Grief counsellor sexually preyed on teen victims

David Bonython-Wright outside court in December, 2011. The grief-counsellor is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of sexually abusing two teenagers. Full Story
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Chris Mann

Adelaide, Australia

#1 May 1, 2013
Having known David for 17 years and experienced significant trauma of losing my son Aaron, David was my rock and mentor who helped me get though dark times that only a truely skilled person could achieve.

David has worked with seriously damaged people who have needed understanding and care beyond what most people will ever understand.

I would trust David with my children without hesitation.

Having followed this case closely it is a warning to every person in a level of trust, teachers, health workers, sports coaches etc that you can be accused of anything without proof and no matter what level of defence you have it matters little.

People can make claims without proof with the prospect of significant gain so long as they use the "sexual exploitation" banner.

I have no sympathy for sexual predators but there needs to be a balance of fair treatment, current laws have swung the pendulum to a level where we maybe not protecting the innocent, which should always be the prioity of our law process.
Anonymous

Australia

#2 May 2, 2013
Chris, its shocking and, for some, almost impossible to believe that someone you trusted could commit such crimes, but sadly that is the truth of this matter. Incidentally, there is no financial gain whatsoever for the victims in this instance. Your assumptions are misplaced.
Anonymous

Adelaide, Australia

#3 May 3, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
Chris, its shocking and, for some, almost impossible to believe that someone you trusted could commit such crimes, but sadly that is the truth of this matter. Incidentally, there is no financial gain whatsoever for the victims in this instance. Your assumptions are misplaced.
To the above comment, I think you will find that there will be financial gain in this matter, that is yet to be told or known. Victims of crime do receive payouts.

And sadly, the truth is that David Bonython-Wright is an innocent man, being the test subject of a new law that makes it impossible to defend yourself. The truth is, that the people who actually know this man know he is innocent, its not a question of it being impossible or hard to believe, its the fact that the evidence and the people who actually know David know he didn't commit the crime.

Our legal system has made it incredibly hard for the accused as in the past there was certainly a lot of victims that didn't receive the justice they deserve. But now the tables have completely turned leaving the accused with very little support as we put more weight onto a story than fact.
It is no secret that there are innocent people in jail, and who is fighting for them?
Bek

Unley, Australia

#4 May 3, 2013
As a law student that has studied this area of law, I took great interest in this case. I sat in the court house and heard the evidence. The extreme inconsistencies in the stories of the alleged victims and evidence of the defence left me thinking there was no doubt that David would be acquitted. I was completely blown away when he was found guilty. I am left with no doubt that David is innocent. I feel devastated that the judicial system could have failed so miserably here.
Anon

Australia

#5 May 4, 2013
@bek it saddens me that you have come to that conclusion.
You clearly have a lot more to learn, and when you sit and study the 4 years of transcripts that have to do with this case and speak to the professionals who help these cases go to trial (the process it takes to get them there), perhaps then, and only then, you should make a judgement.
Anon

Australia

#6 May 4, 2013
Bek, you make me laugh. Question for you, would trust the opinion of a student surgeon on a diagnosis about your terminal illness? Lot to learn.
Anonymous

Australia

#7 May 4, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
To the above comment, I think you will find that there will be financial gain in this matter, that is yet to be told or known. Victims of crime do receive payouts.
And sadly, the truth is that David Bonython-Wright is an innocent man, being the test subject of a new law that makes it impossible to defend yourself. The truth is, that the people who actually know this man know he is innocent, its not a question of it being impossible or hard to believe, its the fact that the evidence and the people who actually know David know he didn't commit the crime.
Our legal system has made it incredibly hard for the accused as in the past there was certainly a lot of victims that didn't receive the justice they deserve. But now the tables have completely turned leaving the accused with very little support as we put more weight onto a story than fact.
It is no secret that there are innocent people in jail, and who is fighting for them?
First, there is no 'new law' to strip away rights of the accused. He was tried under laws that applied at the time of the offences. Second, how could the 'people who know David' know he Is innocent? They weren't there! David did a lot of good, I 'know' i was witness to it. But equally he was very fond of young boys. I 'know'- i witnessed that too. All the 'people that know David' know is what they experienced, nothing more. And you think two young men fooled a judge, a magistrate, a jury, senior police and the DPP over several years - and they all got it wrong? Even the best QC David's money could buy could not obscure the truth. Get real. Others also 'know' the sad truth about David but because of idiotic denials and earnest public declarations by 'people who know David' are fearful to come forward.
Chris Mann

Adelaide, Australia

#8 May 20, 2013
Anon & Anonymous

I would have a little bit of respect for you if you actually put your name to your comments, you clearly do not have the balls to do this.

