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Dennis Mckenna is confronted by Kaye Anderson as he leaves the Magistrate's Court after appearing on a Redress application on old sex charges against boys under 14 on Wednesday October 6, 2010. Mrs Anderson's late son Raymond was one of the victims. WAN PHOTO/Tony ASHBY
The West Australian Dennis Mckenna is confronted by Kaye Anderson as he leaves the Magistrate's Court after appearing on a Redress application on old sex charges against boys under 14 on Wednesday October 6, 2010. Mrs Anderson's late son Raymond was one of the victims. WAN PHOTO/Tony ASHBY

Victims of paedophile Dennis McKenna are seeking legal aid to sue the State Government for compensation that could reach millions of dollars.

Five men had lodged applications, lawyer John Hammond said, but _The West Australian _understands there could be up to eight applicants.

"The victims wish to sue the State Government because they believe the compensation is paltry and doesn't recognise the harm they've suffered while being cared for by the State," Mr Hammond said.

The civil claim would be for pain and suffering while in the care of the St Andrew's Hostel and McKenna, loss of opportunities and psychological impact.

The ex gratia payment offered by the State Government is capped at $45,000.

Victim and whistleblower Todd Jefferis, whose testimony helped reveal the extent of McKenna's crimes, said he had had advice ex gratia payments for some victims might be as low as $5000.

"I'd be absolutely gutted, I'd be destroyed for some of the lads if they were offered $5000," he said. "That would be a severe slap in the face, considering what they have been through and the courage they have shown."

Former boarder Mike Hilder said the lifelong legacy of McKenna's abuse had meant many had battled to hold down a regular job.

McKenna, who is serving a six-year jail term, is due to be sentenced on more than 30 new charges of child sex offences on Monday.