Don Dale inmates paid $100k for abuse

The NT government will reportedly pay ex-teen inmates Dylan Voller and Jake Roper some $100,000 after they were tear gassed and held in isolation at Don Dale.

The Northern Territory government will reportedly pay former Don Dale Youth Detention Centre inmates Dylan Voller and Jake Roper more than $100,000 for their treatment behind bars.

Lawyers for the former detainees and the Labor government settled a long-running civil lawsuit earlier this month, which was launched after the pair was held in isolation for 17 days and tear gassed at Darwin's infamous youth jail in 2014.

The pair's lawyer, Peter O'Brien, wouldn't disclose confidential details of the settlement but the NT News reveals Voller and Roper will each receive between $50,000 and $60,000 in compensation.

Mr O'Brien says Voller and Roper are satisfied with the outcome and relieved they won't have to relive their ordeal while giving evidence in a witness box.

"They had no pressure put on them, we were ready to run the case and it represents a compromise from both sides," he told AAP.

The matter had been running for nearly two years in the midst of the juvenile justice royal commission, which was sparked when footage of Voller being strapped to a restraint chair and spithooded was aired on national television last year.

The 20-year-old and Roper, who sued for unlawful imprisonment in prolonged solitary confinement, both testified during the $54 million inquiry's hearings.

"He was obviously very traumatised by that experience," Mr O'Brien said.

"It's been very difficult, they've both been extremely brave to have come forward."

Both the previous Country Liberals government and current Labor administration had refused to settle until now, and Mr O'Brien labelled the NT a "confronting jurisdiction".

A class action of other former Don Dale detainees is underway in the Federal Court, and Mr O'Brien hopes Voller's result will inspire others to share their stories.

It comes after Justice Judith Kelly in March ruled that the use of gas at Don Dale was both "reasonable and necessary" in a separate case of four other teenagers who sued the government.

Those boys received $53,000 in total damages, but have since appealed over the decision.

2 min read
Published 22 December 2017 at 11:24am
Source: AAP