UPDATED: NOVEMBER 2014

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/25434436/serial-paedophiles-jail-appeal-fails/

Serial paedophile’s jail appeal fails

Tim Clarke

November 5, 2014, 10:14 am

Former Katanning hostel warden Dennis John McKenna has failed in his bid to appeal against his jail sentence for the sexual abuse of 17 boarders entrusted to his care.

McKenna had attempted to lodge an appeal against the nine-year jail term imposed for his final of three lots of convictions, claiming it was crushing.

But the WA Appeal Court today comprehensively threw out the application – saying McKenna’s offending meant he had forfeited the right to a useful life after his release.

“The total sentence the subject of this appeal reflects a carefully calibrated and moderated exercise of the sentencing discretion. There is no merit in the appellant’s claim that the total effective sentence infringes the first limb of the totality principle,” Justice McLure said.

“Even if, contrary to my view, the total sentence could be characterised as crushing, the appellant’s offending as a whole is of such seriousness in its nature, extent and effect that he must be regarded as having forfeited the right to an expectation of a useful life after release.”

The 69-year-old was sentenced in February last year to nine years jail for 34 sex offences committed between 1976 and 1988.

Judge Kevin Sleight ordered the sentence be served on top of a six-year and four-month jail term imposed in 2011 for 10 offences committed against six boys.

Judge Sleight also took into account a six-year and nine-month jail term imposed in 1991 for the sexual abuse of five boarders.

He said in total, the 69-year-old had been sentenced to 22 years jail for 63 offences against 28 boys at the State-run boarding facility.

As a result of the final sentence, McKenna will have served 13 years when he becomes eligible for parole in November 2024.

The appeal bid had outraged some of McKenna’s victims, who said the legal challenge demonstrated McKenna’s complete lack of remorse for the abuse he had inflicted.

“He is still in denial,” Todd Jefferis, who was molested by McKenna many times between 1989 and 1990, said.

“That guy has got absolutely no right to ever walk the streets . . . why would the community want a monster like that walking the streets.

 

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/24286338/new-charges-for-serial-paedophile/

New charges for serial paedophile

Sam Tomlin The West AustralianJune 20, 2014, 4:27 pm

Serial paedophile Dennis McKenna is facing fresh child abuse charges stemming from his time in charge of the Katanning Hostel.

McKenna was charged with two additional offences following what police said was a long-running and exhaustive investigation into the 69-year-old’s time as warden of the hostel between 1976 and 1988.

McKenna is serving nine years in prison for abusing 17 boarders at the hostel during that period.

He is due to appear in Katanning Magistrates Court on July 15.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-13/wa-paedophile-lodges-appeal-against-nine-yearjail-term/5451142

Notorious WA paedophile Dennis McKenna lodges appeal against nine-year jail term

Updated Wed 14 May 2014, 1:38pm AEST

A notorious West Australian paedophile has lodged an appeal against a jail term imposed on him more than a year ago for child sexual offences committed at a government-run hostel in the 1970s and 80s.

Dennis McKenna was sentenced to a further nine years’ jail in February last year after pleading guilty to 34 offences committed against boarders at the St Andrews hostel in Katanning.

McKenna was already in jail after being sentenced in 2011 to six years and four months for similar offences.

He was also jailed in 1991 for molesting boys.

McKenna was the warden at the hostel between 1975 and 1990 and used his position to sexually abuse 28 boys.

The sentencing judge said McKenna had committed a gross breach of trust, and manipulated people and situations for his own sexual gratification.

The nine-year sentence was made cumulative on that term, meaning McKenna’s earliest possible release date is in 2024.

McKenna lodged documents with the Supreme Court today in an attempt to have the term reduced.

The bid is well beyond the usual 21-day appeal period.

 

Victim ‘floored’ by McKenna’s bid for freedom

Former St Andrews pupil Darryl Stephens said the appeal was another example of McKenna’s contempt for his victims and the latest in a string of legal games.

“He’s done it all the way through – sacked lawyers and done this sort of thing all along,” Mr Stephens said.

“It is disappointing but it’s not surprising if you know what I mean, because he’s played these tricks all along.

“It’s probably another trick he’s slept on and thought, ‘I’ll have a go at that’.”