Lets hope that someone never accuses you of doing something that you didn't do and without any proof or without you being able to have a fair assessment of your side of the story you go to gaol for 10 years!!!

I have no time for anybody who commits sexual assault but I would rather free 5 guilty people than lock up one innocent person
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
First, there is no 'new law' to strip away rights of the accused. He was tried under laws that applied at the time of the offences. Second, how could the 'people who know David' know he Is innocent? They weren't there! David did a lot of good, I 'know' i was witness to it. But equally he was very fond of young boys. I 'know'- i witnessed that too. All the 'people that know David' know is what they experienced, nothing more. And you think two young men fooled a judge, a magistrate, a jury, senior police and the DPP over several years - and they all got it wrong? Even the best QC David's money could buy could not obscure the truth. Get real. Others also 'know' the sad truth about David but because of idiotic denials and earnest public declarations by 'people who know David' are fearful to come forward.
Victim

Adelaide, Australia

#9 Jun 3, 2013
Bek wrote:
As a law student that has studied this area of law, I took great interest in this case. I sat in the court house and heard the evidence. The extreme inconsistencies in the stories of the alleged victims and evidence of the defence left me thinking there was no doubt that David would be acquitted. I was completely blown away when he was found guilty. I am left with no doubt that David is innocent. I feel devastated that the judicial system could have failed so miserably here.
God help the people you represent Bec Cause I never told a single lie in my testimony and you my dear are not remotely in touch with reality and by the sounds of your comment you are biased and personally affiliated with Mr Bonython Wrong........ You know little my dear.
Ange

Saint Kilda, Australia

#10 Jun 3, 2013
There is no question that David is an innocent man. He has been like a father to my husband, since he was a very young boy, and has been an amazing, positive influence in his life. He is also a beautiful father to his children. He is someone we love and respect. I feel so, so sad that these two men could construct such a lie and put an innocent man in jail. A man who has dedicated his entire life to helping others. It is obvious that these men who accused David never thought it would go this far, from their comments made to the media after the sentencing. Now they will have to live with themselves for the rest of their lives, knowing they sent an innocent man to jail and shattered his career, family and friends. We stand strong behind you Dave. We agree with you Bek. Good luck with your studies. You can obviously see the truth amongst a sea of lies.
Anonymous

Adelaide, Australia

#11 Jun 5, 2013
I have been reading the posts constantly and now have the courage to write.
I chose to remain anonymous as I made a conscious choice to slowly cease my friendship with David a number of years ago; my perception of events & attitudes & actions over a period of time was the catalyst. There were other people with similar responses; there were too many contradictions.
David has won the right to appeal, continuing to profess his innocence, and I hope that due and fair legal process is followed. My knowledge of what is happening is only through media & options to express thoughts, so may appear to be biased.
In working with survivors of abuse, decisions to follow legal recourse are not taken lightly by the victims; it is a horrendous experience. The start of prosecution is also not considered unless there is sufficient cause that can be substantiated through vigorous legal process. The two men in this instance made a decision to follow that path.
David has undertaken some good work over the years, a credit to him and his profession. Also being a great father and family man, and good friend – again acknowledgment of that. The support for his innocence has come from this part of his life and work. No doubt this is maintaining David and his family at this difficult time.
However, in the whirlpool of difficult emotions and disbelief that this has created for all, I have concern that this situation is not viewed as for what it is – a part of history that needed rectifying on a number of levels. The judge’s sentencing comments were chilling, and whether an appeal can change some of this remains to be seen.
Mel

Adelaide, Australia

#12 Jun 7, 2013
He was my counsellor and I really don't know what to believe but all I know was he was the only person I could let things off my chest to :(
Anonymous

Adelaide, Australia

#13 Jun 9, 2013
Mel, just believe in the person you knew- he helped you- something that he has devoted his life to doing- helping others.
Nobody can take that away from him or claim that he didn't.

