EXCLUSIVE: All seems to have gone quiet in the criminal investigation into disgraced Liberal Party heavyweight and former Melbourne Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, despite claims more than six months ago that an arrest over sex crimes was “imminent”, writes Gary Johnston.
Regular readers of True Crime News Weekly will recognise with some suspicion the name of Robert Doyle, ex Lord Mayor of Melbourne, ex Liberal party leader and – allegedly – an x-rated schoolmaster at the prestigious Geelong College in the 1970’s.
From the heady heights of political influence and largesse, Doyle’s star came crashing down to earth in February 2018 following numerous accusations of sexual misconduct stretching all the way back to his time at the blue riband private school, where he was known by the students as ‘Oily Doyley’ and not because he taught Advanced Motor Mechanics.
As reported here, notwithstanding the fact that Doyle’s numerous friends in political circles and the media continued to support him, Victorian Police launched a historical investigation into Doyle’s conduct some two years ago focusing on his employment at the College, between 1978 and 1982.
Despite his undoubted influence, the myriad of stories that were – and still are – related about the nature of Doyle’s behaviour as a shorts wearing PE teacher. According to witnesses who have previously spoken with True Crime News Weekly he was said to be keen on treating certain female students to rides around town in his souped-up sports car. On one such occasion, it’s been alleged Doyle habitually mistook his car’s gear stick for the leg of a 15-year-old girl, compelling Victoria Police to launch its investigation.
Robert Doyle in 1978 when he was a teacher at Geelong College (Image: Supplied)
This was a surprise to many in Melbourne, given that VicPol are not exactly noted for their dogged pursuance of members of Melbourne’s political elite, but the evidence, it seemed, was overwhelming, with one complainant being told by the Geelong Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCIT) back in February of this year, that Doyle’s arrest was “imminent”.
Since that time however, nothing. With any enquiry made to SOCIT now being met with a straight bat response from the force’s press officer that “it would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation”.
Given the passage of time and the assorted vagaries of evidence gathering, it’s not altogether unusual for historical investigations to be somewhat tortuous in their progress but this acknowledgment must also be viewed in the context of other allegations of sexual misconduct against notable figures in Victoria.
For example, the many accusers of disgraced Cardinal George Pell remain convinced that only sustained pressure from support groups over many years forced the hand of the begrudging constabulary, who, it’s suggested, would have much preferred if the matter had been allowed to disappear quietly into the ether.
READ OUR ROBERT DOYLE INVESTIGATION IN FULL
Pell, as we now know, is currently supping porridge within the confines of Melbourne Assessment Prison, obliged to participate in a Violent Offender Therapeutic Programme (SVOTP) said to offer a range of assessment and treatment services for sexual and violent offenders in custody. No available information has been forthcoming on Pell’s involvement in therapy to date but since he has now applied to appeal his conviction to the highest Court in Australia, at a reputed cost of $1,000,000 it must be assumed that, since he refuses to accept his guilt, Pell’s journey toward the ownership of his behaviour is superficial, at best, derisory at worst.
Doyle, on the other hand, remains not guilty, as his right under the principles of criminal law. This is of course as it should be; any evidence against him must be tried and considered in court, at which point his guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
For the alleged victims of the ex-Lord Mayor however this eventuality appears, which each passing month, to become less and less likely.
Doyle, who was said to be in a critical health situation two years ago is currently a familiar figure in the confines of leafy South Melbourne, drinking latte with friends and family without, seemingly, a care in the world. Given that he now appears to be in fine physical fettle, there seems no obvious reason why he would not be able to make the relatively short journey across Melbourne to the court complex in William Street.
Further, if the investigation into Doyle’s conduct as a schoolmaster at Geelong College is genuinely ongoing, is it too much a stretch to suggest that his alleged victims, now in middle age have, at the very least, a right to know at what stage is currently stands?
It is the strong opinion of True Crime News Weekly and indeed anyone who believes in the concept of legal principle, that of basic justice, that this question is answered before too long.
Otherwise, the suggestion that the Melbourne haut monde look after their own will continue to permeate, a situation which can only pour even more oil on victim’s already troubled waters.
And as luck should have it, just as this article was about to be published this week we heard word from around the traps that Victoria Police are now hoping to re-interview past students of Geelong College as well as talk to other possible witnesses.
We can only hope for a speedy resolution of affairs, one way or another.