A MARTIAL arts instructor and former air cadets leader has beenjailed for four years after being convicted of sexually abusing four teenageboys in the 1970s.
Graham Charles Wickson, 52, a state advertisingmanager, was found guilty by a Brisbane District Court jury yesterday of sixcounts of indecently dealing with a boy under 16 years and one count ofindecently dealing with a boy under 14 years.
He was found not guilty of a further charge of indecently dealing with a boyunder 16 years, and the jury was hung on a ninth charge – which was laterannulled by the Crown.
During the week-long trial, the court heard the offences happened in the1970s while Wickson, then aged 20-23 years, was involved with co-ordinating aircadet groups or students for his Brighton kung fu school.
He was a member of the RAAF reserves until 1978.
The court heard the boys, aged 13 to 15 years, were systematically corruptedfor Wickson's sexual gratification – which included offences of touching, oralsex, masturbation and indecent photography.
A police raid on Wickson's home found old photographs of young boys atcampsites and kung fu tournaments – some of which were inscribed with terms suchas "my special little friend".
Two victim impact statements read to the court detailed the significantimpact the offences had on the men – each of whom described depression, suicidalthoughts, anger, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual confusion and relationshipdifficulties.
One described how he was "brainwashed" by the charismatic Wickson, and at 15years was persuaded to live with him and another since-convicted pedophile whenhis own father died.
He was regularly molested for several years.
The victim also said Wickson had convinced people he was a "messiah" whocould diagnose illnesses by reading auras and iridology – using this so-calledpower to keep his young victims submissive.
Judge Michael Forde said Wickson had shown absolutely no remorse and providedno co-operation to police.
"It's a pity someone like yourself who had so much to offer in terms ofleadership and nurturing young boys' potential . . . have abused thattrust and potential," Judge Forde said.
He said any benefit to possibly hundreds of other boys over the years hadbeen ruined by his conduct towards the four victims. Wickson showed no emotionas Judge Forde sentenced him to four years' jail.
Yesterday lawyer Simon Harrison said a civil class action was expected to belaunched against Wickson and the RAAF on behalf of several other men, notinvolved in yesterday's case, who also claimed to be abusevictims.