Lake Alice abuse survivor leaves after lawyer asks inquiry not to make adverse findings against Dr Selwyn Leeks

The lawyer for Dr Selwyn Leeks - the former psychiatrist accused of torturing children at Lake Alice Hospital - has asked an inquiry into state abuse not to make adverse findings against his client. 

But one of those tortured says the submission was disrespectful, and they had to leave the room. 

At the final day of the hearing, survivors presented a united front grateful they'd finally been listened to and believed. Commissioners had heard allegations of rape, seclusion and torture dressed up as therapy.  

"The darkness and shame we have carried has begun to lift in the light of exposing the truth," said survivor Leonie McInroe.

At the centre of submissions from survivors was the brutal conduct of Dr Selwyn Leeks. 

"To the survivors, you spoke of unimaginable horrors that no child should have to go through," said Crown lawyer Karen Feint QC.

"The Crown is not here to defend the conduct of Dr Leeks or any practices that amounted to punishment under the guise of medical treatment."

But Dr Leeks' lawyer Hayden Rattray told the inquiry his client is 94 with dementia and the focus should be on the myriad of failed investigations into complaints about Dr Leeks and Lake Alice. 

"It is those failings globally that the survivors should be compensated for. In order for the Commission to make those findings, it need not make findings adverse to Dr Leeks."

Survivor Paul Zentveld walked out midway through those submissions. 

"It just makes me sick, it just makes me sick. For myself, I don't want to know," he said.

He says claims Dr Leeks can't be blamed due to his mental state are wrong and disrespectful.

The inquiry was told the stories of abuse and torture may sound like something out of a movie, but that this is no movie - rather part of New Zealand's dark history.

"Whakarongo mai, whakarongo mai… finally our voice has been heard," said McInroe.

At the centre of the Commissioner's deliberations is who should take responsibility. It's a question that'll be addressed in a final report due early next year.