St Benedict’s: Paedophile Ring – Chris Patten / Patrick Rock / Laurence Soper / Peter Allott /Balkans / Vatican

Jonathan West‏@JonathanWest:

One of the Ealing monks was also chaplain of another local catholic independent school, St Augustine’s Priory School for Girls.

Even after this monk had to resign as a trustee & governor of St Benedict’s and was placed on “restricted ministry” because of allegations of abuse, he remained chaplain & governor of St A for some months.

Was St Augustine’s aware of this? How is a school chaplaincy consistent with restricted ministry of a monk put in place because of concerns for the safety of children?

There is the fact that Lord Carlile’s review made no new recommendations concerning safeguarding at the school. he merely repeated recommendations previously made by the ISI and a previous review commissioned by the Abbey

Why? Did Carlile think safeguarding was now adequate? If so on the basis of what knowledge or expertise in the subject did he reach that conclusion?

In 2009 when all this first started coming to light, St Benedict’s school safeguarding policy was one long excuse for never reporting anything to anybody. Why did it get into that state, and why did it take years to reform it so that all concerns are reported to the authorities?

CourtNewsUK‏ @CourtNewsUK

Soper is unrepentant and claims he has suffered a ‘serious miscarriage of justice’.

Ex-priest Laurence Soper jailed for sexually abusing boys

21 Dec 2017

An ex-Catholic priest who abused boys at a London school in the 1970s and 1980s has been jailed for 18 years.

Laurence Soper, 74, fled to Kosovo with £182,000 from the Vatican bank in a bid to avoid prosecution for abusing boys at the independent St Benedict’s School, in Ealing, where he taught.

He was extradited to face 19 charges of indecent and serious sexual assault against 10 former pupils.

He is the fourth man to be convicted of molesting children at the school.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Bate said Soper’s conduct was “the most appalling breach of trust” and he had “subverted the rules of the Benedictine order and teachings of the Catholic Church”.

He said the former abbot and headmaster’s life would now be “overshadowed by the proven catalogue of vile abuse”.

An Old Bailey jury took 14 hours to find Soper guilty of all charges on 6 December.

Prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC told how the victims were subjected to “sadistic” beatings by Soper for “fake reasons” and on many occasions “with what can only have been a sexual motive”.

The “reasons” included kicking a football in the wrong direction, failing to use double margins and using the wrong staircase.

St Benedict’s apologised unreservedly for the “serious wrongs of the past”.

Soper’s victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were supported by relatives in court when he was sentenced earlier.

One victim suffered from nightmares and flashbacks after the abuse, but chose not to come forward out of fear of more beating, the jury heard during the trial.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-42443604

 

Soper was remanded in custody to be sentenced on 19 December.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-42257548

Five convicted child sex offenders at one school. That is too many for it to be a coincidence. In time, those in charge of the abbey and the school will have to account for their failure to protect the children in their care. They will have to do so in public under oath, questioned by lawyers at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA). They have been required to provide copies of all relevant documents to the public inquiry. It wouldn’t surprise me if they have already started rehearsing their answers.

One thing that the monks of Ealing will have to explain is how they not only harboured several criminal paedophiles within their ranks, but actually managed to elect a prolific child abuser as their leader. Laurence Soper was of course Abbot of Ealing from 1991 to 2000.

http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/12/laurence-soper-found-guilty-of-abuse.html#comment-form

“It was an amoral and perverted place,”

From the 1950s until well into this century, a succession of paedophiles and sadists were in positions of authority over young boys at St Benedict’s. They enjoyed themselves to the full.

Soper is the fifth teacher from the school to be convicted on charges relating to child abuse. Serious complaints have been made about others. The school was run by the Benedictine monks of Ealing Abbey.

Britain’s Benedictines have an extraordinary record of founding schools and then abusing the children who attend them.

A day after Soper’s conviction it was revealed that Aidan Bellenger, a former abbot of Downside Abbey in Somerset, believed that his three predecessors had tolerated child abuse and had sheltered “perverse and criminal” paedophiles at Downside School.

The week before, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse heard of beatings and sexual assault on boys as young as six at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire. It has become a bit of a tradition.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-monks-who-stole-my-childhood-wfk5rhk9q

Jonathan West‏ @JonathanWest

I agree, sometimes superiors can be abusers as well. The monks of Ealing Abbey managed to elect an abuser as their Abbot. Fr Laurence Soper will be sentenced on Thursday after being convicted last week of 19 child abuse charges.

https://twitter.com/ColetteAnnesley/status/942082144775688193

Downside head ‘may have burnt evidence of sexual abuse’

16 DEC 2017

Five years ago, the headmaster of a leading public school made trips with a loaded wheelbarrow to a distant part of its grounds, where he made a bonfire. Consumed in its flames were staff files dating back to the early 1980s.

Father Leo Maidlow Davis destroyed files

Father Leo Maidlow Davis destroyed files

Father Leo Maidlow Davis, 63, is today the senior monk at Downside Abbey. In 2012 he was in charge of its neighbouring boarding school. The fire may have destroyed evidence of child sexual abuse. The monk was one of the senior Benedictines who gave evidence during three weeks of hearings that ended yesterday at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Their focus was two fee-paying schools, Downside, in Somerset, and Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, chosen by the inquiry as a case study in its wider investigation into the Catholic church. Sworn testimony came from monks, former pupils, lay staff, police officers and safeguarding experts. No school bonfire could cleanse the sins they revealed.

In his opening statement a lawyer representing abuse survivors warned of the “beguiling charm” of lauded schools in beautiful surroundings, where robed monks invited and received a high degree of trust. Such institutions promised “a Harry Potter world” that hid, in the words of a former Downside abbot, a “heart of darkness”.

At Ampleforth, about 40 monks and teachers have been accused of sexually abusing children since the 1960s. When police investigated sex offences at Downside in 2010, it emerged that “historic allegations and concerns” had been raised about 16 of its 23 monks.

The inquiry heard of a locked basement room at Downside, used by monks to watch personal videos. It learnt of brown envelopes containing allegations against monks that were locked in the abbot’s safe. Victims described childhood ordeals. Naked boys were taken into monks’ beds. Some were abused so often that it became routine. It was a world in which paedophiles flourished.

That there were child sex crimes at boarding schools is no secret. What shocked observers were the measures taken by Benedictine leaders to protect child abusers. From the Children Act 1989 onwards, the “paramountcy principle” has been central to safeguarding: the welfare of a child must be the primary consideration. The inquiry heard that when a Benedictine was accused of sex abuse it was often the monk’s welfare that took priority.

Each Benedictine monastery is self-governing, headed by an abbot who, within its grounds, holds the place of Christ. Father Timothy Wright, abbot of Ampleforth from 1997 to 2005, wrote in a letter in 2003 that for monastic brethren the abbot was a “trusted confidante”. Father Timothy’s relationship with police and social services was described by his successor, Father Cuthbert Madden, as “very uneasy, if not profoundly secretive”.

Father Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard, abbot of Downside from 1990 to 1998, was asked to whom the abbot was answerable. “Apart from the Almighty, not a lot,” he said, explaining that abbots since medieval times have enjoyed “more or less the status of bishops within their own territory”, which was “a sort of exempt enclave”.

Father Charles, 76, was among three Downside abbots accused by Father Aidan Bellenger, in a private letter, of tolerating child abuse. Father Aidan, abbot from 2006 to 2014, said his predecessors “protected and encouraged” paedophile monks.

Wrongdoers at both schools, including Father Anselm Hurt, brother of the late actor John Hurt, were quietly moved between Benedictine monasteries and parishes.

Reference was made to instructions from Rome to destroy documents that were damaging to priests. Father Leo insisted that his decision to make a bonfire of Downside’s staff files was prompted by a desire to “get rid of unnecessary old material”. He accepted that the files should, under safeguarding requirements, have been kept for 70 years, conceding that he may have unintentionally destroyed information about child abuse.

Richard Scorer, a child abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who represents 29 survivors of Benedictine abuse, said the hearings exposed an organisation “pervaded by casual disregard for the most basic norms of child protection”.

The inquiry is due to produce an interim report next year.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/downside-head-may-have-burnt-evidence-of-sexual-abuse-qm75khgm9

Ampleforth in Charity Commission takeover amid concerns of its management of sex abuse allegations

Ampleforth Abbey has been stripped of responsibility for pupil welfare by the Charity Commission amid concerns about its management of sex abuse allegations.

The Commission has removed responsibility for safeguarding matters from trustees at the prestigious boarding school as it said it had not improved its policies enough since an inquiry into the charity following allegations of sexual abuse was launched in 2016.

It said it had taken action “as a result of continued concerns about the extent to which current safeguarding risks to pupils at the schools run by the charities are being adequately managed”. 

The Commission opened inquiries into Ampleforth Abbey and the St Laurence Education Trust in November 2016 following revelations that alleged sexual abuse at the school had been covered up. 

Ampleforth Abbey runs a 200-year-old religious community on the same site as Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, which is run by the St Laurence Education Trust. St Laurence also runs prep school St Martin’s Ampleforth, which announced its closure earlier this year.

Last year the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard that allegations of sexual abuse had been made against 40 monks and teachers who had previously lived or worked at the Catholic boarding school and religious community. 

Emma Moody, a specialist charity lawyer at Womble Bond Dickinson, has now been appointed as interim manager of both charities.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/03/ampleforth-charity-commission-takeover-amid-concerns-management/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

Dr Whitehead, current head of provide evidence to . He was educated at Stonyhurst (Jesuit). Other than a spell at Radley, he has taught exclusively in Benedictine settings

Child abuse ‘tolerated’ and ‘indirectly encouraged’ by former Downside Abbey abbots

12 December 2017

‘The heart of darkness in the [Downside] community is the issue of child abuse, which was tolerated by all my predecessors as abbot’

Downside Abbey “tolerated” and “indirectly encouraged” child abuse by protecting monks who sexually abused children, a former abbot has claimed.

Aidan Bellenger, who retired as Abbot in 2014, accused his three predecessors of tolerating child abuse in letters read to the inquiry. He also alleged that the Somerset monastery still harbours paedophiles, raising questions about the behaviour of three monks.

The letters were also sent to the chairman of the Abbey’s board of governors, Father Leo Maidlow Davis last year. The current headmaster, Dr James Whitehead, told the inquiry he was shown the letters in August 2017.

“It is a very serious concern that he’s raising here, potentially, that these abbots may have actually encouraged paedophilia,” he told the inquiry.

Their contents were disclosed on the eighth day of a three-week hearing on the English Benedictine Congregation as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

“At the heart of darkness in the [Downside] community is the issue of child abuse, which was tolerated by all my predecessors as abbot,” wrote Bellenger.

Image result for "Richard Yeo" + PRINCE

Richard Yeo (left)

Father Richard Yeo

Among the former abbots named by Bellenger, is Father Richard Yeo, abbot from 1998 until 2006. Bellenger said he “should have known better” and accused him of trying to protect two monks, Father Richard White (known as Father Nicholas) and Father Desmond O’Keefe, who were subsequently jailed for sexual offences. White was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 for sexually assaulting boys in the 1980s. O’Keefe was jailed in 2004 for downloading more than12,000 pornographic images of children from the Internet.

“Neither was penitent. Both were protected and indirectly encouraged by their abbots, John [Roberts], Charles [Fitzgerald-Lombard] and Richard [Yeo],” he added.

The letters also describe a monk, who is still at Downside, to be guilty of “perverse and criminal” activities. Two others, he said, were “open to allegations of paedophilia.”

The IICSA hearing on the English Benedictine Congregation is expected to conclude on Friday

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8232/0/child-abuse-tolerated-and-indirectly-encouraged-by-former-downside-abbey-abbots-

At about the time Yeo was elected Abbot of Downside in 1998, White was permitted to return from Fort Augustus. White continued to live at Downside until his arrest in 2010. For eight of the twelve intervening years, Yeo was his Abbot.

Of course, as Abbot, Yeo had access to the records of his predecessors. So he would have been fully aware of the abuse that White had admitted to before being kicked north, and it is for this reason that White was kept on “restricted ministry”.

So Yeo must be regarded as a long-term participant in the cover-up of abuse. He said in the that the cover-up “is unacceptable, I’m not defending that.” But he joined in that unacceptable action.

The Catholic Church’s commitment to safeguarding can be judged by the fact that Yeo was one of the participants in the Cumberlege Commission, and was appointed to carry out the Apostolic Visitation to Ealing Abbey.

http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/08/abbot-president-richard-yeo.html

Richard Scorer‏ @Richard_Scorer

More extraordinary evidence at : Richard Yeo, until recently President of the Benedictines, admits that during his Presidency sex offenders were knowingly appointed as school governors and had input into safeguarding

Dom Richard Yeo is asked about F65 who is alleged to have abused a boy of 16. F65 thereafter became a Governor, and F77 a Trustee.

Another revelation at today: Richard Yeo, until recently President of the Benedictines, appointed a known sex abuser as his secretary. Unclear what access this man might have had to sensitive files.

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/3553/view/12%20December%202017%20Roman%20Catholic%20Church%20Public%20Hearing%20Transcript.pdf

 

 

Father Yeo was a member of the Cumberlege Commission into protecting children in the Catholic Church.

Rt Rev Richard Yeo

Father Yeo was a member of the Cumberlege Commission. as was

Baroness Butler-Sloss
Baroness Butler-Sloss (Vice Chair)

http://www.cumberlegecommission.org.uk/

He was Abbot of Downside from 1998 to 2006 having been secretary to the Abbot Primate of the international Benedictine Confederation.

The monk is also one of three senior clerics on a committee which oversees the management of the Sant’ Anselmo, the Benedictine university in Rome.

The university’s treasurer was convicted paedophile Father Laurence Soper

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/benedictine-head-offers-resignation-from-inquiry-into-sex-abuse-of-pupils-vgdwxc7dnj8

Father Richard Yeo was accused by Aidan Bellenger of hiding abuse
Father Richard Yeo was accused by Aidan Bellenger of hiding abuse

Child abuse ‘was encouraged by school’s abbots’ at Downside Abbey, Somerset

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/child-abuse-was-encouraged-by-schools-abbots-at-downside-abbey-somerset-009z9ddlg

Dame Alun Roberts

 Ealing1

Mmmh! Rock and Soper both had strong ties to both Chris Patten and the Balkans.

Ealing2

Chris Patten & Laurence (Andrew) Soper born within a year of each other, were students at St Benedict’s at the same time. They go way back…

Ealing3

Laurence Soper was the former Chaplain at Harrow School from 1981 to 1991. Harrow, Sedbergh and Durham schools were all raided in the late 1990s during a nationwide investigation into an alleged paedophile network of teachers at six leading public schools.

