Madeleine West tells how she secretly taped a paedophile as she confronted him 40 years after he abused her and six other kids in a country town
Neighbors star Madeleine West has revealed how she confronted and secretly recorded the pedophile who sexually abused her and six other children 40 years ago.
The Underbelly and House Husbands actress was advised by detectives to record a conversation with Peter Vincent White, her 1980s child abuser in country Victoria.
In an interview that aired this Sunday, West told 60 Minutes how White’s “face dropped” when she walked in to face him, now in his 70s.
“I knew he had been waiting for this day,” she said.
Nevertheless, as the recording – aired publicly for the first time – shows, White told West he could not remember his crimes.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “I’m not quite sure what you’re asking me.
‘I’m so sorry. I don’t remember doing anything like that. I’m sorry, please, please forgive me.
‘If – if I have, I – I don’t remember. I’m very, very sorry if I did… it’s been washed from my mind.’
TV star Madeleine West was secretly wired to confront her child abuse. The tape led to his conviction as a sexually abusive pedophile who stalked children in a rural Victoria town
City plumber Peter White – who lured and then molested children with lollies and games – has now been jailed for his crimes of 40 years ago
In this street in Woodend, Victoria, White abused children in his matrimonial home while his own children and his wife, who was deaf, slept in adjoining rooms.
In the 60 minutes In the episode, West will say she worked with the police to catch White after she was in “the deepest darkest hole I’ve ever been in my life” following the abuse.
“I just needed justice to be served… it all comes back to you. You want forgiveness.’
West is one of two of Vincent’s female victims who confronted White in 2022 after they reported the abuse to the police.
The talented artist, whose childhood name was Melanie Ann Weston, was abused by White between the ages of five and 10 when her family were the perpetrator’s unsuspecting neighbours.
Between 1977 and 1988, while working as a plumber and wood-burning heater installer in Woodend, 70km north-west of Melbourne, White abused the children in bizarre and cruel ways.
He encouraged his victims to play and then perform humiliating sexual acts, forcing them to use toys and balloons on his private parts.
His abuse happened when he was aged between 26 and 38, inside his family home, often at night when his children slept nearby and when his wife, who was deaf, was unlikely to wake.
West is wired by detectives before secretly recording White when she confronted him about his sexual abuse of her decades earlier
West was one of seven children, aged between four and 14, who were brutally deceived by the pedophile White, then a married father between the ages of 26 and 38.
One six-year-old girl vomited after White forced her to perform a sex act. He also urinated on one of his friend’s sons.
Another child was abused during a hide-and-seek game, after White told them to ‘hide’ in a bed together.
During a plea hearing in the Victoria County Court last year, Madeleine demanded that White look her in the eye as she read out her victim impact statement.
She later said on Instagram ‘he was crying, looking away. Again and again I demanded that he meet my gaze.
‘Then for the first time in his miserable life an ounce of integrity by looking and listening to me.
‘His legacy will not be like the good guy, the loving husband, the proud father and grandfather.
“No.. the world will remember him as the monster who molested little children. It stops now.”
The actor described her anguish and turbulent feelings years after she was abused by White who preyed on the children of Woodend, 70km north-west of Melbourne.
White, aged 73, pleaded guilty to 33 counts of child sexual abuse against the seven victims, who were aged between four and 14.
The charges include sexual penetration of a child under the age of 10 and gross indecency with a child.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison last December, but will be eligible for parole in nine years when he would be 82 years old.
After the sentencing, Madeleine celebrated with other victims, saying the verdict ‘took 40 years to be delivered, but now it’s here.
“It’s just a tiny bit compared to the life sentence served by victims of childhood sexual assault, but (it) demonstrates that victim survivors are not alone, it was never our fault, we are not not broken and that justice is possible.
‘This is a crime against children. Of the worst possible kind.
‘By continuing to pretend it isn’t happening, we are deliberately putting our children at risk, just as we have been left at risk like so many generations before us.
“Ignorance is no longer an excuse.”
Judge Amanda Chambers told the court there was no doubt that White’s offending had a profound and devastating impact on the lives of each of his victims.
She found his plea was indicative of remorse, but there was little other evidence that he was truly remorseful about his offending or its impact.
“Offense of this kind strikes at the heart of the morals of a decent and civilized society,” she said.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
National Sexual Abuse and Corrections Support Service 1800 211 028