Abuse survivor Kim Daniels was also disappointed by McKenna’s bid.

“He wants his sentence reduced, none of us can get our sentence reduced,” he said.

“He’s full of games.”

Albany contractor and abuse survivor Todd Jefferis said other victims were also upset by McKenna’s bid.

“I’ve already spoken to a couple of them and they’re very upset about the whole situation. It’s not going to be nice for them,” he said.

“He’s [McKenna] going to try to get free and have a quality of life which none of the boys have had for a long time and some of them are still struggling to get that back. It’s ridiculous.

“I’ll be absolutely floored if he gets any time off this … if he gets time off on this appeal it’s an absolute travesty of justice, it already wasn’t heavy enough.

“He’s destroyed so many boys’ lives and he doesn’t have this right, in my opinion.”

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/pedophile-dennis-mckenna-gets-extra-nine-years-will-serve-22-years/story-e6frg12c-1226580333632

Katanning hostel pedophile Dennis McKenna gets extra nine years jail

  • by: Angie Raphael
  • From: AAP
  • February 18, 2013 11:19AM

SERIAL pedophile Dennis McKenna has been sentenced to an additional nine years in jail over a further 34 charges of sexually abusing boys while he was the warden at a West Australian hostel.

McKenna, 68, is already serving a six-year prison term since July 2011 for molesting boys at St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning between 1975 and 1990, and was previously jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

He was sentenced in Perth’s District Court today to an additional nine years to be served cumulatively with his 2011 sentence.

It means McKenna has now been sentenced to 22 years and one month in prison for committing 63 offences against 28 victims.

The sentence came after McKenna pleaded guilty to a string of new charges including several counts of unlawful indecent dealings, carnal knowledge against the order of nature and gross indecency.

McKenna’s abuse included forcing boys to watch pornography with him and plying them with alcohol before sexually abusing them.

In sentencing, Judge Kevin Sleight said McKenna had committed a “gross breach of trust”.

McKenna’s lawyer Patti Chong previously read a statement to the court from McKenna to his victims, in which he said he regretted breaching their trust and asked for their forgiveness.

“I robbed the victims of their innocence, corrupted them, destroyed their lives, caused them and their families profound sorrow and committed acts which have had grave lifelong consequences for them and their families,” the statement read.

“I sincerely and truly apologise to all the victims of my abuse, their friends and families, and express my deep remorse and contrition for my conduct.”

Ms Chong reiterated McKenna’s remorse on Monday but Judge Sleight said it was “a long time coming”.

McKenna will be eligible for parole after serving 13 years and four months in prison from July 2011.

The case prompted an inquiry last year into whether authorities knew about the sexual abuse at the Katanning hostel.

The scope of the inquiry was later expanded to include St Christopher’s hostel at Northam, Hardie House at South Hedland and St Michael’s House at Merredin.

WA Premier Colin Barnett apologised to the victims and said they could apply for up to $45,000 in compensation.

 

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/pedophile-dennis-mckenna-admits-more-charges/story-fndo2j1f-1226502414703

Pedophile Dennis McKenna admits 34 more sex abuse charges

  • PerthNow
  • October 24, 2012 2:57PM

pedophile Dennis McKenna has admitted to more than 30 further child abuse charges while he was a warden at a Katanning hostel.

Appearing via video-link in Perth Magistrate’s Court, McKenna pleaded guilty to 34 child sex offences against boarders at the St Andrew’s Hostel.

Prosecutors dropped 35 additional charges against McKenna, who is already serving a jail term for child sex offences, this morning.

McKenna was warden of the State-run hostel between 1975 and 1990.

He will be sentenced in the District Court.

WA pedophile’s brother jailed for raping girl

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was sentenced in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday for one count of aggravated sexual penetration and two counts of aggravated indecent assault while he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the wheat-belt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991.

Dennis McKenna, 66, who is currently serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.
Dennis McKenna was a warden at St Andrews from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into sex abuse at the Katanning Hostel after previously being jailed in 1991 for similar offences.
He was recently charged with another 66 offences relating to the sexual abuse of children in his care.