Ealing4

Former Harrow School headmaster Ian Beer said Ball was “almost saintly” and had shown a “remarkable influence for the good with the young”. Ian Beer sent boys from all three schools he worked in (Harrow, Lancing and Ellesmere) to Peter Ball.

Ealing5

According to Headmaster Ian Beer, in his letter of support for the paedophile Peter Ball, pupils flocked to Ball for confidential help and advice. Harrow hosted young people from Bishop Peter Ball’s scheme in Sussex Ian Beer was an old chum of Denis Thatcher.

Ealing6

Richard Yeo, until recently President of the Benedictines, admitted that during his Presidency sex offenders were knowingly appointed as school governors and had input into safeguarding!

Ealing7

Father Yeo was a member of the Cumberlege Commission into protecting children in the Catholic Church. He was Abbot of Downside from 1998 to 2006 having been secretary to the Abbot Primate of the international Benedictine Confederation.

Ealing8

And, wait for it, Vice Chair of Cumberlege was the broken chair Theresa May tried to put in charge of IICSA, the woman who loved the church so dearly she would always put it before victims, the one and only Sloshed Butler:


Ealing9

And, of course, Bishop Ball wouldn’t be a ‘proper’ paedophile if he weren’t connected to the PaedoProtector General …

Ealing10

 In fact, Bishop Bollox was a founder member of the Thatcher Foundation set up by the former prime minister. Say no more!

Ealing11
IICSA has now ascertained that Richard Yeo appointed a known sex abuser as his secretary. They certainly keep it in the family!

 


St Benedict’s school Ealing

Another victim said he believed Maestri was running a paedophile ring at the school.

‘When I speak of a paedophile ring, [I say] that there were school masters, lay or clerical, who were or have been convicted of the sexual abuse of children,’ he explained.

‘Therefore it’s reasonable to believe that something like a paedophile ring was operating at St Benedict’s school.

‘I believe that the Benedictine Order should answer for the serial abuse that has gone on in its educational establishments for the last few decades.’

The conviction comes a year after the school’s former deputy head Peter Allott was jailed for child pornography’

His defence barrister Jane Humphryes, QC, suggested his accusers were bitter ‘professional victims’ and fantasists and told one he was determined to ‘squash’ St Benedict’s and become a core participant in the IICSA.

Soper has been expelled from the monastery of St Benedict of Ealing for ‘scandalous behaviour’ but is still a priest.

 

It would be interesting to get some background on Sopers legal team and who was paying for it.

http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/12/laurence-soper-found-guilty-of-abuse.html#comment-form

Andreas Baader‏ @stop1984

Alexis Jay, will propose that no evidence be called about decades of abuse of pupils at Ealing Abbey and its adjoining independent school, St Benedict’.

May.

Dame Alun Robert

Why? Cui bono?

Soper was on first name terms with Cardinal (Basil) Hume and knew Lord Patten, who worked on the advisory panel while he was Abbot, the court heard.

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Former-abbot-found-guilty-of-abusing-boys-at-Catholic-school

Savile links to Hume & Patten & Royal family

Image result for basil hume and savile

Cardinal Basil Hume was friends with Jimmy Savile

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/celebritynews/9596850/Sir-Jimmy-Savile-causes-anguish-at-the-Athenaeum.html

Image result for chris patten and prince charles

Chris Patten is friends with Prince Charles – also a friend of Jimmy Savile

link

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Funny bloke this Patten: Dishes out £1000s unnecessarily to McA (Lord McAlpine) and now threatens MP with litigation for searching for truth!

Lord Patten warns Tory MP over Savile scandal evidence

Lord Patten warns Tory MP he risks legal action if he publishes evidence calling into question BBC’s handling of Jimmy Savile scandal

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/10509720/Lord-Patten-warns-Tory-MP-over-Savile-scandal-evidence.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20131124064254/http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100246954/lord-patten-must-find-out-the-truth-about-jimmy-savile-mark-thompson-and-the-pollard-review/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/bbc-mcalpine-payout_n_2139601.html

Image result for "Lord Alastair McCorquodale" + "harrow"

Lord Patten must find out the truth about Jimmy Savile, Mark Thompson and the Pollard Review

 

The cover-ups, scandals and payoffs of Lord Patten’s reign

Lord Patten forced to step down early after presiding over period of unprecedented crisis at the BBC dominated by Savile, McAlpine and Entwistle

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10812299/The-cover-ups-scandals-and-payoffs-of-Lord-Pattens-reign.html

 

The BBC Trust denied that chairman Lord Patten had threatened Tory MP Rob Wilson with legal action if he released the tape

The BBC Trust denied that chairman Lord Patten had threatened Tory MP Rob Wilson with legal action if he released the tape

Image result for chris patten and hrh prince charles

Image result for savile and prince charles

Chris Patten who was part of BBC Savile cover-up

link

Chris Patten and Soper go way back

Chris Patten and Andrew Soper were students at St Benedict’s at the same time.

Soper born 1943:

Education St Benedict’s Sch Ealing, St Benet’s Hall Oxford, Collegio Sant Anselmo Rome (STL, STD), St Mary’s Coll Twickenham (PGCE)
Chris Patten born 1944 attended St Benedict’s

Patten accused of a cover-up on BBC Savile probe blunder: Chairman knew of a tape where inquiry author admit he had made a ‘mistake’

  • Nick Pollard headed inquiry into why Newsnight dropped Savile report
  • In taped phone call he says director-general knew of Savile accusations
  • Mark Thompson denies being told about planned Newsnight inquiry

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2521976/BBC-chairman-Chris-Patten-Patten-accused-cover-BBC-Savile-probe-blunder.html

Patrick Rock found guilty of having child abuse images on his computer was an aide to Chris Patten

Andrew Soper, 74, fled to Kosovo with £182,000 from the Vatican bank in an attempt to avoid prosecution

London priest who fled to Kosovo found guilty of abusing schoolboys

Andrew Soper convicted of sexually abusing pupils at St Benedict’s school in Ealing during 1970s and 80s

6 December 2017

A former abbot who fled to Kosovo to escape justice has been convicted of abusing 10 boys at a Catholic-run school in London during the 1970s and 80s.

Andrew Soper, 74, formerly known as Father Laurence Soper, was found guilty of 19 charges of rape and other sexual offences after a lengthy trial at the Old Bailey.

Soper sexually abused pupils while he was master in charge of discipline at St Benedict’s school in Ealing, west London. He would assault them after subjecting them to corporal punishment using a cane.

The first victim contacted police in 2004 after Soper left his role as abbot of Ealing Abbey and moved to the Benedictine order’s headquarters in Rome.

The former pupil was initially told by officers there was insufficient evidence.

Soper was later interviewed at Heathrow police station in 2010 and subsequently fled to Kosovo while on police bail the following year.

He was arrested at Luton airport in August 2016 after being deported by the Kosovan authorities and returned to the UK.

Tetteh Turkson, a senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer involved in the case, said: “Soper used his position as a teacher and as a priest to abuse children for his own sexual gratification.

“He compounded this by trying to evade justice and fleeing to Kosovo in order to go into hiding. The victims’ bravery in coming forward and giving evidence has seen him convicted of these serious offences.”

A statement on behalf of the fee-paying independent school was issued by Alex Carlile QC after the conviction. He said: “St Benedict’s school is deeply concerned for, and distressed by, the ordeals faced by the victims of Laurence Soper, who have lived with the pain of his activities for so long.

“The school apologises unreservedly for the serious wrongs of the past. The school regrets that Soper did not have the courage to plead guilty.

“The result has been that innocent victims, whom he abused when they were boys in the school, were compelled to give evidence. They were subjected to cross-examination about matters in relation to which they were both helpless and innocent.

“The fact that these matters took place many years ago does not mitigate the pain and injustice endured by them.” The statement said the school was now “a completely different institution”.

Lord Carlile added: “The tough lessons of the past have been learned, and the errors and crimes of the past are in the daily consciousness and conscience of the school management … St Benedict’s cannot and will never forget Soper’s crimes. Nevertheless they are proud of the school as it now is, and as confident as ever they can be that everything is being done to ensure that such events cannot recur.”

The school, which charges fees of about £5,000 a term, counts the former Conservative chair Lord Patten and entertainer Julian Clary among its alumni.

Gillian Etherton QC, who led the prosecution, told the court victims were subjected to sadistic beatings by Soper for “fake reasons”.

They included kicking a football “in the wrong direction”, “failing to use double margins”, and “using the wrong staircase”, leading to a caning and a sexual assault, she said.

“It is the prosecution case that ‘punishments’ as described by the complainants in this case were carried out by Soper in entirely inappropriate ways and circumstances and, on many occasions, with what can only have been sexual motive,” Etherton added.

Many of his victims have experienced flashbacks and nightmares. During the trial Soper denied using the cane as a ruse to abuse boys.

The judge, Anthony Bate, remanded Soper in custody to be sentenced on 19 December. He was convicted of two counts of buggery, two counts of indecency with a child and 15 counts of indecent assault.

Soper was found guilty of buggery, contrary to section 12(1) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, since the offence took place when that act was in force. The offence was changed from buggery to rape by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/06/london-priest-kosovo-found-guilty-abusing-schoolboys-andrew-soper-st-benedict-school

A “sadistic” monk who was head of a top Catholic school was convicted yesterday of molesting ten pupils in a campaign of abuse during the 1970s and 1980s that was exposed by The Times.

Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence, is thought to be the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of sex crimes in the UK. He withdrew £182,000 from his Vatican bank account and fled to Kosovo to avoid prosecution for attacking boys at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

Soper, the former abbot of Ealing Abbey, which adjoins the school, spent five years abroad before he was extradited. A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for 14 hours before finding him guilty of 19 charges of indecent assault and buggery between 1975 and 1982.

Soper, 74, who is likely to die in jail, is the fourth staff member of St Benedict’s to be convicted of indecent assault and the school apologised unreservedly last night for the “serious wrongs of the past”.

The 60-year history of abuse at the school was exposed by The Times and a report by an independent barrister concluded in 2011 that there had been a “lengthy and cumulative failure” by monks to protect children in their care.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will hold hearings into one of the worst scandals to afflict the Catholic church in Britain.

The first of Soper’s victims to come forward last night told of his relief that justice had finally been served. The man, who came forward in 2004 but was initially told by police there was insufficient evidence, told The Times: “He will never see outside a cell again and that is where he deserves to be. He ruined my life . . . finally I am free.”

Soper was headmaster and senior priest at the school. A series of accusations were made against him after he resigned as abbot in 2000 and went to live at the Benedictine headquarters at the Collegio Sant’Anselmo, Rome. He returned to Britain to be interviewed by police about the claims in 2004, 2009 and 2010, and was allowed to go back to Rome on bail until 2011. Seven days before he was due to attend a police station in the UK, he flew to Kosovo. He was highly regarded as a scholar in the Vatican and his views on the Catholic church were widely sought. Soper has been expelled from the monastery of St Benedict at Ealing but is still a priest.

The Old Bailey was told that he got a sexual thrill from caning young boys and “cunningly” used corporal punishment as an excuse to pull down their trousers. He pulled up his robes to rape one 12-year-old pupil over a desk in his office and warned the boy he could be expelled if he ever told his parents. Detective Superintendent Ang Scott, from the Metropolitan Police, said that Soper was a “manipulative” offender who used his position to carry out “punishments” with a sexual motive.

His ten victims, who have since been plagued by mental health problems, were initially afraid to speak out because their families viewed Catholic priests with “deep respect”. Judge Anthony Bate remanded Soper in custody to be sentenced on December 19.

Soper is the latest in a string of men to face allegations relating to their work at St Benedict’s, which counts Lord Patten of Barnes, the former Conservative chairman, and Julian Clary, the entertainer, among its alumni.

In 2009, Father David Pearce, 75, nicknamed the “devil in a dog collar”, was jailed after he admitted 11 charges of indecent assault dating back to 1975. Between 2003 and 2009, John Maestri, 78, of Chatham in Kent, admitted five indecent assaults against children at St Benedict’s in the 1970s and 1980s and was jailed. In 2010, John Skelton was convicted of indecent assaults against two complainants said to have occurred in 1983 at St Benedict’s.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/andrew-soper-father-laurence-former-abbot-of-ealing-abbey-st-benedict-s-school-guilty-of-raping-boys-qr333lzv2

Father Anthony Gee (the former headmaster of St Benedict’s) faced accusations of abuse, but no further action was taken although civil action was brought against him, jurors were told.

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Former-abbot-found-guilty-of-abusing-boys-at-Catholic-school

The former pupil said that in his final O level year he told the headmaster, Father Anthony Gee, that he did not want to stay at the school for his A levels, explaining: “I do not want to be taught by perverts masquerading as teachers.”

He said Father Gee became angry at his criticism of “good teachers and good holy men” and “threatened me with eternal hell fire and damnation”.

The headmaster threatened to “destroy” the reputation of his grandfather and his father within the church and wider society,” he claimed.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/court-hears-pupils-story-of-abuse-at-leading-catholic-school-flkkfss5k8b

http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/2011/07/

https://i2.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/03/31/15/32B383F100000578-0-image-a-16_1459433688722.jpg

Few of these recent news articles mention  St Benedict’s, paedophile deputy head Peter Allott

The judge: ‘It was at the drug parties that you became aware of, and addicted to, indecent images of children. I use the phrase of a paedophile ring, that’s precisely what that was.

…blew £600 a week on paedophile drug parties is jailed for horrific stash of porn images featuring children as young as two

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3575806/Cambridge-educated-deputy-head-15-000-year-Catholic-private-school-blew-600-week-paedophile-drug-parties-jailed-horrific-stash-porn-images-featuring-children-young-two.html

Andreas Baader‏ @stop1984

Cardinal Hume and a former Downside Abbey headmaster ‘did nothing at all’ after paraplegic woman informed them of alleged sex abuse, national inquiry told

In 1985, the witness visited Cardinal Basil Hume in Archbishop’s House in London and told him about the alleged abuse

Cardinal Basil Hume and a former Downside Abbey headmaster “did nothing at all” after a paraplegic woman informed them that she had been sexually abused by a Benedictine monk from the Abbey over several years, the national inquiry into child abuse has heard.

On the eighth day of a three-week hearing on the English Benedictine Congregation as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the inquiry heard from a witness allegedly abused by a chaplain from Downside Abbey in Somerset.

The witness told the inquiry that she had met the chaplain – referred to as F80 – on a pilgrimage at Lourdes in 1984 when she was 17 years old. She was confined to a wheel-chair and told the inquiry that at that time she felt “suicidal.”

In a statement read to the inquiry, the witness described how, over the following two years, F80 visited her in her parent’s home where he sexually abused her. 

“F80 groomed and manipulated me and my emotions and used my fear of others to keep my silence,” she said.

In early 1985, the witness visited Cardinal Basil Hume in Archbishop’s House in London and told him about the alleged abuse.

