Paedophile Dennis John McKenna threatened to cut all business with a Katanning electronics repair shop after accusing the shop owner of spreading rumours about St Andrew's Hostel a year before he was charged with molesting students.
Adding to evidence of McKenna's strange and powerful grip on the town, a letter from McKenna to the repair shop owner was tendered at an additional hearing of the St Andrew's inquiry yesterday.
In a statement to the inquiry, retired electronic design engineer Kenneth John Elwin, 71, said St Andrew's Hostel was among the clientele served by his shop Elwin TV and Video Repair Service.
Mr Elwin said McKenna used to bring in items on behalf of students and had become upset about the method of payment, after Mr Elwin said everything invoiced to the hostel required an order number or would have to be paid for in cash.
In the letter typed on the hostel's official letterhead and dated August 1, 1990, McKenna accused Mr Elwin of telling a parent who had come into his shop that a student had left because of poor care. "I wish to bring to your notice that you do not know what you are talking about," McKenna wrote.
"Have you ever visited us, spoken to one of our students? No!
"We all are very upset with your mannerisms and certainly you will not benefit from any business from us or the 135 families associated with this hostel. Yours faithfully, Dennis McKenna."
Mr Elwin said he believed McKenna had sent the letter because "he did not get his own way".
"It appeared to me that Dennis always got what he wanted around town," he said in his submission.
The inquiry also heard from the former publican of the Federal Hotel, Peter John Flockhart, 73, who said he had seen police officer William "Bill" Todd at his hotel several times. The inquiry previously heard from barmaid "M", who said she had informed Insp. Todd of rumours about the hostel when he came to the hotel.Insp. Todd, who has denied the account, responded to Mr Flockhart's claims, saying he believed the publican had him confused with another police officer.
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