By Cortlan Bennett

From: AAP

May 09, 2012 3:01PM

THE brother of a convicted serial pedophile has been jailed for more than six years for raping a 15-year-old girl in his care at a state-run student hostel in Western Australia.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was sentenced in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday for one count of aggravated sexual penetration and two counts of aggravated indecent assault while he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991.

McKenna was sentenced to a total of six years and three months but will be eligible for parole after four years and three months.

He is the younger brother of Dennis McKenna, 66, who is currently serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.

Dennis McKenna was a warden at St Andrews from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into sex abuse at the Katanning Hostel after previously being jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

He was recently charged with another 66 offences relating to the sexual abuse of children in his care.

During the sentencing of Neil McKenna on Wednesday, Judge Anthony Derrick said his actions were a “terrible breach of trust” with an “element of preparation and grooming”.

During the judge-alone trial, evidence was heard that McKenna had taken sexual advantage of three girls aged 13 to 16 in his care at the hostel – having sex with one of them in his bedroom while his wife was in hospital with their first child – but charges relating to two of the girls could not be proved.

Justice Derrick found that while there was clearly sexual activity between McKenna and those two girls, the charges of “defilement by a schoolmaster” could not be proven because he did not meet the legal definition of a schoolmaster.

“While I found beyond reasonable doubt that you engaged in sexual activity with (the other two girls) … the state could not satisfy certain elements to prove the charges,” the judge said to McKenna in sentencing.

Justice Derrick said that was the reason he could not accept defence lawyer Patti Chong’s submission that the proven charges in relation to the third girl were isolated events.

The judge said that in the case of the third girl, McKenna had driven her in a school bus to an isolated road at night, locked the doors, and raped her on the back seat.

The other two charges of aggravated indecent assault related to incidents at the hostel where McKenna had taken advantage of the girl to kiss and touch her in an inappropriate manner.

The judge said McKenna had not used violence towards the girl, but he did not have to as he was in a position of authority.

Nonetheless, he found that McKenna was a “good husband and father” and his wife and three daughters continued to stand by him throughout the trial and sentencing.

He said McKenna had been forced to sell the family home to pay for his defence, which would leave his family in economic hardship, but he had shown no remorse for his actions and continued to deny them.

Outside the court, Ms Chong said her client maintained his innocence and would appeal against his conviction.
The wife of one of Dennis McKenna’s victims, Tonia Brown, said she was not surprised that Neil McKenna had shown a “complete lack of remorse” as he continued to deny any wrongdoing.

She said the three girls he had had sex with, including the rape victim, would be satisfied with the sentence.

“It’s not a sentence worth damaging someone’s life for, but it’s much more than we expected, and I think the girls will get some sense of justice,” Mrs Brown said.

Katanning child abuser to be sentenced

Anne-Louise Brown

May 9, 2012 – 2:00AM

The younger brother of a Western Australian serial paedophile will today be sentenced for child sex offences.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was convicted in the WA District Court last month of three charges relating to the abuse of a girl when he worked at the now infamous St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning between 1986 and 1991.

McKenna’s older brother, Dennis McKenna, 66, who was warden of St Andrew’s from 1975 to 1990, is currently in jail for numerous offences against boys in his care and is the focus of an ongoing special inquiry into allegations there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the hostel.

Neil McKenna had been charged with 10 offences related to three girls aged 13-16, but he was acquitted of charges relating to two of the victims.

He was found guilty of one count of aggravated sexual assault and two of aggravated indecent assault against a victim who was aged 14 to 15 at the time.

A report into the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse at the Katanning hostel is due for release on May 31.

Neil Vincent McKenna found guilty of abusing girl in his care

  • From: AAP
  • April 04, 2012 10:51AM

THE brother of a convicted serial pedophile has himself been found guilty of sexually abusing a girl in his care.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was found guilty in the West Australian District Court on Wednesday of three charges relating to the abuse of a girl in his care when he was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrews Hostel in the WA wheatbelt town of Katanning.

He had pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

He is the younger brother of Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at St Andrews.

Dennis McKenna is serving six years in jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of sexually abusing six boys in his care aged 13 to 15.

He had previously been jailed in 1991 for similar offences.

The judge-only trial before Justice Anthony Derrick heard from one of the alleged victims, now aged 39, that McKenna first had sex with her when she was 13 or 14 in his home, which was attached to the hostel where she was boarding and going to school.