The witness said Cardinal Hume was “very concerned that I was so distressed” and suggested she talk to the headmaster of Downside Abbey, Father Dom Philip Jebb.

The witness explained to the inquiry that she had told Father Philip who she said was “very sorry and very sympathetic” but that he remained convinced that the alleged abuser should not know that he – Father Philip – knew about the abuse.

The witness said she spoke to Father Philip about the abuse “again and again and again.”

“It was like being passed backwards and forwards between Basil Hume and Philip Jebb,” she told the inquiry.

“I believe that Basil Hume and Father Philip Jebb had a conversation about what was going on,” she added.

Cardinal Hume visited the alleged abuser at one stage and told him to stop, the witness said. However, after a short period the abuse continued.

The witness told the inquiry she went back to Cardinal Hume and told him the abuse was continuing. Again Cardinal Hume told her to approach the headmaster: “and backwards and forwards I went,” she said.

The witness told the inquiry she continued to see Cardinal Hume about the alleged abuse up until he died in 1999.

In June 2007, the witness approached the then Abbot, Aidan Bellenger, and told him about the abuse. F80 was still teaching at the school. Abbot Aidan confronted F80, but did not take any action, the witness told the inquiry.

Eventually in 2010, Abbot Aidan approached Clifton Diocese’s safeguarding team, after which police became involved in the case, the witness told the inquiry.

On the opening day of the IICSA inquiry, a spokeswoman from Downside Abbey made a statement on behalf of the Abbey expressing regret for past abuses.

Kate Gallafent QC, for the English Benedictine Congregation, said that as the number of children abused had become apparent, there had been a sense of shame and “intense sadness at the anguish caused to so many people”.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8222/0/cardinal-hume-and-a-former-downside-abbey-headmaster-did-nothing-at-all-after-paraplegic-woman-informed-them-of-alleged-sex-abuse-national-inquiry-told

Child abuse ‘was encouraged by school’s abbots’ at Downside Abbey, Somerset

Downside Abbey monks sheltered child sex offenders, a former abott says

Downside Abbey monks sheltered child sex offenders, a former abott says

A renowned Roman Catholic school hid a “heart of darkness” in which monks who sexually abused children were protected and indirectly encouraged by their superiors, its former abbot has claimed.

Aidan Bellenger accused his three predecessors at Downside Abbey of tolerating child abuse. He also alleged that the monastery in Somerset, which owns and runs an adjoining public school, still sheltered paedophiles.

Father Richard Yeo was accused by Aidan Bellenger of hiding abuse
Father Richard Yeo was accused by Aidan Bellenger of hiding abuse

One monk who is still at Downside was said by the former abbot to be guilty of “perverse and criminal” activities; two more were “open to allegations of paedophilia”. Another monk, who is no longer at the monastery, was accused of “monstrous” behaviour, including “the rape case”.

Among the former abbots said by Dr Bellenger to have sheltered child sex offenders between 1974 and 2006 is Father Richard Yeo, until recently Britain’s most senior Benedictine monk.

Father Richard, Downside abbot from 1998 to 2006, stood down as abbot president of the English Benedictine Congregation in August.

The claims about the monastery were made in letters sent last year by Dr Bellenger to Father Leo Maidlow Davis, the school’s present chairman of governors. Their contents were disclosed yesterday at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is investigating past offences at Downside and another leading Benedictine school, Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

James Whitehead criticised the governance of Downside, where he is headmaster
James Whitehead criticised the governance of Downside, where he is headmaster

The inquiry also heard damning criticism of the Benedictine “culture of monastic superiority” from James Whitehead, Downside’s headmaster.

Alumni of the school, which has 380 pupils and where annual boarding fees are £32,700, have included the journalist Auberon Waugh, the Mad Men actor Jared Harris and the former England rugby player Simon Halliday.

In his letters Dr Bellenger, the monastery’s abbot for eight years until 2014, referred to Father Richard White, known as Father Nicholas, who was jailed for five years in 2012 for gross indecency and indecent assault against pupils in the 1980s. He also mentioned Father Dunstan O’Keefe, who was convicted of performing a sex act in a car outside a primary school, and later jailed for possession of child abuse images.

Dr Aidan Bellenger
Dr Aidan Bellenger

Dr Bellenger wrote: “At the heart of darkness in the [Downside] community is the issue of child abuse which was tolerated by all my predecessors as abbot.” He said he was “particularly concerned that Richard [Yeo], who should have known better, attempted to protect Nicholas and Dunstan when he should have been protecting their victims”. He added: “Neither was penitent. Both were protected and indirectly encouraged by their abbots, John [Roberts], Charles [Fitzgerald-Lombard] and Richard [Yeo].”

The inquiry was told that Father Leo did not reveal the existence of the letters until August this year, when he informed Dr Whitehead.

Dr Whitehead, who is due to leave Downside next year, said that the allegations potentially raised “very serious concerns that those abbots may have actually encouraged paedophilia”. He criticised the Benedictines’ “ineffectiveness of governance”, saying that a “fundamental problem” was that “members of the monastic community aren’t accountable to anyone unless they commit a criminal offence”.

The inquiry has been told that the “abbeys and schools are proud of the tradition of academic excellence and spiritual values” that they offer. It was also told that the Benedictine congregation “expresses profound shame that any child has been the victim of sexual abuse whilst in the care of the schools connected with its abbeys”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/child-abuse-was-encouraged-by-schools-abbots-at-downside-abbey-somerset-009z9ddlg

Abbots at £32,000-a-year Roman Catholic School ‘encouraged monks to abuse children while staff there are STILL sheltering paedophiles’

  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining abuse in schools
  • Letters from former abbot of catholic school tell of his concerns about abuse
  • In a letter last year, he said he feared the school was still sheltering a paedophile
  • Inquiry heard claims member of staff at school abused girl in a wheelchair

A Catholic school attached to a monastery sheltered child sex offenders and tolerated abuse, its former abbot claimed.

Downside Abbey in Somerset is being examined by Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse after two of its monks were jailed for child sex offences.

Letters from the abbey’s former abbot, Aidan Bellenger, have now revealed his fears that ‘the issue of child abuse was tolerated by all my predecessors as abbot’.

In a letter sent last year, he said of two monks who had been imprisoned over abuse: ‘Neither was penitent. Both were protected (and implicitly) encouraged by their abbots.’

He said of two other monks: ‘[They] avoided trial, but their offences (more than allegations) remain on record.’

His letter including a warning that a monk who still lives at Downside had taken part in ‘perverse and criminal’ activities.

Two others he said ‘were open to allegations of “paedophilia”‘, adding: ‘Small fry perhaps but in outside perceptions they would be in trouble.’

He warned: ‘More “historic” cases will emerge’, listing five other names, which have been redacted by the inquiry.

Earlier this week, the inquiry heard from a woman who said she was abused by a member of the staff at the school in the 1980s, when she was a wheelchair- bound teenager.

Two monks from the Abbey have previously been jailed for child sex offences.

Monk Richard White, 66, was handed a five-year sentence in 2012 after abusing two boys more than two decades ago, including a 12-year-old he paid 50p to hush up.

His court hearing was told that, instead of contacting the police after allegations were raised, the then abbot of the monastery simply stopped White from teaching younger students.

In 2004, Desmond O’Keefe, another former priest from the abbey, was jailed for downloading 12,000 children sex abuse images.

Dr Bellenger, who was abbot for eight years until 2014, has previously apologised to all former pupils affected by abuse.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) is currently examining the prevalence of paedophilia among Benedictine monks and failures to protect young people.

It is focusing on offenders who targeted children at two famous Catholic public schools, Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset, over many decades.

But although numerous inquiries have exposed the problem of child abuse within church institutions and a string of offenders have been convicted, safety concerns are said to remain.

Counsel to the inquiry Riel Karmy-Jones QC told a hearing last month the recorded allegations ‘go back many years… and they continue into the present day’.

She added: ‘In considering the evidence and assessing the extent of abuse, it must be remembered that we have to rely on that which has been reported, and the extent and accuracy with which those reports have been recorded, if at all.

‘In that time we have moved from scant records, little more than a handwritten notes on scraps of paper being kept, to electronic records. So some of the records that remain are old and illegible, some incomplete, some lost or destroyed.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5159157/Abbots-Roman-Catholic-School-sheltered-paedophiles.html

Andrew Soper trial: Jury deliberating case of abbot accused of abusing boys at Ealing school

The jury is out after a two-month trial into alleged sexual abuse at St Benedict’s School, Ealing

30 Nov 2017

A former abbot at Ealing Abbey accused of abusing boys while working at a school in Ealing is awaiting the verdict in his trial at the Old Bailey.

Andrew Soper was headmaster and senior priest at St Benedict’s School, a fee-paying independent school in Ealing, and he stands accused of abusing 10 boys there during the 1970s and 80s.

Now aged 74, Mr Soper denies 19 offences of indecent assault and buggery against the boys, who claim they were subjected to sexual touching and beatings with a cane.

Prosecutors said the school had a history of “both violence and sexual abuse” by the adults in charge, describing it as “sadly prevalent”.

A former pupil accused the school of covering up covering up “serial abuse” by teachers and priests over the past six decades in his testimony.

Jurors heard Father David Pearce, a former headmaster at the school, and John Maestri, a former maths teacher, have previously been prosecuted for child abuse crimes there.

A pupil told the court that he believed Maestri ran a paedophile ring at the school, but defence lawyer Jane Humphreys QC accused the man of concocting the stories to get back at school masters who had caned him.

“You say Mr Soper caned you and other masters did as well. You said that you want to bring the Benedictine order to its knees,” said the barrister.

The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the beatings were given for “fake reasons” such as kicking a football “in the wrong direction”, “failing to use double margins” and “using the

staircase”, the Old Bailey heard.

During his defence, Mr Soper told jurors incidents had been interpreted in a “sexual way” against a “tsunami of media attention as I am named fairly frequently”.

The abbot was extradited from Kosovo for the trial after he fled there from Rome upon learning he was the subject of a Metropolitan Police investigation in 2011.

Explaining why he fled, he blamed “stupidity and cowardice” and told the jury that his life had been ruined by the allegations.

The jury retired to consider the verdicts on Thursday morning following a two-month trial.

 

https://old-bailey.com/old-bailey-cases-of-interest/

T20167474
T20170163
Andrew Charles, Kingston Soper

Nov 24 2017

Details: Trial (Part Heard) – Resume – 10:52
Trial (Part Heard) – Summing Up – 10:59
Trial (Part Heard) – Prosecution Closing Speech – 11:43
Trial (Part Heard) – Case adjourned until 14:00 – 12:55
Trial (Part Heard) – Prosecution Closing Speech – 14:12
Trial (Part Heard) – Case adjourned until 15:40 – 15:28
Trial (Part Heard) – Prosecution Closing Speech – 15:43
Trial (Part Heard) – Case adjourned until 10:00 – 16:03

http://www.thelawpages.com/court-hearings-lists/crown-court-daily/14/lists/2017-11-24

 IICSA – Ampleforth  Week 1

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/3360/view/Week%201%20timetable%20for%20EBC%20case%20study%20hearing.pdf

Andrew Soper trial: Accused tells jury caning at Ealing school was ‘interpreted in a sexual way’

Former Ealing abbot Andrew Soper claims victims interpreted caning incidents at St Benedict’s school in a “sexual way”

23 NOV 2017

An Ealing priest has blamed a “tsunami” of media attention for almost identical accounts of boys he is accused of sexually abusing at a fee-paying Catholic school.

Former abbot Andrew Soper, 74, allegedly molested 10 pupils during his time as headmaster and senior priest at St Benedict’s School in Ealing in the 1970s and 80s.

Prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC quizzed the defendant on the “extraordinary” similarities between some of the alleged victims’ stories during his trial at the Old Bailey on Wednesday (November 22).

They claimed Soper “searched them for a book under the ruse of patting to touch their bottom” and offered three strokes of the cane instead of six “severe lashes” if they took their trousers and pants down.

The defendant accepted he had checked boys for “padding” and had changed his account to police on “calmer recollection” of events of some 30 years ago.

But he denied bargaining over the cane, saying: “I never gave that sort of an option because I would never give a boy six strokes of the cane, that’s far too much.

“I normally gave two or three.”

He told jurors incidents had been interpreted in a “sexual way” against a “tsunami of media attention as I am named fairly frequently”.

He cited a “backdrop of heavy media attention for the last 10 years” including a blog and “victim” discussion group, documentaries on Channel 4, Channel 5, Panorama, and news articles naming him and the school.

He said: “Against all that you have then got money, of course, which is a great incentive and the more elaborate the story, the more money you get.”

He went on: “I think, if I’m right, that seven out of 10 complainants left St Benedict’s before they completed their education for various reasons and none of them seem to have had, understandably, any love for the school.

“Also I’m associated in the media and public with a number of people who have been accused, and in some cases pleaded guilty, to child abuse in a relatively small school within the same time.”

He denies the 19 alleged offences of indecent assault, indecency with a child, and buggery allegedly committed against 10 boys.

The trial continues.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/andrew-soper-trial-accused-tells-13942552

 

Priest fled UK out of ‘cowardice’ after sexual assault charges

Nov 21 2017

A Roman Catholic priest fled the country out of “cowardice and stupidity” after being accused of abusing young boys, a court has heard.

Laurence Soper, 74, is charged with 19 counts of sexual assault against boys at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, where he taught.

Mr Soper was returned to the UK in May 2016 from after a five-year police hunt in Kosovo, the Old Bailey heard.

Ten former pupils have made allegations dating back to the 1970s and 80s.

The boys allege they were subjected to rape, sexual touching and beaten with a cane.

Mr Soper was arrested in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012.

Mr Soper – who is no longer a monk but remains a priest – said his whole life had been “ruined” by the allegations.

He insisted he did not flee to Kosovo because he was guilty.

He said: “My stupidity and cowardice and wishing to bury my head in the sand played a big part.

“If you want to destroy a priest, vicar, anybody, all you have to do is make an accusation up against them.

“Their future is ruined, their character is ruined.”

Mr Soper said he had been beaten with a cane several times when he too was a pupil at St Benedict’s in the 1950s.

It was “not totally uncommon” to hear of boys being caned with “clothes off”, he added.

Mr Soper told jurors, he had caned boys as a teacher but felt “totally different” about the practice now.

He denies all the charges against him, including indecent assault and indecency with a child.

The trial continues.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-42073351

 

 

http://www.thelawpages.com/court-hearings-lists/crown-court-daily/14/lists/2017-11-21

Why is the Charles Howeson trial getting so much more media coverage, than the Laurence Soper trial?


CASES OF INTEREST AT THE OLD BAILEY ON THURSDAY NOVEMBER 17

Court 7 at 10am Trial Continues in the case of Andrew Soper, a Catholic priest, who has denied sexually abusing 10 boys at a west London school in the 1970s and 80s.

