How terrorised teen Jack Edwards coped with his evil dad
Murdered Sydney teen Jack Edwards used online gaming to escape the violent reality of his abusive father, an inquest has heard.
A psychologist who treated Jack in 2017 said the teenager was clearly emotional in their sessions but "denied any feelings" and was refusing to attend school.
The psychologist admitted he should have reported Jack as a child at risk of significant harm.
On July 5, 2018, Jack and his younger sister Jennifer were murdered by their father John, who shot them at the West Pennant Hills home where they lived with their mother Olga.
He then drove home and killed himself. Olga took her own life five months later.
An inquest into the tragic murder-suicide has been under way for three weeks before state coroner Teresa O'Sullivan, who is investigating how NSW Police, the firearms registry and the Family Court could have done things differently.
The psychologist, who cannot be named, first saw Jack on June 21, 2017.
The 14-year-old was accompanied by his mother Olga. They told the psychologist about John's escalating violence towards Jack, which started when he was 10 years old.
Jack was struggling. He had a school attendance rate of just 32 per cent and was angry and aggressive to his sister and mother, the inquest heard.
He had also developed a gaming addiction, which the psychologist saw as a reaction to the physical abuse.
Jack was using the screen time "as an avoidance technique", he said.
Notes from one session recorded that Jack was "very emotional at times but denied any feelings" and that he "says he's been fine but in moments of intense pain eyes welled up".
He also dissociated at points, the psychologist said, "Like he was somewhere else. Just for short periods."
The psychologist agreed that "in hindsight" he should have reported Jack to Family and Community Services as a child at risk of significant harm.
On Wednesday another psychologist told the inquest she had seen Jack four times and Jennifer five times, and that the children reported numerous instances of violence to her, some of which John admitted to.
She also did not make a report to FACS because the kids were living with Olga and John did not know the address.
The inquest continues.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as How terrorised teen coped with evil dad