Neil McKenna was found guilty after a judge-alone trial in front of Justice Anthony Derrick.

Justice Derrick said there was “an extreme likelihood if not inevitability” of a prison term.

Outside the court a former St Andrews hostel student said she was “absolutely disgusted” with McKenna.

“He’s a man; he’s breached his power of trust,” she said.

As McKenna’s wife and daughter left the court, supporters of the victims called out, “Shame, shame on you”.

The pair refused to comment to reporters on the verdict.

Outside the court, former St Andrews hostel student Jan Brown said she was “absolutely disgusted” with McKenna.

“He’s a man; he’s breached his power of trust,” she said.

As McKenna’s wife and daughter left the court, supporters of the victims called out, “Shame, shame on you”.

Paedophile’s brother ‘groomed girls’ at hostel

Aja Styles

March 27, 2012 – 10:23AM

The school master at a state-run hostel in Katanning who is the brother of a convicted pedophile groomed his female students to fulfill his sexual desires, a state prosecutor has argued.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, worked at St Andrew’s Hostel in the Wheatbelt town from 1986 to 1991, during which time he allegedly sexually abused three girls then aged 13 to 16.

Mr McKenna is on trial before a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 offences, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

Mr McKenna is the brother of jailed serial paedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of a continuing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the state-run facility.

‘He chose opportune places’

State prosecutor Mark Trowell, QC, yesterday claimed that the complaints against the younger Mr McKenna occurred exactly how they were described by the alleged victims because they happened at opportune places such as the cinema or the bus.

“The cinema is an ideal place because cinemas are dark and everybody is looking forward,” he argued.

He said a room next door to the cinema, known as the “red room”, may have been less discreet “but that depends if there was a door”.

“If there was a door you would expect it to be closed,” he said.

“…[If] complainants are to be believed it is assumed he was a risk taker and someone who was confident he could do this without being found out.”

He said another ideal situation to disguise his sexual activities was on the bus because it was essentially a “transportable room” with which he could take female students on rides to remote locations.

“These girls were groomed and he was able to commit these offences because he had known them over time,” Mr Trowell said. “Each one was young and naive.”

He said they were vulnerable and he had admitted during police interviews that they developed “crushes” on him as a father figure.

“[They had] become emotionally dependent upon him. Something he was very much aware of in his police record of interview,” Mr Trowell said.

“…He exploited that affection and naivety and took sexual advantage of them. He was the person in authority, not only to groom but to compel them to his sexual desires.”

He said the women were “overwhelmed” and one woman described feeling detached form her body during one incident on the school bus.

‘Girls were intimidated’

He said it was also made difficult for them to complain because when rumour reached other supervisors the girls were made to face middle aged men and it was an “intimidating situation” that they shrank from.

He also argued that there was no evidence of collaboration or collusion by the women who made the complaints.

He said only one of them received $13,000 through a state government Redress scheme and she dismissed it as insufficient compensation for “what happened to her”.

She also denied having any knowledge of how to chase criminal compensation or “celebrity (compensation) lawyer John Hammond” as suggested by Mr McKenna’s lawyer Patti Chong.

‘Flaws in the women’s stories’

Ms Chong yesterday argued that the events could not have occurred as the women described.

She took particular objection to one woman’s testimony, who described that she had taken a shower and slept in Mr McKenna’s marital bed before sneaking back to the hostel dormitory at 5am.

She said the only way for opening the dormitory door was breaking open a glass box and using the key and even if she had left it unlocked there was “no way” she could have gotten through the double glass doors.

“There were doors after doors after doors,” Ms Chong said. “And that’s what you expect in a dormitory house so that kids won’t get up to pranks such as sneaking out at night.”

She said that Mr McKenna’s father Doug McKenna testified that he had come to stay with his son at the time in question because it was when the Mckennas were having their first child and it was memorable because it was around April Fool’s Day.

“Never did he see girls in the house,” she argued.

She said it would also have been impossible for the then-girl’s absence not to be noted by a supervisor since they carried out head counts day and night.

She said that the woman also testified that most of the offending occurred when she was doing ironing at their house in 1986 but they only moved into the larger family home in 1987.