Witness number 24 continues

Soper very protected – Minimal coverage of Soper’s trial:

Priests were ‘part of a paedophile network’

19 Oct 2017

A child abuse victim claims a paedophile ring was operating at a Roman Catholic school where a former monk allegedly sexually assaulted schoolboys, a court heard. St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London, has covered up ‘serial abuse’ by teachers and priests over the past six decades, according to one of Father Andrew Soper’s former pupils. Soper, 74, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of a string of sex…

http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/priests-part-paedophile-network/

Anthony John Wixted‏ @TrojanManifesto

Andrew Soper trial: Alleged child abuse victim claims paedophile ring operated from Ealing Catholic school:

Rev Nicolas Stacey must have had links to many people on the Elm
house guest list…..

Dame Alun Roberts‏@ciabado

Interesting read on Social Work Today and Islington connections.

ONE What is it about Islington, that den of iniquity? Here’s an attempt to join a few dots …

TWO Nick Stacey, a Director of Social Services, instructed his staff not to report alleged paedophiles within Kent Social Services.

 

THREE Stacey was very close to Peter Righton. Stacey, formerly a vicar, was based in Maidstone, where Righton also lived for a time.

 

FOUR They cemented their friendship via Social Work Today and were on a steering ctte to train those working with disturbed young people.

FIVE Also in this group of 6 were John Rea Price, Director of Islington for 19 years while every one of its kids’ homes was run by paedos.

SIX When Liz Davies blew the whistle on Islington, Rea Price quickly legged it to become CEO of NCB, also based in Islington.

SEVEN Also close to Righton and Stacey was Chris Andrews, Chair of BASW and another force within SWT alongside Margaret Claire Jervis.

Read here how Andrews rushed to the defence of paedophile Peter Righton:

Chris Andrews, of BASW, described Righton at the time of his arrest as follows: He [Righton] is a highly respected figure within the residential field, particularly working with highly disturbed children. He is very much concerned with therapeutic work in child care’ (cited in Burden and Rose, ‘Porn Squad quiz Child Care Expert’).

EIGHT Margaret Claire Jervis went on to become Barbara Hewson’s close friend and fellow activist in the false allegations campaign.

NINE When Righton was arrested in 1992, Chris Andrews, who spoke for BASW, was one of the first to jump to Righton’s defence.


Andrew Soper trial: Alleged child abuse victim claims paedophile ring operated from Ealing Catholic school

The former pupil of Father Andrew Soper accused St Benedict’s School of covering up “serial abuse”

19 OCT 2017

A child abuse victim claims a paedophile ring was operating at a school in Ealing where a former monk allegedly sexual assaulted young boys, a court heard.

On Thursday (October 19), a former pupil of Father Andrew Soper accused St Benedict’s school of covering up “serial abuse” by teachers and priests over the past six decades.

Soper, a 74-year-old former abbott of Ealing Abbey, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of a string of sex offences – including buggery and indecent assault against 10 schoolboys.

Prosecutors claim sexual abuse and violence against children was widespread at the Roman Catholic school from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Jurors heard Father David Pearce, a former headmaster at the school, and John Maestri, a former maths teacher, have previously been prosecuted for child abuse there.

The court heard from one complainant, who accused Soper of indecently assaulting him twice, who said he believes Maestri ran a paedophile ring at the school.

‘The Benedictine Order should answer for the serial abuse’

The complainant replied: “I believe that the Benedictine Order should answer for the serial abuse that has gone on in its educational establishments for the last few decades.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/andrew-soper-trial-alleged-child-13783458#ICID=sharebar_twitter


Laurence Soper, 74, the abbot of Ealing Abbey from 1991-2000, was headmaster and senior priest at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

Former pupil allegedly abused by Ealing priest denies being a ‘professional victim’

The witness was called a fantasist after claiming he was raped and indecently assaulted by Andrew Soper

A former west London pupil – who won a £135,000 settlement after claiming he was sexually abused by a school priest – was accused of being a fantasist on Monday (October 16).

The alleged victim first came forward after claiming he was raped and indecently assaulted by Andrew Soper, 74, at St Benedict’s School in Ealing in the 1970s.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/former-pupil-allegedly-abused-ealing-13768954

‘Fantasist’ – with so many other allegations against Soper? – So why did they give him a massive payout – unless they knew his claims were valid?


Jane Humphryes QC defending Soper also defended Fuggle of Colet Court school

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3068710/Child-sex-images-teacher-faces-jail.html

Anthony Fuggle, ex-Colet Court teacher, sentenced over child pornography

 Colet Court is a junior division of St Paul’s Preparatory School. Alumni include Chancellor George Osborne.

Soper –  is no longer a monk but remains a priest

10 Oct 2017

Roman Catholic priest, 74, ‘withdrew £182,000 from his Vatican bank account and went on the run in Albania after being accused of sexually abusing schoolchildren’

  • Father Laurence Soper, 74, was a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London
  • Soper then skipped bail and flew to Kosovo when he was accused of sex offences
  • It is claimed the Catholic priest caned pupils to give himself a thrill at the school

A Roman Catholic priest withdrew £182,000 from his Vatican bank account and went on the run in Albania after he was accused of sexually abusing schoolchildren in the 1970s and 1980s, a court heard.

Father Laurence Soper, 74, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, skipped bail and flew to Kosovo when he was accused of sex offences including buggery and indecent assault on boys under 16, it is said.

Prosecutors say the abuse took place between September 1972 and July 1983 while Soper was headmaster at St Benedict’s School in Ealing.

Soper caned pupils to give himself a thrill at the school, where sexual abuse and violence was allegedly widespread, it is claimed.

One of his alleged victims said children ‘had been targeted by predators and assaulted’ at St Benedict’s and accused the school of a ‘serial cover up’.

A series of accusations were made against Soper after he resigned as abbot and went to live at the Benedictine headquarters at Collegio Sant’Anselmo in Rome, Italy, in 2000.

He flew to the UK to be interviewed by police about the claims in July 2004, June 2009 and September 2010, and was allowed to return to Rome on police bail until 11 March 2011.

But seven days before he was due to attend a police station in the UK, he flew to Kosovo, Albania, with 204,000 euros withdrawn from his Vatican bank account, jurors were told.

Soper, who was then working as general treasurer of the International Benedictine Confederation, claimed he had been paid to study a mystical strand of Islam in the Balkans, the Old Bailey heard.

Gillian Etherton QC, prosecuting, said: ‘As a result of the defendant failing to attend his re-bailed date attempts were made by the police and authorities to locate him.

‘After five-and-a-half years of being wanted by police the defendant was located in Kosovo.

‘A European Arrest warrant was issued for Andrew Soper’s extradition. Eventually the authorities deported the defendant.

‘The defendant was arrested for these offences at Luton Airport coming off a flight from Kosovo on 21 August 2016.

‘He was cautioned and replied: “I vigorously deny these allegations.”‘

She added: ‘You will hear that the defendant is a meticulous man who analyses and plans most things.

‘The prosecution say he carefully organised his leaving of Rome. It was his clear intention to fall below police radar.’

Soper has since been expelled from the monatsery of St Benedict of Ealing for ‘scandalous behvaiour’ but is still a priest, the court heard.

He has been charged with 19 alleged sex offences relating to 10 complainants, including buggery and indecency with a child.

According to charges, he indecently assaulted one boy on a school cycling holiday and anally raped him twice on other occasions.

Soper, who was in charge of discipline at St Benedict’s School while he taught there, is also accused of using caning as ‘a method to rouse and to gain sexual gratification’.

The defendant, described as ‘manipulative’, ‘perverted’ and ‘sadistic’ by various complainants, allegedly kept canes, a cat-o-nine tails whip and a leather strap in his desk.

One former pupil said he was ‘the scariest of the monks there’.

‘He was a disciplinarian and never smiled,’ added the complainant.

Jurors heard the former pupils were told to pull their trousers down while Soper punished them in his headmaster’s room for ‘false reasons’ such as kicking a football in the wrong direction.

The boys were left feeling ‘dirty and ashamed’ after the incidents – but just one of the 10 alleged victims told his parents what had happened.

He claimed his parents, who have since died, didn’t tell the police because ‘priests were much respected’.

Ms Etherton said: ‘A priest or a monk is a person to look up to and hold in deep respect, not someone to challenge or confront.

‘A young boy’s word against that of a priest – you may think it’s little wonder that most of the complainants at the time said nothing.’

One former pupil was paid £135,000 to settle a sex abuse claim against Soper out of court in 2010, while another one was paid £5,900 after launching a civil claim, the Old Bailey was told.

Former headmaster father David Pearce and former maths teacher John Maestri have previously been prosecuted for child abuse at the school, jurors heard.

The court heard that several of the complainants came forward after reading about allegations of sexual abuse at the school on the internet.

Soper, formerly of Peja, Kosovo, denies two counts of buggery, one count of indecency with a child, 10 counts of indecent assault on boys under 16 and six counts of indecent assault on boys under 18.

The trial continues.

 

3 Oct 2017

Court 7 at 10.30am New trial of Andrew Soper, an ex-Roman Catholic priest has denied sexually abusing 10 boys at a west London school in the 1970s and 80s.

https://old-bailey.com/old-bailey-cases-of-interest/

2 Oct 2017

Mandate Now‏ @mandatenowDespite not featuring in Court Listings, the Trial of Soper commences in Court 7 of the Old Bailey at 10.30 today.


Former abbot to stand trial for abusing 10 schoolboys

Ealing

A former Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing 10 schoolboys in the 1970s and 1980s will stand trial in October. Father Laurence Soper, 73, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, is charged with 18 sex offences including buggery and indecent assault on boys under 16. They are said to have occurred at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, where he taught first as a priest before being promoted to abbot.

http://courtnewsuk.co.uk/former-abbot-stand-trial-abusing-10-schoolboys/

Ex-priest Laurence Soper denies sexually abusing boys

 

  • 10 August 2017

An ex-Roman Catholic priest has denied sexually abusing 10 boys at a west London school in the 1970s and 80s.

Laurence Soper, 73, is charged with 18 counts of sexual assault against boys aged under 16, at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, where he taught.

The former Abbott of Ealing Abbey appeared before the Old Bailey via video link and spoke only to confirm his name and deny the charges.

He is due to go on trial at the same court on 2 October.

None of the alleged victims, one of whom was aged under 14 at the time, can be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Soper is accused of committing indecent assault, indecency with a child, and serious sexual assault between 1972 and 1983.

In court he was addressed as Andrew Charles Kingston Soper – with Laurence being the name he took when he was ordained as a priest.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-40887750


 

 Child abuse inquiry set to drop investigation into Ealing Abbey monks

Lawyers will propose next week that no evidence be called about decades of abuse of pupils at Ealing Abbey and its adjoining independent school, St Benedict’sTimes Newspapers Ltd

An investigation into one of the worst scandals to afflict the Catholic Church in Britain is set to be dropped from the public inquiry into child abuse.

Next week lawyers for Alexis Jay, chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), will propose that no evidence be called about decades of abuse of pupils at Ealing Abbey and its adjoining independent school, St Benedict’s.

Victims were furious and accused Professor Jay of backtracking on her previous promise not to reduce the scope of the inquiry. They said the move undermined the credibility of the inquiry, which has lost three chairwomen, cost more than £20 million and shown little tangible progress since it was set up by Theresa May in 2014.

More on Ealing Abbey here

Andrew studied Modern Languages at Bristol University, having attended Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells.

He started his teaching career at Douai School (where csa was covered-up) near Reading before moving to Winchester College, (where csa – John Smyth Qc – was covered-up) where he was Head of Modern Languages.

Andrew joined Birkdale School (Pervert teacher smacked boys admitting it had satisfied his “perverted instincts”.)

in Sheffield in September 2002 as Deputy Head before being appointed as Headmaster of Stonyhurst College (where csa was rife)  in September 2006.

https://attain.news/story/9725

Several former priests and teachers at the Jesuit-run Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley were investigated over sex abuse allegations in the late 90s

Father James Chaning-Pearce, who taught maths and physics there, was convicted of molesting four boys and jailed for five years in 1997.

And Father John James Pearson was later jailed for two years after admitting to more than 20 indecency charges at Preston Crown Court, also relating to Stonyhurst.

Fr “Jock”George Earle, accused of abuse as Headmaster of Stonyhurst, yet he went on to lead the Jesuits’ British Province…

 


Update on Soper court case:

Soper 2nd hearing

Soper’s case has been transferred to the Central Criminal Court. There was a plea and case management hearing on 25th November.

He has been charged with two counts of buggery, one of gross indecency and six of indecent assault.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. A provisional trial date has been set for 13th February.

link

soper-sept-19-2016-trial

link

Monday, 19 September 2016

Soper hearing

There was a brief hearing today at Isleworth Crown Court.
No plea was entered and the case was adjourned until 28th November for a plea and case management hearing
link

Soper formrly of to appear @ Isleworth Crown Court on 19 Sept on charges of indecent assault + buggery

In court he gave his name as Andrew Charles Kingston Soper – with Laurence being the name he took when he was ordained as a priest.


Fugitive Catholic monk Laurence Soper is flown back to Britain after a five-year manhunt and charged with abusing five boys as young as 14

Met Police arrested him at Luton airport last night and then charged him.

Soper, who was detained under a European Arrest Warrant in Kosovo in May, will appear at Ealing Magistrates’ Court today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3752498/Fugitive-Catholic-monk-flown-Britain-five-year-manhunt-charged-abusing-five-boys-young-14.html

British priest wanted on child sex charges should not be extradited – Kosovo court

A former priest wanted on child sex abuse charges from the 1970s and 1980s should not be extradited to Britain because the crimes were committed too long ago, a court in Kosovo ruled on Monday.

Soper will remain in custody and the prosecutor has three days to appeal the ruling, she said.

This is the second time authorities in Kosovo have rejected the extradition request. In June, a court in Pristina rejected the request, seeking more documents from British authorities.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-kosovo-britain-extradition-idUKKCN10J15Y

1 July 2016

A judge in Kosovo has blocked the extradition to Britain of former abbot of St Benedict’s Laurence Soper accused of child abuse.

 A Kosovan court blocked the move because under Kosovan law the child abuse allegations against him – some of which date back to the 1970s – had expired.

In 2010, Laurence Soper was arrested and questioned in Italy, where he was living at the time, after an alleged victim approached police claiming he had abused him.

When British police summoned him again for questioning in 2011 he did not return, sparking what became a five-year Europe-wide manhunt before he was eventually found and arrested in the Kosovan city of Peja earlier this year.

link

The Times understands that Soper has travelled around the region on his British passport and made 22 trips to Macedonia since 2011. It raises questions over why he was not arrested there, because Macedonia is a member of Europol.
In 2010, when Mr Soper was living in Italy, a complainant in his 40s reported historical claims of abuse to police. Mr Soper was arrested and questioned, and allowed to keep his passport and return to Rome, where he lived at Collegio Sant’Anselmo, the order’s headquarters. He vanished the next year when he was asked to answer bail in London.

