The destruction of documents at St Albans Boys home is a real obstacle to justice for many of the victims of this place.
Where documents evidencing child sexual abuse are systematically destroyed it is clear that an offence has taken place.
Listen to ABC AM coverage of the issue.
A retired police officer has alleged decades of documents have been destroyed or gone missing from a New South Wales Anglican boys’ home, which is expected to be the focus of an upcoming royal commission.
The St Albans boys’ home is expected to be part of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse case study looking at abuse allegations in Newcastle’s Anglican diocese.
The lack of documentation has raised alarm bells with retired 20-year police veteran Greg Harding.
Mr Harding pursued convicted paedophile and ex-St Albans board member James Michael Brown, who abused 20 boys.
Brown is currently serving a minimum 12-year jail sentence.
Speaking for publicly for the first time, Mr Harding told the ABC his investigations showed decades of documents were either missing or destroyed.
“I found it very unusual that in any day and age there were no records pertaining to a boys’ home with how it operated, who went there, and the details of what occurred there. No minutes, no nothing,” Mr Harding said.
Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson has told the ABC he will not shy away from the gravity of the allegations.
“There’s no accommodation any more for criminal behaviour,” he said.
“So we are preparing our house, we’re preparing for the harsh realities of the failures of care for children and vulnerable people in the past.
“We’re preparing our stories that will come through the royal commission.”