Mr McKenna’s wife Wendy, who also worked at the hostel, yesterday testified that she never saw her husband acting inappropriately with boarders.

When questioned over her observation skills since she claimed that she was unaware of Dennis McKenna’s systematic and long-standing sexual abuse of boys at the hostel, she replied she was observant but knew nothing about the allegation.

She said the first she learned of it was when Dennis McKenna was charged in 1991.

That same year, the board running the hostel held a meeting at which sexual abuse allegations were raised against Neil McKenna.

He resigned that afternoon and he and his wife left the hostel that night.

“We left because it was a shock,” Mrs McKenna said, agreeing her husband had told her he had been “set up” by the girls involved in the accusations.

When asked by Mr Trowell if she had heard any whispers about anything inappropriate her husband had been doing at the hostel, Mrs McKenna said she had not.

District Court judge Anthony Derrick has reserved his decision, which is expected to be handed down next week.

– with AAP

McKenna’s wife says she saw nothing suspicious

Updated March 26, 2012 21:29:24

The wife of a man on trial for sex offences at a Katanning hostel says she never saw her husband doing anything inappropriate with female boarders.

Neil McKenna is on trial in the Perth district court for a string of sexual assault charges against teenage girls between 1986 and 1991 while he was working at the St Andrews hostel.

His wife testified that she is an observant person and never saw or heard anything that would make her think her husband was assaulting girls.

Under cross-examination the prosecutor, Mark Trowell QC, put to Mrs McKenna that if she was so observant why had she not noticed her brother-in-law Dennis McKenna was performing widespread and systematic abuse of boarders.

Dennis McKenna is currently in jail for sexually assaulting boys at the hostel.

Mrs McKenna told the court her husband resigned the same day allegations of sexual assault were put to him in 1991.

He has repeatedly denied the charges.

In a recording of a police interview played to the court last week, McKenna said girls developed crushes on him and he favoured some students he felt sorry for but never inappropriately touched them.

He said sometimes he would jokingly hug boarders at the hostel.

One woman has testified McKenna would molest her whenever he could.

She told the court dates and times were hard to remember but events were not.

A second woman has also told the court that McKenna would indecently touch her, saying it occurred so regularly she could not remember exactly how many times it happened.

She said when she was about 14 she used to go to his house to do ironing and he would kiss and grope her.

She said they later escalated into regularly having sex, including on one occasion when his wife was in hospital having their first child.

Mr Trowell told the court Neil McKenna exploited the affection and dependency of the boarders and took advantage of them.

In her closing address, defence lawyer Patti Chong said the alleged victims’ memories were hazy and unreliable, and the state had failed to prove any of the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The trial is being heard by Judge Anthony Derrick SC who is sitting without a jury.

His verdict is expected to be handed down next week.

Neil McKenna denies Katanning hostel sex abuse of girls

  • by: Staff Writers
  • From: AAP
  • March 23, 2012 4:42PM

A MAN on trial for sexually abusing teenage girls under his care at a hostel has told a court he never had sex with any girls but some may have had “crushes” on him and other staff members.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrew’s Hostel in the WA wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991, when he allegedly sexually abused three girls in his care, then aged 13 to 16.

McKenna is being tried by a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 counts, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

The court today was shown a video of McKenna being interviewed by detectives in October 2010.

In the video, McKenna said his memory was not very sharp and he had forgot half the students at the hostel, but he did remember bits and pieces that stood out in his mind.

McKenna denied ever having had sex with the girls, kissing them or fondling their breasts.

“I never touched any girl there,” he said.

Regarding one victim, McKenna said that during a camping trip in Albany he was walking with a female student and may have “accidentally” touched her on the shoulder to guide her through a gate.

“I never touched her except for on the shoulder,” he said.

Regarding a second alleged victim, McKenna said he’d once sat with her at the back of a cinema, but there was “no way” he’d ever touched her or forced her to touch him, as she alleges.

He said he may have touched her with his elbow but never behaved inappropriately with her.

Asked if he ever touched a girl while she ironed at his home and then had sex with her in his bed, McKenna denied the allegation but said he remembered looking for something in his bedroom wardrobe when the girl came in with some ironing.

The detectives also asked McKenna if he’d ever had sex with a girl on a bus or station wagon. He denied the suggestion.