Wanted monk Soper had travelled to Balkans freely

A runaway former abbot arrested in Kosovo over child sex offences had been travelling freely around the Balkans on his British passport, his landlord said last night.

Laurence Soper, a senior Roman Catholic cleric, had travelled to Macedonia and Albania despite jumping police bail and evading a European arrest warrant, it was claimed.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/wanted-monk-had-travelled-to-balkans-freely-pfvtqgfbs

Laurence Soper has friends in  Balkan state of Montenegro according to a Church source.

Soper lived in Kosovo for years under the name Andre Insajderit. Soper has also used the name Andrew Charles.


CPS appeals as monk accused of child abuse remains in Kosovo

1 Jul 2016

Justice Lowell Goddard has said that the English Benedictine Congregation would be one of the first institutions to be investigated by the national child abuse inquiry

4 June 2016

The Goddard Inquiry

The Goddard Inquiry (also known as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) has issued a call for applications for “core participant” status in its investigation into abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The inquiry website states:

“The first case study will examine the English Benedictine Congregation which has been the subject of numerous allegations of child sexual abuse, including at schools run by the Congregation. The Inquiry will examine the relationship between Orders such as the Benedictines and the Catholic Church in England and Wales and consider how that relationship impacts on child protection. In this way the Inquiry will evaluate whether any failings identified within the English Benedictine Congregation, and within any other case studies identified as part of the investigation, are representative of wider failings within the Catholic Church.”

 
Chris Patten/ St Benedict’s child abuse paedophile ring/ Patrick Rock/ Balkans/Vatican

Laurence Soper  is the former abbot of Ealing Abbey. He taught at St Benedict’s (where Chris Patten is patron) for 12 years

The Metropolitan police had sought to bring back Laurence Soper, a senior cleric in the Roman Catholic Church, when he was found in the Balkans, in the eastern town of Peja, after a five-year manhunt.

Neighbours told a reporter that Soper, 72, had lived in the town for some years, did not have a job and had said he was writing a book.

“Kosovo is the unrecognised break-away Serbian state which was at the centre of the bombing campaign that generated huge numbers of orphans.  This bombing campaign … destroyed many families in Bosnia and Herzegovina…

The resulting micro states in the Kosovo-Bosnia-Albanian region are now the hotbeds of child trafficking syndicates who have wealthy customers in the Vatican to the West and Czech and Polish pedo traders in the North West.”

link

link

link

soper_zpsjnyja8we
Laurence Soper – former Chaplain at Harrow School
Soper taught at St Benedict’s from 1972 to 1984 and was abbot at Ealing for nine years until 2000.
He was one of the most powerful figures in the Benedictine order, the oldest Catholic monastic order, and also served as  chaplain at Harrow School  from 1981 to 1991 and as a visiting chaplain at Feltham young offender institution.
PRISONS Feltham/gv
Allegations: Feltham Young Offenders Institution where Fr Soper was chaplain 1988-2000
Concerns were also raised about Soper’s time as part-time chaplain at Feltham
Young Offender Institution between 1988 and 2000 by a former worker.
There have been complaints about abuse of inmates at Feltham, and Ealing Abbey subsequently confirmed that the police interviewed Soper at the time in connection with those complaintslink

Soper retired as Abbot in 2000 and immediately moved to the Benedictine headquarters at Collegio Sant’Anselmo in Rome where he became general treasurer of the International Benedictine Confederation in 2002 until his disappearance in 2011.
anselmo
Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

Laurence Soper was bursar of Sant’Anselmo and treasurer of the worldwide Benedictine

Confederation,
(Until 2013, the age of consent in the Vatican was 12 years old.)
Sant’Anselmo in Rome is the center of the Benedictine Confederation, where the Benedictine abbots of the world meet every four years for the Confederation congress. Sant’Anselmo is the seat of the Abbot Primate.
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Beside the visible swimming pool for the students is the headquarters of the Knights of Malta
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hqdefault
518311618-latest-vatican-bank-reforms-meant-to-finally-end


His friends say that Laurence Soper also worked at the Vatican Bank.

From Laundering To Profiteering, A Multitude Of Sins At The Vatican Bank

For decades, the Catholic Church has been dogged by scandals involving money. Vatican City — a sovereign state — controls its own finances through the Vatican Bank. It developed as a cross between the Federal Reserve and an offshore bank.

The Vatican Bank –  one of the top banks in the world for money laundering

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/30/382374060/from-laundering-to-profiteering-a-multitude-of-sins-at-the-vatican-bank


 2011: In recent years, Soper frequently took himself off on sudden short holidays to Morocco, Tunisia, Albania and Montenegro.


Child abuse case monk in secret trip to Vatican while on the run

Fr Laurence, known as ‘St Benedict’s banker after hiding in Montenegro on the Adriatic coast – where the European Arrest Warrant is not valid – he secretly returned to the Vatican to empty his account.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066730/Child-abuse-case-monk-secret-trip-Vatican-run.html

Did the Vatican know nothing about his return to withdraw funds?


Harrow school where Laurence Soper was chaplain

soper20harrow20book_zpso3wd8b6r1
9781849310239
(Harrow, Sedbergh and Durham schools, all raided in the late 1990s during a nationwide investigation into an alleged paedophile network of teachers at six leading public schools. )
2010 Papal honour for distinguished service – for James E Holland who worked with fr Laurence Soper
soper20201020jeh20harrovian_zpsczb2xpuj
soper20jeh_zpsyuv3pvpp
Laurence Soper and Dr J E Holland (JEH) worked together in the early years preparing boys for Confirmation
dr-je-holland-under-master-tatler-19aug14_henry-kenyon_b_1080x720
Laurence Soper OSB worked with JEH (Dr JE Holland) in the early years to establish the bare bones of what would later become the Catholic Chaplaincy.
Holland, James Edwin, PhD
Assistant Master (Modern Languages) 1980-; House Master of Elmfield 1995- 2007; University Liaison Master 1992-95. University of Toronto (1stclass French & German).
At Harrow in 2003,  Lady Diana’s nephew George McCorquodale was punished by housemaster Dr James Holland for bullying

George and Emily McCorquodale are children of Neil Edmund McCorquodale and his wife, née Lady Sarah SpencerLady Sarah, whose godmother was the Queen Mother, was a prosecution witness and had to answer questions about the gifts to Diana’s godchildren and about the “rape tape” – alleged to have contained allegations made by former servant George Smith of a male rape in the royal household.

link
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=royals&id=I44900

‘BULLY’ BROTHER PUNISHED.

EMILY’S illness is the family’s second blow in less than a month after her brother was disciplined for bullying at school.
George, 18, is to be excluded from end of term celebrations at Harrow as a punishment for taunting a fellow pupil.

But the teenager has been allowed to stay on to take his exams.

George, who bears a striking resemblance to close friend Prince Harry, will leave the pounds 19,500 a year school after next Saturday’s Speech Day, traditionally attended by all the school’s pupils. Sources at Harrow said George carried out a relentless campaign of abuse against the other pupil who eventually reported him to his family.

They went to housemaster Dr James Holland, who took action.

While not excusing George’s behaviour, sources suggested he has been deeply affected by his sister’s illness and publicity surrounding his family during the Paul Burrell trial. One said: “Obviously all the other pupils were aware of it and it did not help his behaviour.

“There was some emotional impact and that was reflected in how he behaved towards other pupils.”

Harrow’s headmaster Barnaby Lennon denied George had been expelled. He said: “I’m not prepared to discuss the disciplinary record of any individual pupil.

Harrow is one of Britain’s oldest public schools and has educated six Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill.

14troyt

link

Grandfather of bully George McCorquodale – Lord Alastair McCorquodale-  was a governor at Harrow school up until his death (2009). His son Neil  married Lady Sarah Spencer

Harrow School & convicted paedophile rev Peter Ball
326e0d9b00000578-3503093-image-a-23_1458589589050

Jimmy Savile and Prince Charles’ very close friendship with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball

Prince Charles Provided Free House To Bishop Arrested in UK Child Abuse Probe

Charles was a ‘loyal friend’, Bishop said

The UK’s spiraling child-abuse scandal has already reached Prince Charles once – he was a good friend of the children’s TV presenter Jimmy Savile who was a predatory paedophile – and now the prince’s judgment is being called into question again, after it emerged that a retired Church of England bishop arrested by police investigating historic allegations of child sex abuse was given a free house to live in by Charles after the bishop resigned in disgrace having received a police caution for committing acts of gross indecency.

Ball said : ‘He [Prince Charles] has been wonderfully kind and allowed me to have a Duchy house. The prince is a loyal friend.’

‘I have immense admiration for him. He has been through horrific times and is a great person.‘


Establishment figures who helped paedophile bishop Peter Ball avoid prosecution for sex abuse revealed

Harrow School’s relationship with convicted paedophile friend of Prince Charles, the Rev Peter Ball:

Former Harrow School headmaster Ian Beer said Ball was “almost saintly” and had shown a “remarkable influence for the good with the young”.
Ian Beer sent boys from all three schools he worked in (Harrow, Lancing and Ellesmere) to Peter Ball
According to Headmaster Ian Beer, in his letter of support for the paedophile Peter Ball, pupils flocked to Peter Ball for confidential help and advice
Harrow hosted young people from Bishop Peter Ball’s scheme in Sussex
Ian Beer recommended that Peter Ball be made governor

Ian Beer was an old chum of Denis Thatcher

At Denis Thatcher’s Funeral : a poem was read by Sir Denis’s old rugby chum, former-head of Harrow, Ian Beer

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-187319/Maggies-final-farewell-Denis.html#ixzz3wIkGgyyN

Ian Beer attended a Christmas Eve party w/Thatcher & Jimmy Savile at Chequers:

1982Dec 24 Fr
Archive (Thatcher MSS)

MT Engagement Diary

1340 To Chequers

1830-2000 Small drinks party

Guest List

Carringtons, Tim Smith, Ian Beer (Headmaster of Harrow), Station Commander of RAF Halton, Jimmy Savile, Mr. Hooker, Davids, Hamiltons, Nicholsons, Alison Ward:

http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/125054

b5276f06-070b-4a1c-aab3-7592e4d6c62e_zps90b3ffd7

Tim Smith – Leon Brittan’s PPS 1983-1985  He has no memory of the ‘Dickens Dossier’.

link

Harrow graduate and a Tory Party ex-vice chairman

Parly under-sec NI Office 1994

On 3 July 1997 he was found guilty  of taking cash for questions from Al Fayed, along with Neil Hamilton


Harrow: In 1974 an IRA bomb exploded at one of the masters’ flats, and in the same year an arsonist set fire to one of the houses, The Grove. The offender, one of the boys in the house, was tried in 1975 at the Old Bailey, where he produced evidence of “card and beer sessions” and claimed to have been the victim of homosexual “attack”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1436495/Michael-Hoban.html

ball20record_zps0hcybcbo
Bishop Peter Ball

harrow20beer_zpsalis34ia
Thatcher, a Harrow parent, used to visit the school as Prime Minister and in 1987 hosted a fund-raising reception at Downing Street.
harrow20thatcher_zpszgs3fsfy
screen-shot-2016-01-06-at-22-55-54
 
Ian David Stafford Beer; Headmaster at Harrow School 1981 – 1991
Laurence Soper, Peter Ball and Ian Beer at Harrow in the same time frame. 1981-1991
and where boys were being exchanged between Harrow School and Bishop  Peter Ball’s “scheme in Sussex”
beer

Peter Ball was Chaplain to the Headmasters’ Conference for a period of time


image733
Ian David Stafford Beer Headmaster at Harrow School 1981–1991 
Ian Beer of Harrow speaking about Rev Peter Ball:
beer20letter20pg202_zpscl80azrw

Andrew Charles Kingsdon Soper, also known as Father Laurence, was born in Hendon, Middlesex, on September 17 1943, to Alan Kingsdon Soper and Anne, maiden name Morris. His Penzance-born father married his mother in Cardiff in 1936.
soper
He was a distant cousin of the socialist and Methodist peer Lord Donald Soper.
lord-soper-cliff-r
Among the prominent Methodists associated with the Kingsway Hall was Donald Soper, who was Superintendent Minister at the West London Mission from 1936 until his retirement in 1978.
cliff-west-london-mission

soper_zpsjnyja8we
Father Laurence Soper briefly worked for Barclays Bank before entering the monastery in 1964. He taught at St Benedict’s from 1973-83, and became bursar between 1975-1991. He was elected Ruling Abbot from 1991-2000, but quit Britain in 2001 for Rome.
Education St Benedict’s Sch Ealing, St Benet’s Hall Oxford, Collegio Sant Anselmo Rome (STL, STD), St Mary’s Coll Twickenham (PGCE)
Books & Publications The Thoughts of Jesus Christ (1970), T H Green as Theologian (1972)
Recreations walking
 
The Rt Rev Laurence Soper, OSB

Career Barclays Bank 1960-64; entered monastery Ealing 1964; ordained: deacon (Assisi) 1969, priest 1970; St Benedict’s Sch Ealing: teacher 1973-83, bursar 1975-91, prior 1984-91, ruling abbot 1991-2000; titular abbot St Albans 2000-; episcopal vicar for Religious in Archdiocese of Westminster Western Area 1995-2000; delg to Gen Chapter (sec) 1985 and 1989; pt/t chaplain Harrow Sch 1981-91, visiting chaplain Feltham YOI 1988-2000; chm Union of Monastic Superiors 1995-99, gen treas Int Benedictine Confedn 2002-; Freeman City of Norcia Italy; FRSA 1975


Background on St Benedict’s:

Chris Patten is a former pupil and is on the Board of School Advisers

2011

A review by Lord Carlile QC  (considered a whitewash, especially as it was commissioned by the school’s trustees) into decades of paedophile activity at St Benedict’s school, a Catholic school attached to the abbey, published in 2011, listed 21 abuse cases starting in 1970.

Soper was named as one of five clergy wanted for questioning in relation to paedophile activity involving pupils.

The inquiry at the school was prompted after a former headteacher, Father David Pearce, was convicted of abusing five boys. He was jailed for eight years in 2009 for the abuse over 36 years. Four of the victims were under 14.

100939553__04_253209c

Father David Pearce

Lord Carlile’s report says that as a result of the reforms being put in place, he believes that St Benedict’s is now an “excellent place” for boys and girls to be “educated in safety”.

link

In addition to Father David Pearce, two former teachers at St. Benedict’s (John Maestri and Stephen Skelton) have been convicted of sexual abuse of pupils, and the school’s deputy headmaster Peter Allott was arrested in late 2015. He subsequently pleaded guilty to possessing, making and distributing child abuse images and was sentenced to 33 months in jail.

link

link

maestri-90216641_180412c

In 1982 a Middle-School Master called John Maestri disappeared weeks before he was due to replace Dom Laurence Soper as Master of the Middle School.

