Victim of bay Gammy s father speaks out
Worried: Sarah and her newborn. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

A victim of David Farnell, the father at the centre of the baby Gammy surrogacy scandal, has urged authorities not to let the boy and his twin sister be left in the convicted child sex offender's care.

Mr Farnell was jailed for three years in 1997 for repeatedly sexually assaulting the woman and her sister, who were aged 7 and 10 at the time, over two years in the 1980s.

Sarah - not her real name - has spoken publicly for the first time to _The Weekend West _ since she was abused by Mr Farnell 30 years ago in light of this month's furore about Gammy, who has Down syndrome.

The Thai surrogate mother who gave birth to Mr Farnell and his wife Wendy's twins accused the Bunbury couple of abandoning Gammy and only bringing his healthy sister Pipah to Australia.

Sarah, now 39, said she feared for the future and safety of Pipah and other children left with Mr Farnell.

"This needs to stop," she said.

"We need to stop putting these perpetrators first and allowing different laws only at different times, because there are so many innocent babies and children that are abused day in, day out. It's disgusting."

Legal experts believe Mr Farnell would not have been allowed to enter into a surrogacy arrangement in Australia because of his criminal past.

Thailand's commercial surrogacy industry, on the other hand, is mostly unregulated.

THAILAND VOWS 'LENIENCY' IN SURROGACY CASES

Sarah was in hospital in Queensland, where she now lives, having given birth to her first baby when Pattharamon Janbua's allegations were made public.

Sarah, her sister and their family were shocked and upset when it emerged Mr Farnell was the twins' father. Sarah's father Bob - not his real name - said their main concern was that Mr Farnell should not be allowed to have custody of the children.

"He's just a person you cannot trust, not one little bit," he said.

"Our concern is that five, 10 years down the track, it's all forgotten and who's going to protect them and friends of his kids."

The family lived in the same neighbourhood as Mr Farnell in the 1980s. Court papers show the offences were committed in Mr Farnell's home and garden shed.

Mr Farnell was also convicted in 1998 of four indecent dealing offences against an 11-year-old girl and an 18-month term was added to his jail sentence.

Sarah, who works with children with disabilities, said she wanted to highlight the impact Mr Farnell's offences had on her family. "Kids are vulnerable and a lot of children don't say what's going on," she said. "The damage is done and it can take years to repair. It's my belief he should not have any children - not just him, all paedophiles."

In a television interview, Mr Farnell denied abandoning Gammy in Thailand and said he was not a threat to children.

Department for Child Protection officers are still investigating and assessing Pipah's safety and wellbeing.

The West Australian

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