Paedophiles years of abuse
The West Australian
28th May 2012
One of WA's most notorious paedophiles was secretly preying on boys at Fairbridge Farm School more than a decade before his first arrest on sexual abuse charges, a victim has revealed.
Robert Ernest Excell, who attained notoriety for spending 37 years in WA prisons after a string of sex crimes against children as young as seven, can now be shown to have begun a lifetime of child rape earlier than ever suspected.
Revelations about his unpunished, early crimes against young children have emerged along with evidence Excell was himself a victim of sexual abuse at Fairbridge.
Documentation obtained by _The West Australian _, including an unpublished manuscript the sex offender wrote in prison, shows Excell was forcibly sent to the Fairbridge Farm School as a child migrant where he says he was sexually abused by staff during the 1950s.
The serial sex fiend's previously hidden reign of terror at the farm school is the latest bombshell to rock the ailing Fairbridge reputation, after _The Weekend West _revealed that more than 200 child migrants forcibly sent to the institution have been awarded more than $1.1 million in ex-gratia payments by the WA Government for sexual, psychological and physical abuse they suffered there while in State care.
A child migrant, who asked not to be named, has spoken out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Excell.
He said he was one of several children who were molested by Excell in the 1950s when the paedophile was a teenager.
The child migrant said he was too afraid to report the incident to Fairbridge staff at the time.
"This bloke (Excell), he threatened us," he said. "I was a young bloke and he was near enough to being as big as a full-sized man. When you've got a bloke like that you just shut up."
_The West Australian _has sighted the Redress WA application in which the victim detailed Excell's abuse.
The WA Government, which accepted the victim's claim, awarded him just over $10,000.
Alarmingly, the child migrant said he believed the extent of Excell's sex crimes against Fairbridge children could be much more widespread, because after leaving the institution staff allowed him to return and "help out, with the kids."
In a 99-year-old registry book - missing for decades until it was anonymously dropped off at the farm school last year - Excell is listed as having arrived at Fairbridge on June 24, 1950, at age 11.
Excell, who says he was first molested as a boy in Britain, wrote that he was raped by a staff member at Fairbridge.
In his prison manuscript, Excell wrote that his abuser was still working at Fairbridge and molesting children there when he returned at age 21. He said the children had asked him if he was aware this staff member was a predator.
"I said I knew that from when I was a kid, they said he had a couple of regulars and kept them in money."
Excell also chillingly wrote of the sickening thoughts going through his tortured mind when he took children on unsupervised outings.
"They all went in swimming. In my mind was to ask them if the sex stuff still went on in the cottages - right at that moment I felt like holding one of them."
He admitted touching at least one child under the guise of "fooling around" and wrote that he wanted the minor to commit sex acts on him.
One child migrant, who did not wished to be named, said there were at least three paedophiles among the Fairbridge staff that preyed on children in the 1950s.
Excell was first jailed in 1965 after he sodomised a seven-year-old boy. In 1973, he raped a nine-year-old boy and in 1977, he raped a 13-year-old boy.
Excell was freed in 1981 but within 18 months was charged with sex crimes against a nine and 10-year-old boy. Excell drove the children to the Fairbridge area where he made them commit indecent acts with each other and with him.
In July 2005, former attorney-general Jim McGinty deported him to Britain.
In May 2010, a British tabloid photographed him reportedly "leering" at schoolchildren.
He died in January last year, aged 72, according to reports in the British press. Fairbridge WA Inc, the modern day organisation that operates on part of the old farm school site, was formed in 1983 and has no links with child migration.