“It emerged many years later that the parent of the victim had complained to Abbot Francis that she would report John Maestri to the Police if he were allowed to take up the post as Master of the Middle School. He then disappeared.

Maestri has been before Isleworth Crown Court on three occasions. All of them for sexual offences against boys under the age of 14, all of them pupils at St. Benedict’s School, and all the offences relate to his time teaching at the school. In all three cases he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Maestri went on to teach at another school after he left St. Benedict’s.

…The obvious inference is that Maestri was asked to leave quietly to avoid publicity, and that part of the deal involved giving him a good reference that made no mention of the real reason for his departure.

I wonder how many times something like this has happened at the school.

But the most ironic and even tragic thing is that Maestri’s position as junior school headteacher subsequently went to – Father David Pearce.

It was a very strange failure of judgment that caused the Abbot to appoint two paedophile abusers in quick succession as junior school headteacher

link


2015

The judge said:

“I use the phrase of a paedophile ring, that’s precisely what that was.”

He studied history and politics at Hull University and gained a second degree in theology at the University of Durham.

Peter William Allott, who was the deputy head at St Benedict’s Catholic Independent Day School, pleaded guilty to possessing, showing and making indecent images of children, one offence of possessing extreme pornography and possession of class A drugs

Allott admitted possessing 25 ‘grossly offensive’ images on a hard drive and sharing the images with other offenders

Allott, 36 was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command, acting on intelligence was received that an individual had been using video conferencing facilities to share indecent images of children with others around the UK.

The judge said:

“I use the phrase of a paedophile ring, that’s precisely what that was.”

Allott was associated with a man whose online chat name was “London Paedo”.

He added that he shared images on Zoom and had image capture software to save pictures when others sent them to him.

Some of the material featured children as young as 2 years old.

“He was alarmed by some of it. He said he was surprised some of them were still alive.”

link


 St Benedict’s:

There’s a pattern here. The abuse is widespread. The perpetrators often seem to have been made headmaster of the middle school at some point in their career. The abuse was common knowledge – to both boys and teachers. And nothing was done, because the authority of the church was behind the abusers. They were monks and priests as well as teachers. Sometimes senior monks – headmaster or even Abbot

link



Paedophile Peter Allott left for a year in 2011 to work as a research associate for a project on the Prime Minister David Cameron’s “Big Society” initiative and Catholic social teaching at CambridgeUniversity.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3353705/Deputy-head-leading-Catholic-school-stored-child-porn-office.html#ixzz3uEk75iDC

Chris Patten is linked with paedophile- infested St Benedict’s as patron. Peter Allott of St Benedict’s was  convicted of making indecent images of underage children

Chris Patten is linked to Patrick Rock, a paedophile also convicted and making indecent images of underage children (Patrick Rock was Patten’s  former adviser on the West Balkans)

Patrick Rock moved to Brussels and worked for Chris Patten (European Commissioner) …Patten preceded by Leon Brittan

 photo patten and brittan_zpsa6u2427c.jpg

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2011 David Cameron brought Patrick Rock back into Downing Street appointing him deputy head of the influential No 10 policy unit. The same year Peter Allott was chosen to work on David Cameron’s Big Initiative Policy Project

Was Peter Rock involved?

2011: In recent years, Laurence Soper frequently took himself off on sudden short holidays to Morocco, Tunisia, Albania and Montenegro.

Vatican Inquiry into Ealing Abbey Child Sex Abuse

October 25, 2011

2014 Lord Patten named president of new Vatican media team

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/04/patrick-rock-tory)

1/6/2016

Patrick Rock, former aide to David Cameron, has been convicted of five counts of making indecent images of children.

Patrick Rock – Special advisor to Chris Patten

After his unsuccessful attempts at becoming an MP, Patrick Rock became an advisor to various Ministers during the 1990s, including

Michael Howard and also Chris Patten in Brussels, where he was given responsibility for the Western Balkans.

Tony Blair sent Patten to Brussels.  Patten was there from 1999 – 2004

link


Patrick Rock admitted downloading the pictures of young Czech girls while staying at the Pinehurst hotel and golf club in the US

He admitted downloading images of 20 young girls.

Youngest victim would have been 8 yrs old.

Commenting in the Telegraph, Joan Smith pointed out that his youngest victim, now 10, would have been even younger 2 years ago when the offences were committed and that his government duties had included devising policies to make the internet safer for children. Smith expressed astonishment that Rock would not spend a single night in prison and says upper class status protected him

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/humiliation-isnt-why-ex-cameron-aide-patrick-rock-walked-free-af/

SOFT JUSTICE
 Patrick Rock, 65, was found guilty of five counts of making indecent images of children in June
Patrick Rock, 65, was found guilty of five counts of making indecent images of children

Patrick Rock, David Cameron’s former aide who was spared jail over indecent pictures of children was given softer sentence because of judge’s blunder

The 65-year-old also served under Margaret Thatcher and worked on child abuse policy when he was arrested

23rd January 2017,

A FORMER aide to David Cameron convicted of having indecent pictures of children was given a slashed sentence because of a judge’s mistake.

Patrick Rock was given just a two-year conditional discharge after downloading images of half-naked girls in sexual poses – some as young as ten – to his iPad.

Under David Cameron, Rock was deputy head of Home Affairs policy unit with responsibility for co-ordinating the government’s response to child abuse images online.

The Oxford graduate also served under Margaret Thatcher as political correspondence secretary.

The minimum period should have been five years, but the mistake Judge Alistair McCreath made in June was not spotted until it was too late.

Judge McCreath only became aware of the “error” in October when he received a letter from the Met Police’s solicitor – but it was after the eight-week deadline to make any changes.

Today, Judge McCreath told Southwark Crown Court: “The position, crystal clear as it was, is now doubly crystal clear. There is nothing that I can do.

Rock served under David Cameron and worked in the Home Affairs policy unit on its response to child abuse

“It has always been the duty of the prosecution to inform the court of its powers to sentence and in the event of the court making an error in its powers of sentencing it is the for the prosecution to inform the court so it can remedy it.

“When an error is made it has to be brought to the attention of the court within eight weeks, this order was made on June 2, the first I heard of it was when a letter was sent from the Met Commissioner solicitors dated October 10.

“I recognise that was unlawful but this error was not brought to my attention in time within the generous eight weeks allowed.

“I have no power to do anything about this because the time has now passed in which I could exercise these powers.

“In these circumstances this application to vary the order has to be refused.”

He said the police lawyer “has fairly acknowledged error on the part of the prosecution at the time of sentence”.

On the possibility of amending the order, he added: “I have no power to do so and I am bound to refuse (this application).”

Rock, 65, of Fulham, south-west London, faced 20 charges of making indecent images of a child in August 2013 and was convicted of five counts.

He was cleared of three and the jury was unable to reach verdicts on the other 12, which were left to lie on file.

Rock was told he must register as a sex offender for the duration of the two years and was also banned from using a device with the internet unless it can retain his browsing history – and must allow police to inspect his history.

Sentencing him, Judge McCreath had told him: “The punishment for you is the loss of your reputation and your very public humiliation.”

Judge McCreath gave Rock a two-year conditional discharge on each count to run concurrently and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Yet a letter from the Met Commissioner’s office dated October 10 last year indicated the discharge should have been for five years, as that is the statutory minimum.

The Crown Prosecution Service indicted it may apply to the Court of Appeal to have the order amended.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2683699/patrick-rock-david-cameron-aide-spared-jail-indecent-pictures-children/

Cameron Aide Guilty of Downloading Child Porn; but Did Policy Chief Delete Indecent Images on Second Computer?

Daily Mail (London), June 2, 2016

It can now be revealed that he may have hid other incriminating evidence before his arrest in February 2014. Rock is believed to have wiped a computer after a tip-off from his sister that the FBI had seized his iPad containing the images. It had been found by builders at his mother’s home in North Carolina shortly after her death.

Investigators believe his sister, who lives in America, emailed him about the search. prompted Rock to erase the memory on a second tablet he had with him in the UK.

https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-453888491/cameron-aide-guilty-of-downloading-child-porn-but

https://goodnessandharmony.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/patrick-rock-aide-to-david-cameron-michael-howard-chris-patten/

Slain UK MP Jo Cox Took Close Interest in Bosnia

British MP Jo Cox gave her first child a Bosniak name and had ties to Srebrenica.

Slain UK MP Took Close Interest in Bosnia

…took a passionate interest in the Balkans, Sudan and Syria, visiting Srebrenica and running a camp for orphans from the eastern Bosnian town, where Bosnian Serbs massacred about 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in 1995.

As well as giving her first-born child a Bosniak name, Lejla, she referred regularly to past tragic events in Bosnia – and Kosovo – in parliamentary speeches urging Britain’s Conservative government to intervene more forcefully in the Syrian civil war.



From wikileaks:

rock20wikileaks_zpsy5hakjp1

2. (C) Patrick Rock, External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten’s cabinet adviser on Balkans issues, pointed to the 30 June EU statement offering full support for Ashdown’s actions in Bosnia earlier in the day and stressing the need for full cooperation with the Tribunal. Regarding visa bans, Rock thought that it was possible that the EU would follow the U.S. and add additional names recommended by Ashdown. He was firm, however, in saying that the EU was not able to freeze assets of ICTY indictee support networks, which he attributed to legal issues in some member states. Although the presidency country could not change member-state law, Rock did feel that the Dutch might be able to take a more active approach and encouraged our raising the issue with them. Rock said that the EU’s Western Balkans Working Group (COWEB) would almost certainly consider the demarche at its next meeting and remarked that the UK “could often be helpful.”

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/04BRUSSELS2828_a.html



Patrick Rock comes from a Catholic family and was schooled by Jesuits

Rock’s headmaster, Fr George Hughes Earle, was a protected Jesuit paedophile

Fr “Jock”George Earle, accused of abuse as Headmaster of Stonyhurst, yet he went on to lead the Jesuits’ British Province…

Young Jock joined the RAF, and served as an Intelligence officer in India and Burma.

On returning to Britain Earle worked briefly for the Ministry of Defence, then read Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford,

Fr George Earle, headmaster of Stonyhurst from 1964 to 1971, and later provincial of the Society of Jesus in Britain  – The judge at his trial concluded that three charges of indecent assault against one boy dating back to 1971 had to be dropped because of an agreement that was made at the time between the solicitor representing the boy’s parents and the Jesuits’ solicitors

http://archive.thetablet.co.uk/article/7th-april-2001/31/the-stonyhurst-file

George Hughes Earle, known as Jock (1925 – 2003)

After stepping down from Stonyhurst, Earle became an assistant to the Provincial for Education; he also became co-editor of The Way, the Jesuit journal of Ignatian spirituality. For three years he was Rector of St Aloysius’s College, Glasgow (Fr. George Earle. 1978 – 1981), with overall responsibility for the Jesuit parish and school. To the further surprise of many members of the Society, he was chosen to head the Jesuits’ English province, which was renamed the British province at his instigation.

One of his special concerns was the Society’s South African region, but he was not pleased when it was suggested that this was because he was preparing a comfortable billet for when he had completed his six years in office.

After a sabbatical, Earle assisted the South African bishops’ conference with the training of priests, and proved a popular retreat giver. When the allegations about his headmastership emerged, Earle returned to Britain, later joining the staff of the Jesuit Refugee Service at Osterley, Middlesex, helping asylum seekers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1444437/Father-Jock-Earle.html


Vatican Inquiry into Ealing Abbey Child Sex Abuse

October 25, 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15442914

Chris Patten attends a mass with newly appointed cardinals held by Pope Francis at St Peter’s

Chris Patten to take up media adviser role to Pope Francis

Former Conservative MP takes up new role only two months after dramatically quitting as chairman of BBC Trust due to heart problems

09 Jul 2014

He most recently was head of the organisation that oversaw the BBC, enduring three turbulent years as Britain’s public broadcaster battled a series of scandals.

He stood down in May after heart surgery, saying he needed to reduce the range of roles he undertook.

Why, then, would he undertake such a significant role?

Jimmy Savile: BBC boss Lord Patten rejects call for independent investigation …
Daily Mail

Chris Patten accused of a cover-up on BBC Savile probe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2521976/BBC-chairman-Chris-Patten-Patten-accused-cover-BBC-Savile-probe-blunder.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/10956058/Chris-Patten-to-take-up-media-adviser-role-to-Pope-Francis.html

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten told the Commons’ media select committee: ‘We will publish everything the Pollard review reports.

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Jimmy Savile photographed in the library at Fort Augustus Catholic school

Sexual predator Jimmy Savile was regular visitor to Catholic school at centre of abuse scandal

FORMER BBC presenter was frequently invited to Fort Augustus Abbey by Benedictine Order monks.

Image result for savile and o'brien

Disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien, a good friend of Savile’s, was also a regular visitor at the school.

The revelations of Savile’s visits to the school came as it emerged that many more pupils have stepped forward to claim they, too, were victims of monk teachers.

Savile spent much of his time in the Highlands even before buying a cottage in Glencoe in 1998, which was just over an hour’s drive from Fort Augustus.

Fort Augustus was used as a “dumping ground” for problem clergy who had confessed to abusing children.

O’Brien, who was forced to leave Scotland earlier this year after being forced to admit to inappropriate sexual behaviour, was guest of honour at the school’s old boys’ dinner last year.

The pair met when O’Brien was priest at St Patrick’s Church in Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, in 1971.

Savile was a regular visitor because his mother Agnes was friends with O’Brien’s colleague, Fr Denis O’Connell.

Five men claimed on the Sins Of Our Fathers documentary that they were raped or sexually abused by Father Aidan Duggan, an Australian monk who taught at Carlekemp and Fort Augustus between 1953 and 1974.

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Victim claims abuse on Manchester United trip

10 November 2017

A 61-year-old man from Glasgow has told the BBC he was sexually abused on a football trip to Manchester United in the late 1960s.

James, who wants to keep his anonymity, believes he was “trafficked” to English football clubs by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic order which ran his school.

He said he was repeatedly abused by the brothers at his primary school.

In a statement, Manchester United said it had found no information relating to the Marist Brothers in its review.

The Old Trafford club looked into historical abuse as part of the English FA’s inquiry, led by barrister Clive Sheldon QC.

It is looking at the way clubs or the FA dealt with concerns over child sex abuse between 1970 and 2005.

Initiation ceremony

However, James said he thought his abuse happened on a trip in 1969, when he was 12 or 13.

