Trusted businessman, rapist uncle: He left me an empty shell
DECADES have passed since a five-year-old Darren Elliott was lured with chocolate into the predatory arms of his well-known uncle, but the tormented memories have never left.
The 50-year-old can still remember the purple bike he was given for Christmas when his uncle, William Roland Elliott and former owner of a Mooloolaba dive shop, raped him while their parents were at dinner.
"It's impacted every part of my life … I'm an empty shell," Darren said.
The pair came face-to-face after 30 years at Maroochydore District Court yesterday where William, also known as "Bill", was sentenced for the crime he committed as a 14-year-old boy against his nephew.
Despite walking free, Darren said knowing he admitted to his guilt of carnal knowledge was the happiest day of his life.
"He's been exposed … and I feel really good," he said.
"It's about saving as many (children) as I can, or we can … and create some awareness."
William was meant to be babysitting Darren on a family holiday to Maroochydore when he lured him into a bedroom and raped him in 1974.
Darren didn't tell anyone and lived with the truth for more than a decade until finding the courage to tell his wife in 1987.
"I'm either going to end up in a cemetery or I've got to go the other road and walk into a police station," he said.
"It was mentally killing me … I thought enough is enough."
William told his family he was "just horsing around" and never raped him.
The matter was set for a trial on Monday until William, 59, decided to plead guilty at the last minute. He had no other criminal history.
The former Gympie State High School student operated a Mooloolaba dive centre and met his wife at the business.
Their marriage crumbled last year, but he maintained a good relationship with his two daughters.
Darren told the Daily he didn't believe his attacker's remorse.
"I did not see one tear come out of his eyes, he had the opportunity to say sorry to me," he said.
Darren, now a father himself, said his mission now was to alert parents and guardians to more than just stranger danger.
"Look out for signs and don't be scared to walk into a police station," he said.
"I want to help make sure no other child has to go through what I went through."