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Kevin Lynch was a teacher and later a counsellor at the Brisbane Grammar School between 1973 and 1988. Kevin Lynch went on to complete more “counselling” work at St Paul’s School in Bald Hills from 1989 to 1997. He was also a follower of the Christian Brothers.
Kevin Lynch horrifically used his unique position of power to abuse children at the Brisbane Grammar School in the 1980s.
Kevin Lynch offered counselling services to the Brisbane Grammar School’s students behind two large, soundproof doors with red and green light signals to control student or teacher access and had a large stick of baby oil, tissues and towels in this room (which he used to wipe up semen after he had abused children). Kevin Lynch was never questioned about his unorthodox office set-up. According to former Deputy Principal David Coote, Kevin Lynch was trusted to do the right thing and there was nothing wrong with their monitoring process. Former Deputy Principal David Coote allowed Kevin Lynch freedom because monitoring of “relaxation sessions” would discourage boys from seeking counselling, telling the Royal Commission:
If you’re going to have a system for checking up on who goes and how frequently they go, and so forth, then that’s going to discourage students from going at all…
However, in 2015 a survivor of Kevin Lynch’s abuse — known only as BQK — told the Royal Commission the room was a “sick conveyor belt of victims for Lynch”. Behind closed doors, Kevin Lynch was abusing children in the most sadistic fashion imaginable.
BQK told the Royal Commission:
He would regularly masturbate me to the point of ejaculation and sometimes would make me ingest my own semen…
Kevin Lynch told BQK harnessing the power of his orgasms would give him an edge in both studies and sports. Kevin Lynch would also slap BQK in the face as if to gear him up to win a metaphorical race.
“Other times he would use acupuncture needles and put them into my testicles or stick his thumb in my anus,” BQK said.
BQK was a teenager. He received counselling from Kevin Lynch in Grades 9, 10 and 11. BQK trusted Kevin Lynch and assumed these were normal treatment methods – BQK didn’t understand that he had been abused by Kevin Lynch until he was an adult.
Another survivor was abused in a grief counselling session after learning his father had committed suicide. Other student survivors were masturbated or were forced to masturbate Kevin Lynch.
Kevin Lynch was also known to give drugs to the children. For example, BQK was given tablets that made him drowsy or relieved his stress. Kevin Lynch then proceeded to masturbate BQK and anally penetrated him on two separate occasions.
BQK disclosed that fellow students accused BQK of being homosexual because it was common knowledge Kevin Lynch was touching students at Brisbane Grammar School. BQK ended up skipping classes and acting out at school.
On one occasion in 1982, BQK submits the headmaster of Brisbane Grammar School walked in and BQK had his pants down around his ankles. The headmaster called BQK a “sick individual” and told him to go back to class – which the headmaster denied before the Royal Commission.
Former Deputy Principal David Coote confronted BQK about his “inappropriate relationship” with Kevin Lynch. The highest authorities at the Brisbane Grammar School were blaming BQK for the abuse. BQK went on to suffer from anger management issues as an adult and made multiple attempts to end his own life.
Kevin Lynch moved to St Paul’s School in Bald Hills in 1989 where he continued to abuse students until 1997, when a student took a recording device into a counselling session and secretly recorded Kevin Lynch’s confession. On 22 January 1997, Kevin Lynch was charged with nine counts of committing sexual crimes against various children. Kevin Lynch committed suicide before he was able to be prosecuted.
The Royal Commission spoke with more than 80 former students of the Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School. These sessions confirm that Kevin Lynch abused scores of students, and even though some claimed to have reported the abuse to the headmaster and other members of the school board, they were often mistreated, not believed or, alternatively, the headmaster claimed not to know about it.
Furthermore, in 2021, a survivor named David Grimshaw commenced personal injury proceedings against the Brisbane Grammar School claiming a breach of duty in 1979. When David was 13 years old, he was referred to Kevin Lynch for counselling after experiencing anxiety, insecurity and depression. David submits that Kevin Lynch would regularly ask him about masturbation, attempted to hypnotise him and once pulled down David’s pants and adjusted his genitals. David said he felt “duped” by Kevin Lynch, who was more concerned about his own sexual gratification than helping his student.
The abuse I experienced has had a massive impact on my ability to function to my best ability and I feel like I‘ve had a lifetime of failures.
Ever since my encounters with Lynch, I‘ve struggled with mental health and depression to the point of being unfit for work now.
The compensation I’m seeking won’t change the trajectory that my life took after school and it won’t erase the memories. Although no amount of money can ever truly compensate me for the psychological scars, it does help allow me the space to heal and find some sort of closure.
I just trusted that the adult was there to supposedly work for my benefit and was doing the right thing by me. My message to others is that if you have some sort of feeling that someone’s behaviour isn’t right or ‘not normal’, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Just because it’s an adult in a role of authority doesn’t mean you can’t speak up and seek advice from someone else that you trust.
David claimed the school was liable for Kevin Lynch’s conduct because it happened during the “counselling” sessions at the Brisbane Grammar School, and they failed to take any reasonable steps to protect him.
Further information regarding the evidence provided to the Royal Commission by former students of Brisbane Grammar School regarding Kevin Lynch can be found in the Royal Commission Report of Case Study No. 34 – The response of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse.
We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today.
Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.