Sensational claims of cover ups and corruption in a major hospital have come to light.
Sensational claims of cover ups and corruption in a major hospital have come to light.

Midnight paedophile strikes in children’s ward

SENSATIONAL claims of cover ups and corruption in one of Tasmania's major hospitals have come to light, as a man breaks his silence over another alleged paedophile nurse.

Ben Felton, 44, was abused by a nurse in Launceston General Hospital as a teenager, according to independent journalist Camille Bianchi, in her podcast The Nurse, where last year she revealed the horrific crimes of James Geoffrey Griffin.

Launceston General Hospital nurse James (Jim) Geoffrey Griffin. SOURCE: SUPPLIED
Launceston General Hospital nurse James (Jim) Geoffrey Griffin. SOURCE: SUPPLIED

Griffin was charged with a dozen child sex abuse offences after 30 years working at the hospital. He committed suicide shortly after he was charged.

Mr Felton was 13 in 1989 when he was admitted to the hospital's paediatric ward with a case of pneumonia.

"This was back when they didn't have rooms, it was just one big room … about 11.30 at night I asked the nurse who was on shift for a drink of water," he told the podcast.

Thirteen public servants have been stood down amid the State Government’s crackdown on child sexual abuse. Picture: PATRICK GEE
Thirteen public servants have been stood down amid the State Government’s crackdown on child sexual abuse. Picture: PATRICK GEE

"(The nurse) took me into the hospital pantry or kitchen … and gave me a glass of water. He then started feeling my abdomen and asking me a lot of questions.

"He then pulled my pants down and he touched me while he was smiling."

Mr Felton alleges he slapped the man's hand away and "bolted".

Sources in the podcast allege a deal was made with Ben's parents after the young boy told his father what happened.

A senior hospital employee 'Steve' allegedly promised Mr Felton's family the nurse would be reprimanded and his permanent record would be marked.

 

'Steve' allegedly quashed any claims of child sex abuse in the ward, according to the nurses.

The alleged paedophile nurse was "shuffled" away, according to Ms Bianchi - but another ex-employee said the man tried to get a job in the ward again 12-13 years later and remains employed in Tasmania's health system.

There are also claims the man worked in other institutions with children including the Scouts.

After years of red tape and frustration attempting to follow up what happened to him as a child, Mr Felton finally acquired hard copies of the nurses reports from 1989.

"So now I've got the records and it wasn't a figment of my imagination and it did get brushed under the carpet … (Steve's) probably forgotten all about this, but I certainly haven't," Mr Felton said.

Since the claims last year the State Government has stood down 13 public service employees in response to sexual abuse or misconduct reports.

Marcia Neave is the president of Tasmania’s Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse. Picture: Ian Currie
Marcia Neave is the president of Tasmania’s Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse. Picture: Ian Currie

However it refuses to release further details about any allegations until claims are fully investigated.

Last month Marcia Neave was announced as the president for the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse in government institutions.

Tasmania's equivalent of a Royal Commission, the broad-ranging inquiry will have the power to hold hearings in public, to call witnesses and to demand the production of documents.

It replaced three inquiries that had already announced: into allegations of abuse in the Health Department, the education department and in the Ashley Youth Detention Centre.

Premier Peter Gutwein acknolwedged the podcast, however refused to make comment on whether the nurse was still working in Tasmania's health system.

Premier Peter Gutwein refused to comment on the allegations. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Premier Peter Gutwein refused to comment on the allegations. Picture: Zak Simmonds

"I read and heard of Mr Felton's circumstances over the last 24 hours. Firstly can I just say it's brave he has brought these matters forward," he said.

"In terms of these matters, the one thing I'm certain that all of the brave victims that have raised these matters want to be assured of is that the government does not engage in discussion about matters that might ultimately prejudice justice being served."

 

navarone.farrell@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as Midnight paedophile strikes in children's ward


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