He said he took some students for driving lessons and on bus trips for excursions, but never had sex with any teenage girls.

McKenna said it was normal to have a “joke and a laugh” with some of the students whom he became close to because the boarders were far away from their families and he felt “sorry” for them.

He said some boarders developed “crushes” and followed staff around and some saw supervisors as a “father figure”.

“I just can’t believe they’re saying all these things,” he said.

McKenna is the brother of jailed serial pedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the state-run facility.

Former hostel warden Cornelius Burro also testified on Friday via video link.

McKenna had been filling in as warden after his brother Dennis left the hostel when Mr Burro came in as his permanent replacement in 1991.

Mr Burro said distressed students had come forward with allegations against Neil McKenna in October 1991.

He said McKenna was confronted by the board about the allegations and, after asking for a five-minute break, he returned with a resignation letter.

Mr Burro said McKenna cited what had happened to his brother as one of the reasons for his resignation.

“He got very upset saying that, you know, he’d been set up,” Mr Burro said.

The trial before Judge Anthony Derrick continues.

Raped girl suddenly ‘not welcome’, court told

  • by: Cortlan Bennett
  • From: AAP
  • March 21, 2012 4:52PM

A 13-year-old girl was sexually abused for two years by a male supervisor at a state-run hostel before being abruptly told she was no longer welcome there, a Perth court has heard.

Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, was a senior supervisor and acting warden at St Andrew’s Hostel in the West Australian wheatbelt town of Katanning from 1986 to 1991, when he allegedly sexually abused three girls in his care, then aged 13 to 16.

McKenna is the brother of jailed serial pedophile Dennis McKenna, 66, who was a warden at the hostel from 1975 to 1990 and is the subject of an ongoing special inquiry into whether there was a cover-up of sexual abuse at the government-run facility.

Neil McKenna is being tried by a District Court judge without a jury after being charged with 10 counts, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and defilement by a schoolmaster.

Today, the court heard from a witness who claimed McKenna often fondled her in the back row of a cinema where she worked as a volunteer usher, as well as on a school bus after other students had been dropped off.

Usually, she would sit next to McKenna after the movie started and place her hand on his crotch while he fondled her breasts and genitals, she testified.

On one occasion, the pair left during the movie and went to an adjacent music room where McKenna allegedly raped her with his fingers.

“He put his hand up my skirt, and he put his finger in my vagina,” the now 36-year-old witness said via video link.

“I was 13 or 14 at the time.”

The witness said McKenna would often ask her to go on bus drives with him and would molest her “whenever we were alone on the bus – at any time of the day”.

On another occasion, McKenna drove the witness home to Bremer Bay, about 150km south of Katanning, after she’d had her appendix removed.

Her parents were not home when they arrived and McKenna proceeded to molest her again, she testified.

“We were kissing – tongue kissing – and Neil would feel my breasts and rub my vagina,” she told the court.

After two years of attending Katanning Senior High School and boarding at St Andrews, which were in the same compound, the witness said Dennis McKenna sent a letter to her parents at the end of 1989 informing them she “was not welcome back”.

She said she didn’t know the reason.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Patti Chong, the witness said she couldn’t remember who instigated the sexual activity and couldn’t remember exact dates.

She said she had never received any redress from the WA government over the sex abuse she had suffered at the govertnment-run hostel and had not colluded with other witnesses.

Earlier, the court had heard from a witness, now 39, who said McKenna didn’t wear a condom and she was not on the pill when he allegedly raped her repeatedly over the course of four years.

She said McKenna’s wife, Wendy McKenna, who was also a supervisor at the hostel, was “like a mother to me”.

She testified that she and McKenna had sex in his bedroom while his wife was in hospital after giving birth to their first child.

The trial before Judge Anthony Derrick continues.

Schoolgirl ‘was raped anywhere and often’

Kate Campbell, The West Australian Updated March 21, 2012, 3:00 am

A woman has told how the brother of serial paedophile Dennis McKenna sexually abused her “anywhere the opportunity arose” over her four years as a teenage boarder at a now-infamous Katanning hostel.

