Daughter unmasks sadistic Melbourne paedophile father
Jaime Lee Page won an eight month legal battle to reveal her real name and the horrific details of her abuse by the hands of her own father, David Hodson.
Hodson is a convicted murderer and spent years sexually terrorising his daughter Jaimie and her older stepsister Carol, who he later murdered in 1997.
He murdered Carol as she reported the rapes and incest occurring in the "house of horrors" to police.
Until now, a sexual assault victim gag law prevented Jaime from revealing her own name and also protected her father as there was no way to reveal his identity without revealing her own.
After a lengthy battle, Jaime has also produced landmark law reforms which are set to restore voice, identity and agency to tens of thousands of sexual assault survivors after campaigning since August with the #LetUsSpeak campaign.
Jaime has gone into detail about what triggered the #LetUsSpeak campaign with news.com.au, with the abuse initially starting at the young age of eight.
“He came into my room at night and asked if I wanted to play a game. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I was so young and so confused and I thought ‘is this what every father does?’”
The abuse continued for years until Jaime was 16, with her older stepsister reporting the abuse she also endured for years at the hands of Hodson.
“When Carol found out what happened to me, she came forward to the police to try and protect me,” Jaime says, “But unfortunately by doing that, she angered my father.”
Carol went into hiding as she was the lead witness, but four days before she was due to give evidence, Hodson tracked her down and shot her three times in broad daylight.
“I was at home one morning and a news clip came on,” Jaime says. “A woman had been gunned down in her car on the way to work and the man had also tried to kill himself. I just thought ‘what a terrible story’.
“Then they had another clip and it showed my father being wheeled out on a stretcher to the air ambulance. I could see the tattoo on his hand that I had seen so many times in my life, and I just knew it was my father.
“I fell to the ground, I was shocked. I was screaming. I wanted my sister back.”
Hodson recovered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was charged with murder.
Things went from bad to worse as Carol's own mother Sue Morris married Hodson, which meant that she would never have to testify against him.
“It made me sick. The wedding was at Port Phillip prison. They even sent me an invitation. It was a gigantic slap in the face to Carol. I wanted nothing to do with it” Jaime says.
With Carol no longer alive to testify and Jaime too traumatised to testify in court, police dropped the sexual abuse charges in 1998 and pursued the single murder count.
Hodson was found guilty and sentenced to 24 years in jail, but in 2018, Jaime was approached by police.
Hodson was scheduled for parole and as he was never convicted of any sexual crimes, he would not have to register as a sex offender.
“I was terrified. Not just for my own children. I wouldn’t want him living next to any family with kids” says Jaime, now a mother herself.
“I thought, if he gets out of jail and is unknown as the sex offender and monster that he is, and the public have no idea of the disgusting crimes he committed against me and my sister, then that’s dangerous: it’s not right.
“So I dug really deep, I found a place where I could share what had happened to me and I came forward and I guess you could say I bravely told my story of my childhood experiences: my horror, my hell.”
After Jaime withstood a lengthy cross examination, Hodson pleaded guilty in 2019 and was sentenced to a further nine years in jail.
However, her joy was short-lived as Hodson appealed the length of the sentence and it was dramatically slashed in March this year, with eligibility for parole in 2022.
“I think that broke me, that was the day that broke me. I felt absolutely disgusted with the court system. I felt alone, let down.”
After months of tirelessly campaigning with #LetHerSpeak and launching #LetUsSpeak, draft legislation was put forward with the intention to amend the gag on living sexual survivors.
However, there was a new gag order on the names of deceased rape victims, including Eurydice Dixon and Jill Meagher. This meant that the proposed gag order would prevent Jaime from ever naming her beloved stepsister Carol as a victim.
An emergency meeting was called between the #LetUsSpeak campaign partners and they decided to fight the proposed gag on deceased victims' names.
Since the launch in October, more than 4,000 letters were sent to parliamentarians via the campaign condemning the Government's proposed gag order.
Justice was finally given last week, with the Government's attempted ban on deceased victim's names stopped in its tracks and new laws being introduced that allow living sexual assault survivors to reclaim their voice and identities.
“Nothing at all was easy in any of this,” says Jaime, “but I feel amazing the law is actually going to change. I am immensely proud. The law should never, ever, ever have been in place, but it turns out people do actually want to listen to survivors: they want to hear us.
“And I know my sister would be so proud. I can now look up towards the sky and know that she’s at peace and justice has finally been served for my sister."
Photo credits: news.com.au
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