The West

The inquiry into child abuse at a State run hostel has been told a former politician called Leslie Logan may have played a role in stopping an investigation into sex assault at the hostel.

Mr Logan’s name had been suppressed until today when the inquiry heard evidence that a ward of the State was routinely molested by the hostel’s warden Dennis John McKenna in 1982 and 1983.

When that child complained to his welfare officer an inquiry was ordered but stopped just as the investigation was to begin.

The ward of the State has given a statement to the inquiry outlining graphic details of child abuse at the hand of McKenna.

Brian Ross Humphries previously gave evidence on February 20 that when he worked for the Child Welfare Department he was asked to go to Katanning to investigate allegations of “physical ill-treatment” of a child at the hostel but was later told to cease his investigation under the orders of a politician.

Mr Humphries wrote the name on a piece of paper but the name was suppressed.

Mr Logan, who died in December 2000 at the age of 92, was an MLC who held Local Government and Child Welfare ministerial portfolios. He left politics in the 1980s.

A statement was read to the inquiry on Monday from one of Mr Logan’s daughters who said she strongly believed her father would have wanted an investigation into child abuse to go ahead.

The daughter of Mr Logan says her late father never would have interfered with such a case.

She described her father as a “wonderful grandfather” who cared about all children and said she struggled to accept that he could have had such an influence on an investigation.

Premier Colin Barnett ordered the inquiry into how McKenna got away with sexual abuse at St Andrew’s hostel for 15 years.

Police are also investigating new allegations from former hostel boarders.

The inquiry has heard from public servants, parents and victims that complaints as early as 1976 were ignored.

The West Australian

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