Dylan Voller Tells Of Awful Abuse At Don Dale In Royal Commission Testimony

Dylan Voller, the teen whose shocking experience of being hooded and strapped to a chair while at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre was broadcast on ABC‘s 4Corners, has spoken out for the first time about his experiences inside the centre.

He gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory via video link today, after a last-minute application by the NT Solicitor-General Sonia Brownhill to have his testimony suppressed was denied.

The 19 year old – who’s currently an inmate at the Holtze Correctional Centre in Darwin –  in spoke about the horrific treatment of detainees at Don Dale, telling the court about frequent strip-searches, being starved as punishment, and once being forced to defecate into a pillowcase after he was denied a bathroom trip for five hours.

“It was disgusting, cockroaches, dust, you felt trapped, you couldn’t really talk to anyone else,” he told the court. “The only bit of the outside world you got was when you were driving to court or yelling out at the top of your lungs to young people next door at the school.”

He said he was frequently denied food as a form of punishment, and that inmates were often forced to wait hours before a guard would let them out of their cells for a drink of water.

“Because I was swearing they would punish me, they wouldn’t give me dinner, I had to wait for the next day, or they wouldn’t give me breakfast, or lunch, depending what time of the day it was,” he said. “One time one youth justice officer could see how hungry I was and he chucked fruit and muesli bars through the cell door and said, ‘here, eat’. He could see how hungry I was and he didn’t agree with them starving me, I guess.”

And as for that defecating into a pillowcase business, he said he wasn’t able to chuck out the soiled pillowcase until he was let out the next morning.

“”I’d been asking to go to the toilet for four or five hours and they kept saying no, and I ended up having to defecate into a pillowcase because they wouldn’t let me go to the toilet. There’s been other times I had to urinate out the door or back windows because they wouldn’t come down.”

Voller broke down while describing how one guard continually told him that his family didn’t care about him.

“I had one case worker I remember that was saying my family didn’t really care about me and stuff like that,” he said through tears. “For a long time I started believing it, I guess.”

The disturbing evidence has shocked Australia.

The Royal Commission continues.

Source: ABC / News.com.au.

Photo: 4Corners.