The woman, now 39, testified in the District Court that Neil Vincent McKenna, 53, molested and raped her regularly, including at his home and in a spa when his wife was in hospital after the birth of their first child, in a school bus and in the hostel cinema.

Neil McKenna is fighting 10 charges of sexually abusing three teenage girls between 1986 and 1991 at a judge-alone trial.

The girls were boarding at State-run St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning when he was a senior supervisor and his brother was warden.

Prosecutor Mark Trowell said some abuse of one victim was after Neil McKenna became acting warden for a year in 1991 after his brother was jailed for sex offences against boys.

Dennis McKenna was jailed in 1991 for molesting five boys and later for six years for abusing six other boys.

The woman who testified yesterday said Neil McKenna’s abuse began as kissing, groping and fondling but soon escalated to sex.

Mr Trowell said the woman felt compelled to submit to him.

The woman said she was about 13 or 14 when Neil McKenna first raped her at his home on hostel grounds, where she often ironed for him and his wife.

She said at 16 he molested her in the hostel spa and raped her at his home when his wife was in hospital.

“(It happened) anywhere the opportunity arose,” she said. “It just seemed to happen all the time.”

The woman rejected suggestions by defence lawyer Patti Chong that the abuse “simply did not happen”.

Ms Chong put it to her that other people would have been around or Mr McKenna would have been supervising the boys’ dormitory at the time of some of the alleged incidents.

Mr Trowell said the alleged abuse involving the other two girls was at the hostel cinema, on a camping trip and when Mr McKenna took one girl to her parents’ home in Bremer Bay after her appendix was removed.

He said that in 1991, Mr McKenna raped an alleged victim on a school bus and then had her lie on the back seat as he drove back to the hostel so no one would see her.

Sex abuse claims hit McKenna’s brother

Aja Styles

March 20, 2012 – 11:50AM

The younger brother of convicted paedophile Dennis McKenna has stood trial accused of sexually assaulting three teenage girls in his care at the Katanning hostels where both brothers were in supervisory roles in the 1980s and ’90s.

Neil Vincent McKenna has denied 10 charges ranging from breast fondling to sexual intercourse with three girls aged under 17 while in his care as a school master at the St Andrew’s hostel from 1986-1991.

He is on a judge-only trial in the Perth District Court before Judge Anthony Derrick.

Mr McKenna was 27 or 28 in 1986 and married when he was accused of molesting and forcing himself upon a girl as young as 13 who did domestic chores in his accommodation that was adjacent to the boarding rooms, the court heard.

State prosecutor Mark Trowell said she had been ironing one day, when he came up behind her and touched her breast and started kissing her neck.

Mr Trowell said Mr McKenna led her to the bedroom where he bent her over and had sex with her.

“It didn’t go on for very long,” he said.

He said the girl felt a stinging because it was the first time she had ever had sex.

“She was intimidated by the accused and felt compelled to submit to him,” he said.

He said there was a subsequent “spa incident” in April 1989 when she was 16 and Mr McKenna’s wife Wendy was in hospital after the child was born.

Mr Trowell said she again submitted to sexual acts in Mr McKenna’s spa with him before going inside the home to have sex.

A second student who was 13 in 1988 and whose family were from Bremer Bay came to the hostel in Year Eight.

“She remembers Dennis McKenna being a warden, and his brother and his wife being supervisors,” Mr Trowell said.

He said Neil McKenna was sexually intimate with her a number of times, including on two occasions while she worked as an usher at the cinema that the brothers ran.

Mr Trowell said she would sit next to Mr McKenna and rub his genitals and there were four sexual acts that took place over the two occasions.

He said there was also a “music room incident” when she was alone in the dark with the accused in the music room and he tongue kissed her and put his hand up her skirt and touched her.

Mr Trowell said Mr McKenna also drove her to her parent’s house in Bremer Bay and began kissing her, and fondled her breasts and genitals in her parent’s home.

By the end of Year Nine she was not welcomed back and was given “no reason” despite being a good student, Mr Trowell today the court.

Towards the end of 1990, after his older brother had been charged with child sexual offences, Mr McKenna escalated his flirtation towards a then-15-year-old girl who worked as an usher at the cinema.

He also forced her to have sex with him, Mr Trowell said.

