Kidnapped teenage boy is still haunted

NEARLY three years after his kidnap and repeated rape by two pedophiles, a Perth teenager has told how the terrifying ordeal still haunts him.

“I am trying to get on with life, but it’s obviously very difficult,” said the 17-year-old, who was 14 when Robbie Sebastian Wheeler and Victor Leslie Urquhart kept him prisoner in a house on Albany Highway, Kelmscott, in 2005.

“What has happened to me is on my mind every day. It is difficult to sleep at night.

“I find it very hard to concentrate. I had to repeat Year 10 and then I tried studying youth work at TAFE, but I couldn’t do it.”

Tomorrow, the boy will lodge an application for criminal injuries compensation against Wheeler and his homosexual lover Urquhart.

The Sunday Times understands a big portion of any payout, which could be up to $300,000, would be spent on treatment for the boy.

In a written statement, the boy and his mother described life since the 20 days in August and September 2005 when he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the men, who had planned to kill him.

“It has affected my relationships with both my family and friends,” the boy said.

“I just thank God they (the offenders) didn’t kill me.”

His mother said: “People often ask me how my son is doing. I tell them his situation is an awfully difficult one and it’s going to take a very long time and a lot of treatment to give him a chance of returning to some normal sort of life.”

The boy was gagged and handcuffed to a bed so he could not escape.

In April last year, Wheeler and Urquhart were convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault and conspiring to kill.

Wheeler was sentenced to 23 years and eight months in jail and Urquhart got 20 years and seven months.

Earlier this month, Wheeler lost an appeal against his sentence, which he claimed was too severe and did not sufficiently consider his own background of being sexually abused as a child.

Perth lawyer Shash Nigam, who is representing the boy pro bono, said: “This was one of the most shocking crimes in not only our state, but indeed Australia’s history.

“It sent a shiver down the spine of every parent and child in Perth.

“My client is suffering with injuries as a result of this incident. He is receiving treatment and will continue to do so for many years to come, and perhaps for the rest of his life.”

Asked why he was doing the case pro bono, Mr Nigam said: “They’re a good battler family and it’s one of those cases.”

The maximum payable by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal is $75,000 for single offences.

But the boy may be eligible for $300,000 because he is filing for compensation against both offenders and could get a payout for the maximum of two offences for each offender.

It could be up to nine months before a decision is made on the application.

Attorney-General Jim McGinty has previously said the crimes were so horrendous the boy could receive compensation of up to $300,000, plus an ex-gratia payment.