James told the BBC he was in a group of “elite” young footballers who were selected by his school to take part in a tournament in Manchester.

The boys were taken to Old Trafford and the club’s training ground, where they played matches and toured the stadium, the boot room and directors’ offices.

James said he had visions of becoming a Manchester United player like his heroes George Best and Bobby Charlton but he said he was taken from the hostel where the boys were staying and sexually abused.

He said he did not know who abused him but he was taken outside as part of an “initiation ceremony”.

“It was non-consensual sex,” he said.

“Adult and a child.”

James said he did not know if other young footballers were also abused.

“None of us ever spoke about it,” he said.

According to James, he was not aware at the time that it was abuse.

It was portrayed as part of the “football journey” of going down to the club and possibly becoming a professional footballer.

He said: “I believe I was forced to do it because of my previous experience. I thought there was no escape, I had to take the action.”

His previous abuse was at the hands of the Marist Brothers who ran his primary school, the Sacred Heart Primary School in the east end of Glasgow.

James said he was regularly beaten around the lower body by branches with thorns, belts or by hand for not knowing the answers to questions about the Mass.

He told the BBC he would soil himself when he was beaten and his sister would be sent for to take him out of class.

Grooming process

“That then led to an increase in the abuse which began by befriending you, telling you that you weren’t a bad person, you were a good person,” he said.

“All part of the grooming process, then on to sitting on the knee,.

“Then, after the beatings, removing the clothing to make sure there were no marks.

“And then other sexual activity.”

The beatings stopped when James moved to high School.

But a more sinister form of abuse began, he said.

Fort Augustus School

James said he was sent to the former Fort Augustus Abbey Roman Catholic boarding school

James said he was sent for a “holiday” to Fort Augustus school in the Highlands where BBC Scotland has uncovered evidence that widespread abuse took place.

He was also sent to Pluscarden Abbey. Both were run by the Benedictine order.

He said he was abused by monks there.

James said he was also abused when his football team were sent to English football clubs.

“I realise now I was trafficked,” he said.

“I didn’t realise that at the time.

“But there is a link between the abuse in the primary school – the Marist Brothers.

“A link to the Marist Brothers sending me to Fort Augustus and Pluscarden to the Benedictines and the Marist Brothers then sending me to the football clubs.”

He said: “My understanding was these clubs were more or less looking at us for potentially signing for the clubs.

“The type of player I was playing football with went on to be professional football players, to be professional football managers and professional coaches at the highest level in the Scottish Football Association.”

Internal investigation

Manchester United said: “We have no knowledge or records of any allegations of this nature.

“However, If we are provided with further details and they allege involvement of anyone connected with the club, we will of course investigate further and involve all appropriate authorities.”

The Marist Brothers no longer run schools in Scotland but they maintain a house in Glasgow.

In a statement the order’s lawyers said it took all allegations against it seriously, and referred them to police and an internal investigation.

It said: “The allegations in question were investigated by the police, and the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service confirmed our clients have done all that is possible regarding the allegations made.”

“James wants the public to know about the scandal of the historic trafficking of children round the UK.

“He wants more survivors of sexual abuse to come forward so that the perpetrators of this abuse and the institutions that protected them are held to account and we will continue to support him as he campaigns to achieve this.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-41926783

Pluscarden Abbey

https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/01/19/police-scotland-shut-down-the-pluscarden-abbey-child-abuse-investigation/

Priest, Father Paul Moore ,  convicted 20 years after first confessing

14 March 2018

Moore

Moore was sent to Fort Augustus after allegedly admitting child abuse to the bishop

An 82-year-old Catholic priest who confessed to his bishop more than 20 years ago that he had abused young boys has finally been convicted.

Father Paul Moore has been found guilty of sexually abusing three children and a student priest in crimes spanning more than 20 years.

One of his victims was just five years old.

A BBC Scotland investigation reported five years ago that Moore had admitted in 1996 that he had abused more than one boy years earlier, and it was initially covered up by the bishop.

The then Bishop of Galloway, Maurice Taylor, did not contact the authorities about the priest’s confession until eight months later. Instead, he sent him to a treatment centre in Toronto.

Bishop Taylor removed the priest from his parish in Prestwick, Ayrshire, and later sent him to Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands, which was run by Benedictine monks.

The attached school was by this time closed, but the abbey remained open. That is where Moore joined monk Richard White – who was also a self-confessed paedophile, later jailed for five years for child abuse.

The 2013 BBC documentary Sins of Our Fathers told how Moore was still living in a house which was purchased by the church.

Bishop Taylor said Moore had told him about actions that “occurred years previously”, and that the priest was removed from the pastoral ministry after the admission.

The bishop said: “The initial advice I was given was that since no allegations had been made against Moore but that he had made personal admission to me, I didn’t need to inform the authorities.”

The bishop said he arranged a meeting with the procurator fiscal in Kilmarnock in November 1996.

He said: “The Crown Office informed us in 1999 that they had decided not to proceed with any action but the case remained open.”

It was only when the victims came forward after the BBC documentary that the criminal case was brought.

n 2013, the BBC revealed claims by a former altar boy that he had been abused by Moore.

Two years later, Paul Smyth waived his anonymity to speak to a follow-up investigation.

He said: “I just want people to know the truth, I’m not running away any more.”

Mr Smyth told the BBC how he’d been sexually assaulted on Irvine beach when he was 11.

He eventually told the police what happened in 1997, the year after Moore apparently admitted the abuse to Bishop Taylor.

n 2013, the BBC revealed claims by a former altar boy that he had been abused by Moore.

Two years later, Paul Smyth waived his anonymity to speak to a follow-up investigation.

He said: “I just want people to know the truth, I’m not running away any more.”

Mr Smyth told the BBC how he’d been sexually assaulted on Irvine beach when he was 11.

He eventually told the police what happened in 1997, the year after Moore apparently admitted the abuse to Bishop Taylor.

Also in the 2015 follow-up, the BBC revealed a second man, another former altar server and now in his late 40s, was abused by Moore for several years as a teenager in Ayrshire.

The investigation obtained a copy of a £10,000 cheque given to the man by Moore in 2009.

Moore denied the cheque was “hush money” and says it was meant as a loan.

Moore being shown the cheque by Mark Daly

Moore being shown the cheque by Mark Daly

When confronted, Moore denied that he had confessed any child abuse to Bishop Taylor.

He accepted he was aware the man had made allegations against him, and was asked if he accepted that a payment to an alleged victim may look like “hush money”.

He responded: “Sure, it looks now, I realise that now in these times but it’s not that, it wasn’t hush money.

“In the Bible it says lend without hope of getting things back… as far as I’m concerned he can keep it.”

Asked if the two men were lying about the abuse claims, Moore said: “No, they’re not lying. They think that’s what it is. But it’s not.”

Some of the abuse was alleged to have taken place at St Mark’s Primary School in Irvine

The court case also heard from another man, now in his 40s, who told how Moore sexually assaulted him at St Mark’s primary school in Irvine in 1976.

Nowadays that crime would have been classed as rape.

Another man told of an occasion when he was abused at Irvine’s Magnum Centre when he was still a child.

Moore was ordained in 1960 and served in six different parishes in the south west of Scotland before retirement.

In 1995, he abused a student priest and around the same time he was found to have repeatedly stared at the bodies of young boys in Prestwick swimming pool.

Soon after this he made his confession to the bishop.

Bishop Taylor

Bishop Taylor was told of the abuse in 1996

Bishop Taylor, who is now 92, appeared in court and said Moore had admitted to him in 1996 that he had a desire to abuse minors and he knew it was wrong.

He spoke of abusing boys while they slept and others at a swimming pool.

The bishop was shown personnel records he had taken in 1996 when Moore asked to see him.

He told the bishop he had sexual involvement with two males who had been underage at the time.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-43398633

Fury at sex abuse inquiry snub: Ex pupils ‘devastated’ by bombshell U-turn

May 15 2017

Fort augustus abbey school.jpg

VICTIMS who claim they suffered horrific sexual abuse at a Scots school have been snubbed by an official inquiry – despite being backed by the PM who said they helped set it up.

When she was Home Secretary, Theresa May wrote to a former pupil of Fort Augustus Abbey school to thank him for his “invaluable” help setting up the English Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2015.

But the evidence of former Scottish pupils like him who attended that infamous boarding school is now unlikely to be heard at the powerful inquiry in London.

Last week, Fort Augustus Abbey was left off the list of schools to be examined by the IICSA later this year.

The snub has prompted fury among those who claim their lives were ruined by what they experienced at the boarding school.

Last night one victim told The Sunday Post: “This has come out of the blue. We’ve been waiting a long time for the inquiry.

“The effect is devastating on our mental health. There have been a number of suicides by ex-pupils because of the abuse.”

He said former pupils are very upset at the bombshell development, especially given Prime Minister May’s earlier support.

In 2015, Theresa May wrote to one of Fort Augustus’s ex-pupils following a number of meetings between the pair where they discussed the alleged abuse he suffered.

Having set up the inquiry less than two weeks previously, she wrote: “With your help we have now established an inquiry to get to the truth about what child sexual abuse occurred in institutions across the UK and why nothing was done.”

But those words now seem empty, after lawyers for Fort Augustus Abbey pupils were contacted last week to reveal the shock evidence reversal.

Fort Augustus Abbey – which was run by an order of English monks – is at the centre of allegations of physical and sexual abuse spanning 30 years.

The exclusive Highlands school shut for good in 1993 but horrific allegations about the way pupils were treated emerged in 2013.

Last year, the English Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse announced those claims would be examined – despite the school being in Scotland.

There is a Scottish inquiry set up to probe similar issues north of the border called the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

But campaigners say the English inquiry has been given more clout to take action, which is why ex-pupils from Fort Augustus lobbied to be included in it.

A spokeswoman for the IICSA said the institutions to be examined were still not set in stone – despite the new proposals.

She said: “No decisions of any sort have been made about the matters to be considered at the hearing.”

https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/fury-at-sex-abuse-inquiry-snub/?utm_source=twitter

father-francis-davidson

Ex-headmaster of Aberdeen school,

Father Francis Davidson,

at centre of sexual abuse allegations resigns from university post

Father Francis Davidson has been accused of failing to act on reports during time at Fort Augustus Abbey School in Highlands.

15 AUG 2013

A FORMER headmaster of a boarding school at the centre of sexual abuse allegations has resigned from a role at Oxford University.

Father Francis Davidson has been accused of failing to act on reports during his time at the Catholic Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands in the 1970s.

He has quit as monastic superior of the Benedictine college St Benet’s Hall, where he was responsible for the welfare of student monks at the university.

Alleged victims who attended the Abbey school told a BBC Scotland investigation that they were molested and beaten by monks over a period of three decades from the 1950s.

It has also been claimed that abuse was carried out at Carlekemp, its feeder school in East Lothian. Both schools are now closed.

Fort Augustus Abbey
FORT AUGUSTUS ABBEY (Photo: Peter Jolly)

 

Police are investigating the allegations.

One former pupil told the BBC that he told Fr Davidson personally of the abuse but the monks remained in the Abbey. Fr Davidson is the only surviving headmaster of the school.

In a statement issued to the BBC, Fr Davidson offered his sympathies to former pupils for any historic abuse and said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the allegations.

He added: “I do not recall them being reported to me during my time as headmaster of Fort Augustus Abbey School.

“As investigations into matters at Fort Augustus Abbey School and Carlekemp Priory School are ongoing, I have stepped aside from my role as religious superior at St. Benet’s Hall.”

Earlier this month, one of Scotland’s most senior Catholics apologised to former pupils amid the claims.

Hugh Gilbert, the Bishop of Aberdeen, said: “It is a most bitter, shaming and distressing thing that in this former Abbey School a small number of baptised, consecrated and ordained Christian men physically or sexually abused those in their care.”

Anne Houston, chief executive of charity CHILDREN 1ST, said: “The focus here must always remain on what’s best for those who were abused in the past and what will make a positive difference to them; that and helping protect children now and in future by taking steps to minimise the risk of this ever happening again.

“It is crucial that the church fully and openly co-operates with the ongoing police investigation and passes on any and all relevant information it may have relating to any allegations of abuse at these schools.”

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Father Abbot Mark Dilworth in his beloved cloisters at Fort Augustus Abbey with Cardinal  Keith O’Brien

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Mr Slater – worked at both CH and Ampleforth – Ampleforth filled with paedophiles.

The name had come up in conversation at IHT’s cottage when JDS (Headmaster John Shippen) and IHT were discussing Mr. Slater, who had been a CH Housemaster and formerly a monk at Ampleforth.

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‘Forty’ abusers at Catholic school

November 28 2017

Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire is accused of being a “honeypot” for offenders

Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire is accused of being a “honeypot” for offenders

Forty monks and teachers have been accused of sexually abusing boys at a leading Roman Catholic school that allegedly became a “honeypot” for offenders, it was revealed yesterday.

Reports of child sex offences at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire were disclosed yesterday at a public hearing of an inquiry into the handling of abuse allegations by the Catholic church.

As a case study, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) is examining safeguarding policies at two fee-paying boarding schools run by the English Benedictine Congregation — Ampleforth, and Downside in Somerset. Riel Karmy-Jones, QC, counsel to the inquiry, said that it would consider the prevalence of child abuse within the Catholic church and the extent to which Catholic culture “has or does inhibit the proper investigation and prevention” of such crimes.

Since 1996 three monks and two lay teachers at Ampleforth have been convicted of sex offences against pupils, but Ms Karmy-Jones said that the inquiry had been notified of multiple allegations against about 40 monks and teachers.

In an opening statement on behalf of 29 abuse survivors Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, the law firm, said that the “temptation to cover up” such crimes was “particularly acute in institutions associated with the Roman Catholic Church”. He said: “Where reputation is key to an organisation’s existence, there is likely to be an almost overwhelming desire to find some way of avoiding the bad publicity associated with child sex abuse.” Shared awareness among child abusers that their misconduct would be covered up, or dealt with in-house, explained why “some institutions become honeypots where multiple offenders operate”.

Mr Scorer urged the inquiry to consider recommending a change in the law to make failure to report abuse a criminal offence.

On behalf of 14 victims and survivors, David Enright said that it was “very difficult to explain” to a non-Catholic “the power and depth of influence the Catholic church exerts over its members. The abusers were not only men in positions of trust; they were seen by the abused, and their families, as spokesmen for the God they worship. It is hard to imagine a greater hold that a child abuser could have over his victim.”

Matthias Kelly, QC, counsel for Ampleforth, said that the school and the abbey wanted “to apologise for the hurt, injury, distress and damage done to those who were abused as a result of our failings”. He said that the school’s policy today was one of “full, transparent and immediate co-operation with the statutory agencies”.

