Daily Telegraph:Sect children's case settled

From XFamily - Children of God

Sect children's case settled

Daily Telegraph/1999-05-29

Members of a religious sect yesterday said they were "thanking God" at the settlement of their legal battle over the removal of children from their families in dawn raids seven years ago.

Earlier, Michael Finnane, QC, for the 62 children, told Justice John Dunford the case against the State had finally been resolved.

Outside the NSW Supreme Court, their solicitor, Greg Walsh, said the terms of settlement were confidential but his clients were extremely happy with the outcome.

"This case would have taken up another three to four months of hearing involving very young plaintiffs," he said.

The plaintiffs, 31 of whom are still children, had sued the State, claiming they suffered psychological damage following the raids on the homes belonging to the Christian fundamentalist sect The Family, formerly known as Children of God.

On May 15, 1992, police and Community Services Department staff raided the homes in Glenhaven, Kellyville and Cherrybrook.

They alleged the children had been, or were in danger of being, sexually and physically abused - claims The Family said were unsubstantiated.

The children were taken from their families and held for six days in juvenile detention centres.

They sued, claiming they were held against their will, thereby being illegally and unlawfully arrested and falsely imprisoned.