A woman, brutally raped by her father from the age of four, has said she had to do everything not to “slap the smirk off his face” today as he sat in the dock and listened to her detail the years of terror and damage he inflicted on her.
Jeni Haynes, who developed more than 2500 personalities as a result of the trauma, sat across from her 74-year-old father in Sydney’s Downing Centre today to deliver her 17-page victim impact statement.
Judge Sarah Huggett invited Ms Haynes to take a break at one point as she sat and cried on the stand over how her father’s brutal abuse had ruined her chance at a family.
“I just want to get this done,” Ms Haynes said. “I’ve waited a very long time to smack him in the mouth with what he did.”
Richard Haynes, 74, cut his trial short when he pleaded guilty in March to dozens of counts of rape, buggery and indecent assault committed against his daughter in the 1970s and 1980s.
After being faced with the testimony of his daughter’s many different personalities, Haynes crumbled and pleaded guilty within hours of her taking the stand.
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To survive and “keep Jeni alive”, Ms Haynes developed multiple personality disorder, also known as dissociative identity disorder. She has more than 2500 personalities, referred to as “alters”.
Her father first inflicted horrific physical and sexual abuse on his daughter when she was only four years old. The abuse would continue for the next seven years.
Taking the stand today, Ms Haynes spent more than an hour running through her father’s horrific crimes and how they had damaged “every single part of my world”.
Speaking outside court after delivering her statement, Ms Haynes said she estimated at least 30 personalities had “popped in” during her speech.
“We had to forcibly remove one of them before she leapt over there and forcibly smacked him in the mouth,” Ms Haynes said.
“She gets really upset over the loss of the babies. To not have a baby. I’m going to cry again.”
Ms Haynes said she wanted to create a family like American musical group the Osmonds.
“Nine kids and I would’ve kept going, as many as I could pop out,” she said.
“I wanted my own family and he has stolen that from me and I will never, ever forgive him for that because what to do we do, we’re born, we grow up, we make a family.”
The systemic rape, sexual abuse and buggery committed by her father has irreparably broken the 49-year-old’s body and left her unable to have children.
Today, Ms Haynes told the court of the immense difficulties she faces every day.
The inside of her body was so badly damaged from the abuse, doctors were forced to perform a colostomy in 2011, a surgery that brings the colon to the outside of the body. Waste from the bowel is then collected in a bag on the outside of the body and emptied, up to five times a day.
Ms Haynes described the bag as an “horrific, humiliating, daily degrading reminder” of her dad’s abuse.
Ms Haynes also has calcified ligaments in her jaw, from her father’s repeated sexual abuse.
She said her love of food had been ruined as she lived in constant fear that opening her mouth too wide could cause her jaw to lock, leaving her with the only option of breaking her own jaw to close it again.
“There are insufficient words to do justice to the enormity of the impact his offending has had on my life,” she told the court.
“He heard me beg him to stop. He heard me cry. He saw the terror and pain he inflicted on me. And the next day he chose to do it all over again. My dad’s abuse was calculated and it was planned. It was deliberate and he enjoyed every minute of it.”
Before beginning her statement, Ms Haynes took a deep breath and stared directly at her 74-year-old father.
She told the court she would do her best to provide the impact of his offending on her but refused to go into any detail about the sexual acts her father had put her through.
Ms Haynes referred numerous times to a “birthday ritual” her father would put her through every time she turned a year older.
She told the court he “exploited Kewpie dolls as weapons to abuse me”.
Ms Haynes said her father had brainwashed her every day as a child, once showing her a picture of a woman who had caught fire in an armchair, leaving only a pile of ashes and a severed leg, and told his young daughter that would happen to her mother if she told anyone about the abuse.
“How could you say such a thing?” Ms Haynes yelled at her father through tears.
Haynes kept his eyes down for most of his daughter’s statement but often smirked as she wiped away her tears and called him “scum”.
Ms Haynes said she had suffered 40 years of constant pain. Before her colostomy, where doctors said she was “lucky to be alive”, Ms Haynes would regularly faint off the toilet in agony.
Ms Haynes also has lifelong issues with her vision, teeth and mental health, she told the court.
Much of the abuse often occurred in bathrooms and toilets, also leaving her terrified of those places.
Assuming the personality of four-year-old alter Symphony, Ms Haynes told the court Symphony would think and speak in song lyrics to “keep Jeni alive”.
“But there are no song lyrics to say, ‘My Daddy is raping me and it hurts please help,’” Symphony said, referring to how she tried to use song lyrics to alert her mum to the abuse.
Mr Haynes also heard her father in thoughts and dreams.
“I couldn’t even feel safe in my own head,” she told the court.
“It was impossible to think through what Dad did because my thoughts would kill my family. So I automatically think in song and can appear quite odd as a result. And that has impacts on my life and personal interaction.”
Ms Haynes told the court her father’s abuse had “spread into every sphere of my world, it destroyed my childhood and sent a wrecking ball through my career aspirations”.
She also lives in poverty on a disability support pension because her colostomy has restricted her from doing any housework, lifting anything heavier than 5kgs and even bending into weird positions, meaning she isn’t even able to make her bed.
Ms Haynes was a talented swimmer and was scouted by a coach who told her father that, with training, she could swim for Australia.
After the conversation with the swim coach, her father came home and “punished me for showing off”, Ms Haynes said.
“I could’ve swum for Australia you bastard,” she yelled across the courtroom before bursting into tears.
Ms Haynes is unable to hold down full-time employment because of her thousands of personalities.
She was forced to give up a career in politics when she chose to move forward with accusing her father of the years of sexual abuse.
“A father’s duty is to protect and care for his children. My dad has completely failed. He has completely failed me in every way possible, made me less than a human. Valueless. A non-person,” Ms Haynes told the court after a big pause.
“He called me Daddy’s dirty little girl, a floosey, a trollop, a masochist. He used to say, ‘This hurts me more than it hurts you’, before violently raping and buggering me and even admitted he was only moments away from killing me.”
Ms Haynes said the years of sexual abuse she endured had also skewed her views on the world and had ruined her relationships with people.
“I’m alone and probably always will be,” she said.
“I cannot see a pregnant woman without assuming she has been raped and I will never have a baby of my own.”
In 1996, almost two decades after surviving the abuse, Ms Haynes embarked on the long and painful journey to get help.
But Ms Haynes said her father’s abuse was “so big, so overwhelming, it has immobilised people trying to help me”.
Ms Haynes said she had been rejected by more counsellors than she could count in NSW and Queensland.
And if they didn’t accuse her of lying, they would be so shocked and distressed by the crimes, Ms Haynes would find her comforting and counselling them instead, she told the court.
“My dad was extremely successful with getting away with the abuse because the nature of what he did was too big to be believed,” she told the court.
“People refused to believe me and their disbelief let him continue to abuse me.”
Ms Haynes also referenced her father’s late guilty plea.
“He chose to plead guilty not because he was struck by the acts but rather because he couldn’t hear Symphony,” she said.
“He pleaded guilty to minimise the court’s knowledge of culpability by silencing Symphony. A remorseful man would’ve pleaded guilty earlier — not maximise trauma by forcing me to testify.”
Ms Haynes implored Judge Sarah Huggett to send her father to prison for a “very long time” as the 74-year-old smiled at his daughter.
“No part of my world has been left untouched,” she said.
A psychological report for Mr Haynes will be submitted by July 10 and he is likely to be sentenced by the end of that month.