Public Transport Victoria forum hears call for more Maryborough train services
State Government Commits to Developing Rail Infrastructure for Victoria
Horsham residents to be quizzed about future use of dormant rail corridor land
No choppers here: Malcolm Turnbull takes the train to Geelong
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy backs Melbourne Airport rail link
Jail time for train threats to Vline Staff
Premier Daniel Andrews hears efforts to address Central Goldfields disadvantage, push for more Maryborough trains
The Inland Rail Link Melbourne to Brisbane a Similar Case as the RAA's Bendigo - Geelong Rail Link
North-West Rail Alliance urges more council support amid push for return of Mildura passenger rail
Grampians Rail Trail: Shire calls for community to step up and manage facility
A former Victorian rail official used young boys' "interest in all things railway" to lure them into his care, then sexually abuse them.
Robert Whitehead, 84, was a government rail worker and a volunteer with the heritage steam train Puffing Billy when he assaulted six young train enthusiasts in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
In four instances, he used a ruse of an "initiation procedure" to carry out his abuse.
On other occasions he resorted to coercion and violence.
Whitehead told one victim if he reported the abuse to police, he would not be allowed to return to Puffing Billy.
In sentencing him to at least four and a half years jail on Friday, Victorian County Court Judge Michael Tinney said Whitehead played on that boy's love of trains and his ability to limit access to silence him.
"These boys came into your domain as they had what was a common boyish interest in ... all things railway," Judge Tinney said.
"These boys would have looked up to you, they would have been impressed by your connection to their hobby and interest."
Judge Tinney said despite Whitehead's plea of guilty to 24 charges, including two counts of sexual penetration of a person aged under 16, he saw no evidence of remorse from the man who had been prepared to "debauch and exploit" children.
"What you did to these boys was seriously criminal. It was seriously wrong. It was unforgivable."
Judge Tinney said he felt "utter dismay" that Whitehead was re-employed as a government rail worker after being convicted and jailed of child sex abuse in 1959.
Whitehead had left in his wake "a trail of human wreckage", Judge Tinney said.
One victim who dreamed of being an engine driver changed his mind after Whitehead's assault, according to his victim impact statement.
Another, who reported the abuse to police in 1985, was made to feel as if he was a liar and at fault after Whitehead denied the allegations.
A third described how he developed a fear of adults and lost his interest in trains.
"You ruined his hobby," Judge Tinney said.
Whitehead was jailed for eight years and eight months with a non-parole period of four years and six months.
Judge Tinney said the former rail worker may very well die in jail.
"Your past has now caught up with you," he said.
© AAP 2015
This article first appeared on www.9news.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.