Death threat against protected witness

By Stephen Gibbs
June 10 2003

The Sun-Herald Australia

The man who gathered evidence used to accuse a cabinet minister in the Carr Government of having sex with a teenage boy claims he has received an anonymous death threat.

A protected Wood royal commission witness, W26, said yesterday he received a telephone call at his unlisted home number last Thursday night from a man threatening to murder his parents.

In response, W26 had considered shredding 25 folders of documents, including a statement containing allegations against the minister, which Liberal MP Charlie Lynn repeated in Parliament two weeks ago.

W26, a convicted child sex offender, said yesterday: "They just said, 'If the gun in the mouth wasn't enough, then killing your f---ing parents might be'."

The 43-year-old said the caller accurately described what his mother had worn that day.

W26 said the "gun in the mouth" comment referred to an incident when he was about 19 that was not widely known outside pedophilia circles.

"They demanded all the documents," he said of the caller.

No claim W26 has made against others has resulted in a successful prosecution. He has not contacted police about the alleged death threat.

In 1996, W26 told the royal commission he was the victim of a Wollongong pedophile network. By the time he gave evidence, he was in jail on pedophilia charges.

In 1998 he spoke to a fellow inmate at Silverwater who named a cabinet minister as having "f---ed me and robbed me" in the early 1990s when he was 15.

W26 passed this allegation onto Strike Force Cori. The allegation had not been tested in court or made public until Mr Lynn's statement.

"Unfortunately, this is only too typical of what happens in this area of whistleblowing," Whistleblowers Australia president Dr Jean Lennane said of the death threat.