Im Ashamed Huntley Tells Court

When Violet was nine years old, she was sexually abused by a man she trusted.

Key points:

  • One victim says Phillip James Scott "made me believe that monsters really do exist" 
  • Scott was trusted to look after the children, with most of the abuse occurring at his house
  • Some of the survivors had gone to police years ago, but those investigations were opened and dropped

He told her if she "told anyone, they would blame her and think it was her fault".

She kept quiet, too scared to tell the truth. The abuse continued.

When she was 12 or 13 she told her mother, who reacted by throwing her out on the streets.

Violet fell into a life of crime, taking hard drugs to dull the pain.

That was almost 30 years ago. On July 18, 2021, Violet's abuser was taken into custody.

Phillip James Scott is now behind bars and awaiting sentencing after admitting to sexually abusing five different children over a period of 25 years. 

Exterior of the Supreme Court building in Hobart.
Victim impact statements were read out in the Supreme Court in Hobart.(

ABC News: Luke Bowden

)

This story is based on the victim impact statements and facts read out in the Supreme Court in Hobart on July 18.

The names of all the survivors have been changed in order to protect them.

"He destroyed me," Violet told the court. "I knew the abuse wasn't my fault but it makes you feel so dirty.

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"I've suffered the trauma in so many ways and it all leads back to one man."

The first time it happened, Violet was visiting a friend at his house. She was nine, Scott was 42. 

When he stopped, he told her not to tell anyone.

The first time he raped her, he was babysitting her. He would go on to rape and sexually abuse her over a number of years.

"My sister was so talented at so many things when she was younger," Emma told the court.

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"Now she uses hard drugs and is in and out of prison. I love my sister but I'm always waiting for a call to say she has died due to the lifestyle she lives."

Emma was also abused by Scott. He raped her when she about seven years old.

"I have a seven-year-old who I look at every day and I always ask myself how he could've done that to me.

"He made me believe that monsters really do exist." 

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Emma said sometimes she is envious of people with dementia.

"I'd love to forget what he did to me. I have to live with his actions for the rest of my life. I'll relive it and be reminded of what he did to me. 

"I only hope people listen and believe their kids." 

Scott was known to the family and trusted to look after the children. Most of the abuse occurred at his house or during times when he found himself alone with them.

Allie, who was just five when she was first abused, told the court it had changed her, making her an overprotective mother who will not let her children stay at other people's places.

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"I like to block it out but I know that it affects me terribly. It's like death, you try not to dwell on it," she said.

"I don't know how anybody can do what he's done and live with themselves. Whenever I see him I feel sick, drained, lost, broken and dirty."

Claire remembers feeling scared of the things Scott would do and say to her.

"I was five when he first did it … that day my life was destroyed," she told the court.

"Being sexually abused by someone who was supposed to protect me made me feel worthless."

She told the court she has only ever held one job and she had to leave it because "too many men" would trigger her anxiety.

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"Men that would come close to me, men that would say things to me, men in positions of power. My nerves couldn't cope with it," she said.

Liam is the fifth — and only — male victim.

He too told the court he felt "dirty and ashamed".

"I bottle things up and I snap. I drink and gamble to take my mind off it. I've lost lots of friends and my relationships were built on lies."

'I was so ashamed of the abuse'

It has been a "long and draining road" for Scott's victims. They have spent years preparing for a trial, going through statements and reliving their trauma.

It was only at the last minute that he changed his plea — pleading guilty to two counts of persistent sexual abuse of a child, one count of rape and two counts of indecent assault.

But the 2016 investigation into Scott was not the first.

Some of the survivors had gone to police in 1997 and again in 2002. Those investigations were opened and dropped.

Violet told the court she can still recall spending all day at the police station.

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"[There was] so much to tell and it was all hell," she said. 

"I never asked what happened to the investigation because I was so ashamed of the abuse." 

It was only in 2016 that all five of the survivors came forward and gave evidence against Scott.

"[My family's] lives would've been more stable and normal [without the abuse]," said Claire.

"Trying to find ways to cope with our trauma, that's how my life has been day in and day out.

"I'm grateful to the court for finally validating my victimisation. It's the first time anyone official has listened and done something."

Scott has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on August 30.

Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-20/victims-of-pedophile-phillip-james-scott-speak-pre-sentencing/100305482

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