Former Australian under-19 cricketer Jamie Mitchell sues Cricket Australia over sexual abuse allegations

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Former elite junior cricketer Jamie Mitchell is suing Cricket Australia for the trauma and misery he has allegedly suffered because of the 1985 Australian under-19 tour of India and Sri Lanka.Key factors:Former cricketer Jamie Mitchell alleges he was sexually assaulted throughout a cricket tour in 1985The conduct of a health care provider and a coach on the tour have been the topic of an AFP investigationMitchell’s legal professionals are suing Cricket Australia because of allegationsOn Wednesday, Mitchell’s legal professionals issued Cricket Australia with a writ and assertion of declare, searching for damages over the results of an alleged sexual assault on the tour. “That tour broken Jamie and he has lived with the results for nearly 40 years,” Mitchell’s lawyer Michael Magazanik of Rightside Authorized stated. “He’s making his authorized declare to carry these accountable to account. This can be a second of fact for Cricket Australia. It may well observe the Catholic Church’s lead and interact in authorized warfare with survivors, or it could actually tackle its previous and take a constructive method to the problem of historic sexual abuse in junior cricket.”In January, an ABC Sport investigation revealed Mitchell returned from the journey and advised confidantes that he had been sexually assaulted on the ultimate night time of the tour in Colombo and feared that he had contracted AIDS.On the night of the alleged abuse, Mitchell fell ailing and was positioned beneath heavy sedation by the Australian crew physician, Malcolm McKenzie.Dr McKenzie knowledgeable Mitchell’s teammates that Mitchell was “quarantined” and no person was to enter his lodge room, leaving a 10-hour window through which Mitchell was allegedly attacked.Quickly after Mitchell’s return from the tour, the late John Miles, a revered determine in Melbourne membership cricket and a member of Victorian Parliament, approached Mitchell’s mother and father to debate the journey and stated: “I believe you’ve got a proper to know that Jamie was raped.”Mitchell’s mother and father recalled that of their shocked state, in addition they heard the phrases “Jamie advised me”, “somebody in authority” and “physician”, the latter a reference to Dr McKenzie.In current months, ABC Sport has interviewed a lot of males who say they have been sexually abused by Dr McKenzie as teenage boys within the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties.Sexual assault assist providers:Different helplines:Every man stated Dr McKenzie was their trusted household GP in Malvern, south of Melbourne, and that the offences occurred beneath the guise of reliable medical remedy.Upon his demise in 1998, Dr McKenzie was lauded by colleagues from the Australian Medical Affiliation, the height medical physique of whom he was as soon as elected Victorian president.However one survivor of Dr McKenzie’s abuse advised ABC Sport that on the time of his demise, Dr McKenzie was going through imminent authorized motion from a gaggle of abuse victims.’This isn’t proper. What are we doing right here?’After Mitchell’s story got here to the eye of Sports activities Integrity Australia, the conduct of Dr McKenzie and Australian under-19s coach Bob Bitmead on the 1985 tour turned the main focus of an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation. As but, no fees have been laid.Gamers on the tour advised ABC Sport of the discomfort and anger they felt about what they witnessed, significantly Bitmead’s shut affiliation with younger Indian and Sri Lankan boys, which they declare included the coach’s photographing of younger boys in his lodge room.One participant advised ABC Sport: “It was in our faces … I bear in mind guys within the crew saying, ‘What’s going on? This isn’t proper. What are we doing right here?’. It was not good.”The sensation of being on that tour, significantly in the direction of the top, was that [Bitmead’s behaviour] was so blatant. It simply makes me really feel a bit sick, actually.”Requested to verify allegations that he typically had younger boys in his lodge rooms, Bitmead advised ABC Sport: “No, not likely. Nicely, once more, a number of the gamers that have been within the Indian aspect would are available in, however they have been all the time two or three and never, you recognize … They’d simply pop in and say good day and we would speak there for some time, and that was it. It was very seldom. I would not say it was an everyday prevalence, but it surely did occur, sure.” Jamie Mitchell (highlighted, far proper) and (highlighed, left to proper) crew physician Malcolm McKenzie, crew supervisor Jack Bennett, coach Bob Bitmead on the under-19 tour.(Provided)Requested if he’d photographed younger boys in his room, Bitmead stated: “I can not affirm or deny. I could have. Let me suppose. I am making an attempt to … No, not likely, no. I’ve taken images of them on the floor and out round. Simply common images that you just take whereas on tour. However no, should you’re inferring that I used to be taking photographs within the room, no.”Bitmead, who coached the elite Victorian under-19s squad for 5 years and the nationwide crew throughout three seasons, led groups that produced a golden era of Australian cricketers, together with Steve and Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Paul Reiffel and Tom Moody.Bitmead denied that he used these positions to hunt sexual gratification.’A whole lot of pointless anxiousness’Mitchell’s teammates have rallied round him in current months, however the occasions of the tour and CA’s dealing with of Mitchell’s current grievance have been a supply of frustration and anger.Some gamers from the 1985 tour have been unimpressed with Cricket Australia chief govt Nick Hockley’s failure to challenge an apology to the squad, his declare that the governing physique’s remedy of Mitchell was “greatest follow”, and CA’s choice to present delicate data to the media earlier than it was handed on to Mitchell.”I’ve needed to discover issues out second-hand,” Mitchell advised ABC Sport on the time.”That has induced me lots of pointless anxiousness.”In August 2021, Mitchell contacted Cricket Australia along with his issues, however stated that 10 days later, he was “fobbed off” and felt no empathy in a name from Hockley, who directed Mitchell to Cricket Australia’s integrity unit.”If that is the best way that Jamie nonetheless feels about it then I am very sorry that that is the best way I made Jamie really feel,” Hockley advised ABC Sport in January.”For individuals who know me, I believe they, hopefully, think about that I am a caring and thoughtful particular person, so I can solely apologise to Jamie. It wasn’t my intention to make him really feel that manner. Procedurally, I felt we have been doing the suitable factor.”Cricket Australia solely signed as much as the Nationwide Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Fee into Institutional Responses to Youngster Sexual Abuse after Mitchell’s revelations.In August 2021, when Mitchell’s allegations first got here to the eye of cricket directors, Cricket Australia was listed amongst establishments “intending to affix” the scheme, but it surely was later faraway from the web page after failing to completely decide to the scheme.On January 2, Hockley advised the ABC that Cricket Australia had “signed as much as the Redress Scheme”, however Cricket Australia later confirmed it had signed a memorandum of understanding solely on December 24, 2021, and that its “on-boarding” course of was not full.Mitchell and his teammates have additionally been provided assist by the Australian Cricketers’ Affiliation, which because of ABC Sport’s investigation, prolonged its protection past former first-class gamers to incorporate members of elite junior nationwide squads like Mitchell’s.

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