Mother despairs after disabled son is assaulted in care

Pauline Nutley just wants the best for her 36-year-old son.
Pauline Nutley just wants the best for her 36-year-old son. Christopher Chan

LEE Nutley looks like he's been in a car accident. His eyes are blackened, and there's bruising on his neck and chest.

Last week, Lee was involved in an altercation with another client he lives with in a Disability Services Queensland house in Rockhampton.

Lee is 36. He has cerebral palsy and a mild intellectual impairment.

His devoted family waited 15 years to get Lee into a house. In the three years he's been there, Lee has been physically assaulted five times by other clients.

Lee's mum Pauline said he lived with three other men in their 60s.

"One is bedridden," she said.

"The others appear to have sustained brain injuries."

Pauline says there's a desperate need for more housing, compatibility and purpose.

"The list for housing is meant to be for disabled people," Pauline said. "But they keep adding people from the hospitals as well.

"It's jeopardising the lifestyle for the disabled people and their parents."

Pauline said there was nothing in the house for clients to do. She's taken it upon herself to give her son purpose.

"He has two World Vision children he sponsors," she said.

"He can make them cards and send stickers, learn about Africa and write letters."

Pauline desperately wants to see accommodation built in the Gladstone region.

"There are seven houses in Rockhampton and only one in Gladstone," she said.

Lee is set to return to Rockhampton this week. To say that Pauline is nervous is an understatement.

"Do we have to wait till he gets hit again?" she said. "He deserves a quality of life.

"He's already limited by what he was born with. I want it to be better for him."


Pauline's wishlist:

  • More accommodation in the Gladstone region where disabled people can receive 24-hour care and be placed in houses according to age and compatibility.
  • A facility where disabled people can be employed and have a purpose, along with making a contribution to the community.
  • More funding for disability services.

Topics:  assault disability disability services queensland gladstone rockhampton

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