A THIRD member of the notorious McKenna family has been charged with child sex offences as the inquiry into the Katanning Hostel continues.

Police today said Child Abuse Squad detectives had charged a 62-year-old man following an investigation into historic child sex offences.

Wayne McKenna, 62, is the brother of Dennis and Neil McKenna, who are both serving prison sentences for child sex offences. Both also worked as wardens at St Andrews.

The offences are alleged to have occurred while Wayne McKenna and his wife were supervisors at the St Andrews Hostel in the Great Southern town of Katanning in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The third McKenna brother is facing three counts of indecent dealing with a girl under 13, and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on June 12.

Wayne McKenna gave evidence with his wife Robyn, 55, earlier this month at an ongoing special inquiry into sex abuse at state-run hostels being conducted by former Supreme Court Justice Peter Blaxell.

Wayne and Robyn McKenna both worked as live-in supervisors at St Andrews Hostel from 1977 to 1985.

Both gave evidence at the inquiry that they knew nothing of Dennis McKenna’s crimes, despite living and working alongside him at the hostel and witnessing his “inappropriate” behaviour with male students.

Dennis McKenna, 66, is serving six years’ jail after pleading guilty last year to 10 charges of molesting six boys, then aged 13 to 15, while a warden at St Andrews.

The former Katanning Person of the Year and highly regarded member of the tight-knit south-western community was first jailed in 1991 for similar offences, and still faces another 66 sex abuse charges filed against him last month.

His younger brother Neil, 53, is a convicted child rapist who is serving more than six years in jail for abusing a 15-year-old girl at the same hostel while he was a senior supervisor and acting warden.

Neil had been appointed acting warden at St Andrews after Dennis was charged with child sex offences for the first time.

The Blaxell inquiry will turn its attention to another state-run hostel this week – St Christopher’s in the wheatbelt town of Northam, about 100km northeast of Perth.

Counsel assisting Justice Blaxell, Philip Urquhart, said another hostel in the Pilbara – Hardie House in South Hedland – was also under investigation.

Mr Urquhart said it was not too late for victims or potential witnesses of WA hostel abuse to come forward.

“We will look into allegations at any hostel at any time,” he told AAP.

Anyone wanting to provide information to the inquiry has until June 1 to either phone the 24-hour hotline on 1800 227 792 or email infoblaxellinquiry.wa.gov.au.

A report is expected from the Blaxell inquiry by July 18.

Enquiry Transcripts on the McKenna ‘Pedophile Brotherhood’



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