As a result of PTSD, he can’t hold down full-time work because of his mental capacity he said. He gets depressed, angry and anxious and sometimes had a tendency to turn to alcohol, but has managed to “keep a lid on it since being home.”
“It (PTSD) was caused by all the things that I witnessed and experienced in jail in Australia. In Australia I witnessed people being raped, killed, shamed, all of that.”
Without the support of his immediate family, he said he has grappled with trying to come to terms with his losses – including only seeing his 4-year-old daughter twice a year.
His advice for the detainees on their way back to New Zealand under the tougher Australian stance against Kiwi offenders was to utilise the government services available to them.
“Keep your nose clean, we’ve got another opportunity and we’re free and we’re back in our own country and Australia can’t do s*** about that. Stay on the right track and surround yourself with good people otherwise bad things will happen,” he said.
If he made a better life for himself, he said they can do it too.