The people that know the accused and the victim believe that he is innocent- and i think that says a lot.
and if someone were to really abuse you- why would you say you didn't want them to go to jail? very strange.
Anonyous

Adelaide, Australia

#14 Jun 10, 2013
Anonymous wrote:
Mel, just believe in the person you knew- he helped you- something that he has devoted his life to doing- helping others.
Nobody can take that away from him or claim that he didn't.
The people that know the accused and the victim believe that he is innocent- and i think that says a lot.
and if someone were to really abuse you- why would you say you didn't want them to go to jail? very strange.
People who profess D's innocence - did not see what I saw many years ago. And this involved another person apart from the two who went to court. And others knew of this situation - not just me. His credibility went out the window. Sure he dedicated his life to helping others like so many counsellors & social/youth workers have done; but the professional boundaries got crossed. What good work he has done let that stand - but I have also struggled knowing what happened and the deception.
Victim

Adelaide, Australia

#15 Jun 15, 2013
You do gooders that keep forcing sunshine up his pathetic stretched arse give me the shits. Yeah he may have tried to correct his karma by doing what he was paid to do, i.e help people, but that doesn't take away one ounce of truth to what he did to me, the other victim and the obviously long list of other victims who haven't had the strength to come forward like we did. HE IS GUILTY. We aren't after his dirty money and his wife is a fucken LIAR. And that is the truth!!!!!!!
anonymous

Australia

#16 Jun 15, 2013
Victim wrote:
You do gooders that keep forcing sunshine up his pathetic stretched arse give me the shits. Yeah he may have tried to correct his karma by doing what he was paid to do, i.e help people, but that doesn't take away one ounce of truth to what he did to me, the other victim and the obviously long list of other victims who haven't had the strength to come forward like we did. HE IS GUILTY. We aren't after his dirty money and his wife is a fucken LIAR. And that is the truth!!!!!!!
so you've changed your mind since the trial that 'if he had told his wife and said sorry to you' and now his wife is a liar?

How would she be a liar if she didnt know?

Or because it didnt happen you're feeling intimidated that people just dnt believe you and your theatrical performance of being a victim isnt convincing anyone.

You continue to contradict yourself
Michael

Adelaide, Australia

#17 Jun 19, 2013
I have know David Since the 70's and yes he helped me in time of need and assisted in my career. I congratulate those young men who brought charges against him how brave you are as I know how difficult it is to do so the pain and suffering have gone through. Talking with friend who also knew David and his wife I would not be surprised that there are many other victims who I would support to come forward. I know David had his share of abuse and trauma in his life but this does not create abuser, power and control does. David has been found guilty by his peers and now he is appealing continuing the pain and suffering and ongoing abuse of the victims. No doubt he will lose his appeal and will have to do his time. Yes David did some great work which now is mean nothing due to his abuse of power for his own sexual gratification.
anonymous

Oaklands, Australia

#18 Jun 21, 2013
to the 'victim',
you're such a scumbag- so inconsiderate of woman.

Once asked me to join in a threesome with one my friends- which you gave an STD to! Such a sicko!!!

And then to 'no longer be angry' at david but continously abuse him and his wife.

There are so many lies coming out of your mouth and the other 'victim'.

How could you not know that he'd go to jail with these kinds of accusations?
Most certainly sounds like a guilty conscious speaking.
Michael

Adelaide, Australia

#19 Jun 24, 2013
I love how nasty and abussive people can be using the anonymous setting. Very brave.....NOT
concerned

Keysborough, Australia

#20 Aug 22, 2013
How sorry I feel for the victims, their courage to speak out. Even when he was found guilty they still get blamed. Isn't this why many victims never come forward, or get to trial. This problem will never stop if we keep victim blaming. To the victims please take heart that some of the comments hear do not reflect what a lot of us think. I hope you find some peace with the guilty verdict, but know that will take time. Wish you well.

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