That’s a very big name silk. We aren’t mucking around. What a horrible experience for Adam to go through. I sincerely hope no one at the club even has an inkling let alone knew.
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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  6. #34
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Will be settled out of court to hush this up ASAP.

    Pity.
    But then again, I'm an Internet poster and Bevo is a premiership coach so draw your own conclusions.

  7. #35
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Geez. Pay this man. That was awful.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  8. #36
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Vulgar. Just horrible.
    Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate.

  9. #37
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    What is wrong with some people - ****ed that is for sure
    FFC: Established 1883

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  10. #38
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    How do we pay for this?

    Western Bulldogs ordered to pay child sex abuse victim $5.9m in damages

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/vict...09-p5eipi.html


    Western Bulldogs ordered to pay child sex abuse victim $5.9m in damages
    Erin PearsonNovember 9, 2023 — 2.52pm
    A Supreme Court jury has awarded child sex abuse victim Adam Kneale $5.9 million in damages after finding the Western Bulldogs Football Club were negligent in protecting him from harm.

    Kneale launched Supreme Court action against the Western Bulldogs, formerly Footscray, seeking damages for the abuse he endured from age 11 by former fundraising committee member Graeme Hobbs.

    Kneale reported Hobbs to police in 1993, aged 21, which led to his abuser and another man being jailed.

    A jury on Thursday awarded Kneale $3.35 million for pain and suffering, $2.6 million in loss of earnings and $87,500 for future medical expenses.

    Kneale embraced his legal team after the verdict, while his family could be seeing wiping tears.

    The club was also ordered to pay more than $10,000 to Medicare and Kneale’s legal costs.

    “Mr Kneale, you have my very best wishes for your future. I don’t underestimate how difficult this has been for you. I hope this process has helped you heal in some way,” Justice Melinda Richards said.

    Among the claims aired in court were that Hobbs, once recognised in the Bulldogs’ annual reports for his services to the club as a “jack of all trades” and “room steward” for the under-19 team, used club facilities during training nights, on match days, and an interstate football trip to sexually abuse a young boy over seven years.

    It was also alleged that Hobbs gave game day tickets to boys who sat with him in the John Gent Stand.

    During the trial, former Footscray president Peter Gordon denied knowing a club volunteer had been jailed for sexually abusing a young boy on club grounds and claimed he only became aware of Hobbs’ crimes when a journalist contacted the club in April last year.

    Gordon also denied ever being made aware of a front page newspaper article, published in May 1994, which revealed Hobbs had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Kneale when he was 12 behind the Western Oval grandstand.

    Gordon said he was also never told about a conversation a police officer had with the club’s then finance manager in February 1993 when Hobbs was arrested about the potential impact it would have on the club and that other victims might come forward.

    Gordon, who is also related to Kneale, said he would have contacted him if he was aware of the abuse.

    When the case was first launched, Michael Magazanik, a partner with Rightside Legal, predicted Kneale would be the first of many to sue an AFL club over childhood abuse with other publicised cases of child abusers being in senior positions with little league teams in the 1970s.

    With AAP.
    The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.

  11. #39
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Do we have liability insurance?

  12. #40
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Imperial View Post
    Do we have liability insurance?
    You would think so but it won't cover that sort of money. It's likely to impact the club.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  13. #41
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    The result is likely to cause financial strife for the AFL club, who will need to borrow funds to pay damages, its current chief executive Ameet Bains told the trial.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-...tion/103085628
    The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.

  14. #42
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Horrific. The entire situation. No words. Shameful what happened.

    However, this is the biggest payout for this type of abuse in Austrailan history. Hobbs wasn't an employee of the club and no complaint was made the club says.

    So, I'm sure there is some liablility for something that happened ~40 years ago. But the largest payout in Australian history? Does that sound right?

    What about the reports of church and schools where abuse was reported, was known and it was systematically buried. This case is worse than that? For someone who wasn't even employed? Hobbs was never appointed to be in the care of Neale?

    If this is a new precedent, then schools, churches, scouts are going to be in all sorts of strife.

  15. #43
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Well stated AP.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  17. #44
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    Quote Originally Posted by angelopetraglia View Post
    Horrific. The entire situation. No words. Shameful what happened.

    However, this is the biggest payout for this type of abuse in Austrailan history. Hobbs wasn't an employee of the club and no complaint was made the club says.

    So, I'm sure there is some liablility for something that happened ~40 years ago. But the largest payout in Australian history? Does that sound right?

    What about the reports of church and schools where abuse was reported, was known and it was systematically buried. This case is worse than that? For someone who wasn't even employed? Hobbs was never appointed to be in the care of Neale?

    If this is a new precedent, then schools, churches, scouts are going to be in all sorts of strife.
    Doubt it.

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  19. #45
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    Re: AFL club Western Bulldogs rocked by historical child sexual abuse scandal

    https://www.westernbulldogs.com.au/n...club-statement

    Weird and overly combative statement from the Club. To me there’s clear liability exposure here and I would’ve thought we’d be way better off distancing ourselves from it.
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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