On a weekend camp to Albany, Mr McKenna kissed her on the mouth while they were walking alone on the beach and she later returned and cried in her cabin about the incident, Mr Trowell said.

He said Mr McKenna also pulled her onto his lap and had sex with her in the school bus.

He drove her to a remote location and had sex with her which caused her bleeding and she was “frightened”, Mr Trowell said.

She was told to lie back on the seats so that other students wouldn’t see her before she managed to get to a toilet, the court heard.

She tried never to be alone with him again but early in 1991 there was a blackout at the hostel and the accused touched her on the breast in the dark and asked her to come for a bus ride but she refused, Mr Trowell said.

Mr McKenna’s defence lawyer Patti Chong did not make an opening address except to ask that references to Dennis McKenna be refrained.

“Because what Dennis did has got nothing to do with my client is alleged to have done,” she told the judge.

Judge Derrick reassured her that it only provided some of the narrative.

The trial continues.

Brother replaced sex offender as hostel warden

ABC March 2, 2012, 2:27 pm

An inquiry investigating child sex abuse at a boarding hostel in country Western Australia has been told the brother of a convicted child abuser should not have been allowed to take over as warden.

The inquiry led by former Supreme Court Judge Peter Blaxell is investigating who knew about the long term serial abuse of boarders by the then warden Dennis McKenna.

McKenna ran the hostel from 1975 to 1990, until he was charged and convicted of abusing boys at the St Andrew’s hostel in Katanning in the 70s and 80s.

His brother Neil was working as a supervisor at the hostel and took over when Dennis McKenna was sent to jail.

Neil McKenna will face a judge-alone trial this month, over accusations that he abused girls while working at the hostel.

Parent Ken Reddington told the inquiry today it was inappropriate to replace Dennis with his brother.

The inquiry continues.

Brother accused of sex abuse

Amanda Banks and Gary Adshead, The West Australian November 19, 2011, 7:28 am

The brother of a convicted serial paedophile, whose crimes have triggered an inquiry into sex abuse at a State-run boarding hostel, will stand trial next month charged with molesting two students at the same government facility.

Details of the case emerged in the District Court on Thursday when defence lawyer Patti Chong unsuccessfully applied to adjourn the December trial of Neil Vincent McKenna.

Ms Chong argued that the case should be adjourned because of publicity over Dennis John McKenna’s convictions and a pending inquiry into the St Andrew’s Hostel in Katanning.

Neil McKenna, who was not in court because he was working on a mine site, submitted through his lawyer copies of articles published in The West Australian and extracts from speeches in State Parliament Hansard in an affidavit.

Ms Chong said the publicity began with an article published in The West Australian on November 5 and also included a story published on November 7.

She told the court that the articles were with respect to Neil McKenna’s older brother Dennis McKenna, a former warden at St Andrew’s Hostel who was recently sentenced to six years jail for his abuse of children aged between 13 and 16 at the hostel.

In 1991, Dennis McKenna was convicted of sexual offences against five victims.

Neil McKenna is alleged to have sexually abused two complainants between 1986 and 1991 when he was employed as a supervisor and senior supervisor at the hostel.

Addressing the court less than half an hour before Premier Colin Barnett announced the details of an inquiry headed by retired Supreme Court judge Peter Blaxell, Ms Chong said the form of the inquiry was not yet known.

She argued that if an inquiry was announced, it would greatly prejudice Neil McKenna.

The State opposed the adjournment of the trial, submitting that the publicity had been directed at the convictions against the accused man’s brother and the jury could be adequately directed to guard against any prejudice.

Refusing Ms Chong’s application, District Court Chief Judge Peter Martino said it was important that none of the publicity had concerned Neil McKenna and there had been no reference to him.

He said the trial judge would be likely to instruct the jury to disregard anything that they had read or heard outside the court.

Judge Martino said the jury could be expected to do their duty and comply with the direction, which would still mean Neil McKenna would receive a fair trial.

He said the fact the Government had announced it was considering an inquiry was, at that stage, no basis for adjourning the trial.

 

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Comments
  1. steve says:

    amazing facts,,,put dennis away the second time ,,hope the third time he does not get released

  2. disgusted says:

    how the hell was dennis “des” mckenna allowed to operate a cinema chain in the late 90’s – mid 2000s??

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