For Downside and the English Benedictine Congregation, Kate Gallafent, QC, said that the Catholic church was committed to giving the inquiry “its full co-operation. The congregation expresses profound shame that any child has been the victim of sexual abuse whilst in the care of the schools connected with its abbeys.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/forty-abusers-at-catholic-school-w75b7wfjg

Former pupils tell inquiry of sexual abuse by priests at Ampleforth College

Boys as young as six allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted at Roman Catholic school in Yorkshire, inquiry into child abuse hears

29 Nov 2017

Priests at a leading Roman Catholic school abused boys as young as six, including beatings and sexual assaults, the national inquiry into child abuse has heard.

Former pupils at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire gave evidence to a hearing in London on Wednesday, and written statements by other former pupils were read.

Many of the allegations centred on two priests, Piers Grant-Ferris who was jailed for two years in 2006 for 20 counts of indecent assault on boys in his care, and another priest referred to as RCF4.

One witness who spent 11 years at Ampleforth College and its preparatory school Gilling Castle from 1965 to 1976, said RCF4 had treated him “disgracefully”. “He was physically violent from the outset… I was physically and psychologically abused,” he told the hearing. RCF4 had been “nasty, cruel and physically violent towards me”.

In his second year, when the witness was eight years old, he said Grant-Ferris would walk behind boys sitting at long refectory tables for meals and select children for beatings. “If he stopped behind you and tapped you, then you knew it was you. If he stopped behind someone else and tapped them, one thing that disturbs me to this day is the feeling of relief that it wasn’t going to be me,” he said.

Once he was beaten in the chapel confessional by the priest after being told to take off his clothes. “It was always with his hands … and his hands would always linger on one’s bare bottom after each smack.”

On another occasion, the witness said Grant-Ferris told him to undress and lie face down on the priest’s bed. “He proceeded to take my temperature rectally. I didn’t even know people could have their temperatures taken rectally, I’d only ever had a thermometer put in my mouth. I begged him not to do it, because I didn’t know what was happening, but he continued anyway. I think technically that was a form of rape.”

Grant-Ferris, the son of a Tory peer, was “the full authority figure” the witness told the hearing. At the school, there were “sexual overtones and currents all the time”, he added.

After he left school, the witness suffered a “total psychological collapse” which lasted seven or eight years. “I wasn’t able to do anything, I couldn’t function.”

He said he believed that Basil Hume, who was abbot of Ampleforth Abbey for 13 years until appointed archbishop of Westminster in 1976, had been aware of abuse at the schools. “I have no doubt he knew exactly what was going on at the time.”

Another witness, who was sent to Gilling Castle at the age of six, told the hearing that he and other boys would cry under their blankets at night as monks wearing long black robes patrolled the dormitories. Grant-Ferris was known as “Pervy Piers” among the children, he said.

According to yet another statement, Grant-Ferris was “handsome and aristocratic” with a perpetual mood of excitement.

This witness also described how another teacher had put his hand down the boy’s trousers “to check my breathing” when he was auditioning for the choir. As a result of his experiences, he said: “I became a very quiet child who didn’t talk to people much.”

The inquiry also heard from a female former pupil at Ampleforth College, who left the school in 2010. She said that a music teacher, Dara De-Cogan, had sexually abused her over a period of years. De-Cogan was jailed for 28 months earlier this year pleading guilty to 10 charges of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust.

The witness said that he had groomed her from the age of 13, and his abuse resulted in her self-harming. “I thought I deserved to be punished somehow for what I was doing … [self-harming] gave me a sense of numbness.”

On some occasions, De-Cogan gave her marks out of 10 for oral sex, she said. “He would comment on it as if it was a piece of homework.”

Child protection procedures at Ampleforth were “very poor”, she said. Because of earlier convictions of monks, the college had an “obsessive emphasis on the completion of paperwork, but common sense and looking at what was in front of their faces – that went by the wayside.”

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse began a three-week hearing on Monday focusing on the Benedictine schools of Ampleforth and Downside. In some cases, abusers were permitted to stay in their posts and allowed to have contact with children and other vulnerable individuals, the hearing was told earlier this week.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/29/former-pupils-tell-inquiry-of-sexual-abuse-by-priests-at-ampleforth-college?CMP=share_btn_tw

Former pupils tell inquiry of sexual abuse by priests at Ampleforth College

Boys as young as six allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted at Roman Catholic school in Yorkshire, inquiry into child abuse hears

29 Nov 2017

Priests at a leading Roman Catholic school abused boys as young as six, including beatings and sexual assaults, the national inquiry into child abuse has heard.

Former pupils at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire gave evidence to a hearing in London on Wednesday, and written statements by other former pupils were read.

Many of the allegations centred on two priests, Piers Grant-Ferris who was jailed for two years in 2006 for 20 counts of indecent assault on boys in his care, and another priest referred to as RCF4.

One witness who spent 11 years at Ampleforth College and its preparatory school Gilling Castle from 1965 to 1976, said RCF4 had treated him “disgracefully”. “He was physically violent from the outset… I was physically and psychologically abused,” he told the hearing. RCF4 had been “nasty, cruel and physically violent towards me”.

In his second year, when the witness was eight years old, he said Grant-Ferris would walk behind boys sitting at long refectory tables for meals and select children for beatings. “If he stopped behind you and tapped you, then you knew it was you. If he stopped behind someone else and tapped them, one thing that disturbs me to this day is the feeling of relief that it wasn’t going to be me,” he said.

Once he was beaten in the chapel confessional by the priest after being told to take off his clothes. “It was always with his hands … and his hands would always linger on one’s bare bottom after each smack.”

On another occasion, the witness said Grant-Ferris told him to undress and lie face down on the priest’s bed. “He proceeded to take my temperature rectally. I didn’t even know people could have their temperatures taken rectally, I’d only ever had a thermometer put in my mouth. I begged him not to do it, because I didn’t know what was happening, but he continued anyway. I think technically that was a form of rape.”

Grant-Ferris, the son of a Tory peer, was “the full authority figure” the witness told the hearing. At the school, there were “sexual overtones and currents all the time”, he added.

After he left school, the witness suffered a “total psychological collapse” which lasted seven or eight years. “I wasn’t able to do anything, I couldn’t function.”

He said he believed that Basil Hume, who was abbot of Ampleforth Abbey for 13 years until appointed archbishop of Westminster in 1976, had been aware of abuse at the schools. “I have no doubt he knew exactly what was going on at the time.”

Another witness, who was sent to Gilling Castle at the age of six, told the hearing that he and other boys would cry under their blankets at night as monks wearing long black robes patrolled the dormitories. Grant-Ferris was known as “Pervy Piers” among the children, he said.

According to yet another statement, Grant-Ferris was “handsome and aristocratic” with a perpetual mood of excitement.

This witness also described how another teacher had put his hand down the boy’s trousers “to check my breathing” when he was auditioning for the choir. As a result of his experiences, he said: “I became a very quiet child who didn’t talk to people much.”

The inquiry also heard from a female former pupil at Ampleforth College, who left the school in 2010. She said that a music teacher, Dara De-Cogan, had sexually abused her over a period of years. De-Cogan was jailed for 28 months earlier this year pleading guilty to 10 charges of engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust.

The witness said that he had groomed her from the age of 13, and his abuse resulted in her self-harming. “I thought I deserved to be punished somehow for what I was doing … [self-harming] gave me a sense of numbness.”

On some occasions, De-Cogan gave her marks out of 10 for oral sex, she said. “He would comment on it as if it was a piece of homework.”

Child protection procedures at Ampleforth were “very poor”, she said. Because of earlier convictions of monks, the college had an “obsessive emphasis on the completion of paperwork, but common sense and looking at what was in front of their faces – that went by the wayside.”

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse began a three-week hearing on Monday focusing on the Benedictine schools of Ampleforth and Downside. In some cases, abusers were permitted to stay in their posts and allowed to have contact with children and other vulnerable individuals, the hearing was told earlier this week.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/29/former-pupils-tell-inquiry-of-sexual-abuse-by-priests-at-ampleforth-college?CMP=share_btn_tw

Top public school suspends child sex charges teacher

3 Mar 2017

THE head of music at a prestigious private school has been suspended following allegations he sexually assaulted a pupil three decades ago.

Sean Ambrose Farrell, 49, denied two charges of indecent assault and two charges of gross indecency when he appeared before York magistrates last week.

All four offences are alleged to have been committed against a child aged under 14 at the time at Ampleforth College’s junior school.

Farrell, of Riddings Road, Ilkley, was released on bail on condition that he has no unsupervised contact with children aged under 16.

He has been removed from his post at Wellington College, in Berkshire – which counts the late actor Sir Christopher Lee and Will Young among its alumni – several months ago after North Yorkshire Police launched an investigation.

A Wellington College spokesman said: “In line with our safeguarding procedures, Wellington suspended the member of staff concerned and excluded him from the school site as soon as it was made aware that the police were investigating these accusations.”

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15132702.Top_public_school_suspends_child_sex_charges_teacher/

Ampleforth

Monk ‘who ran sex club involving young boys’ at country’s top Catholic School ‘remained in his job for eight years after allegations were first made’

Apr 5 2017

  • Father Jeremy Sierla allegedly ran ‘sex club’ for boys at Ampleforth College
  • He remained at Catholic school for eight years after allegations first made
  • Police told he would make pupils perform sex acts in their pyjamas 
  • Investigation began in 2004 but no charges were ever brought against him 

Detectives spoke to more than a dozen young men who attended the school’s Junior House between 1990 and 1993 when Father Jeremy was housemaster.

Some recalled the monk whipping boys’ bottoms with his habit, encouraging the pupils to tie him up, showering naked with them and putting his hands under their duvets, the Times reported.

Photos and video clips – none indecent – of Ampleforth pupils were found on Father Jeremy’s computer, including one of a 12-year-old boy holding a rose in his mouth.

Father Sierla, 59, lived and worked at £30,000-a-year college, pictured, until 2012, despite accusations first being made against him eight years previously

The investigation was triggered when the same boy, in his early 20s by 2004, made allegations to police about abuse he claimed Father Jeremy had subjected him to.

The monk was not charged after prosecutors ruled there was insufficient evidence against him, and the CPS said the case file was destroyed years ago, the Times reported.

Father Jeremy continued to work in the abbey shop from 2004 to 2012 and posed for photographs to promote Ampleforth’s own brand Abbey Beer.

A music teacher, Dara de Cogan, who joined Ampleforth in 2004 was jailed last week for sexually abusing a female student during violin lessons.

An police investigation was launched into his conduct at the Yorkshire Catholic school, pictured, in 2004 but no charges were ever brought against him

A school spokesman said that Father Jeremy’s continued presence at Ampleforth was approved at a meeting of safeguarding professionals in 2004 and that his case was reviewed again in 2007 by an independent safeguarding commission.

It took a further five years before the Department for Education (DfE)told Ampleforth he should not be allowed on school grounds. 

TheDfE said that it was unable to discuss individual cases but stressed it was ‘paramount that children are protected at school and that there are robust safeguards in place’.

It added: ‘Where schools fail to meet standards, we will not hesitate to take action.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4384898/Monk-ran-sex-club-young-boys-Catholic-School.html

Fr Denis Chrysostom Alexander

Fort Augustus School

Monk accused of Fort Augustus Abbey abuse arrested in Sydney

23 January 2017

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander was one of several monks accused of abusing boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

The BBC has learned he has been remanded in custody in Sydney pending his extradition back to Scotland to face trial.

The Crown Office here said it would not comment on legal matters elsewhere.

Father Alexander has always denied the allegations.

In 2013, he was confronted by BBC Scotland in Sydney as part of a documentary which prompted a major police investigation.

Now, three and a half years after that programme, that investigation has taken a significant turn with the former Benedictine monk’s arrest.

He will face a further hearing on Wednesday at the local court in New South Wales, where it will emerge if he will oppose the extradition or not. He will also be entitled to apply for bail.

One of Father Alexander’s accusers, Hugh Kennedy, has previously spoken of his frustration at the length of time it has taken the Scottish authorities to request the extradition of the former monk who is now 80.

One other former Fort Augustus monk is due to face trial in Scotland soon for a series assaults, whilst a further seven cases remain under consideration by the Crown Office in Scotland.

Fr Alexander was returned by the Catholic Church to Australia in 1979, after allegations of abuse were made by another Fort Augustus Abbey pupil, who the BBC has also spoken to.

No report to the police was made, and no warnings were provided about his alleged offending behaviour, to the Church in Australia where Fr Alexander continued as a priest for a further 20 years or more.

He was stripped of his priestly faculties in 2013 after the BBC programme.

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http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/monks-extradition-blocked-in-child-abuse-inquiry-x7tmpr2lbhttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/14/fugitive-london-priest-arrested-kosovo

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https://goodnessandharmony.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/ian-beer-cbe-supporter-of-paedophile-bishop-peter-ball-invitation-to-margaret-thatchers-christmas-eve-party-with-jimmy-savile-and-others/

Cardinal George Pell accused of sexually abusing two choirboys, book claims

Vatican’s financial chief, who has always denied wrongdoing, faces fresh allegations of abuse, relating to his time as archbishop of Melbourne

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, is accused of abusing two boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s

New allegations of child abuse are being levelled against Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial chief and the most senior figure in the Australian Catholic church.

Fairfax Media has reported claims contained in a new book, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, that he sexually abused two choirboys at St Patrick’s cathedral after becoming archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

The author Louise Milligan first flagged these claims on the ABC’s 7.30 Report in July last year. But according to Fairfax Milligan’s book, to be released on Monday, contains details of the accusations that have not been made public before.

After the 7.30 Report Pell accused the ABC of conducting a “scandalous smear campaign.”

Cardinal Pell’s office issued a statement on Saturday saying the cardinal had “not been notified by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions or Victoria police of the status of their investigations, which have been underway since at least February 2016.”

“Cardinal Pell will not seek to interfere in the course of justice by responding to the allegations made by Melbourne University Press (publisher of Milligan’s book) and media outlets today, other than to restate that any allegations of child abuse made against him are completely false,” the statement said.

“He repeats his vehement and consistent denials of any and all such accusations, and stands by all the evidence he has given to the royal commission.”

The boys, students at St Kevin’s College, sang in the cathedral choir and were allegedly abused by the archbishop in a room somewhere in the precincts of the cathedral. They left the choir and the school shortly afterwards.

Milligan claims one of the choirboys died of a drug overdose in 2014. His mother was subsequently told by the second boy that they had been abused by Pell when they were teenagers at the cathedral.

Milligan writes that both spoke to the Sano taskforce established to investigate allegations that emerged during a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria and the later royal commission into child abuse.

Pell has now been accused of abusing boys at three stages of his career: as a seminarian, a priest and as archbishop of Melbourne.

He has denied all these allegations on a number of occasions. No charges have ever been laid against him in relation to them. The cardinal, prefect of the secretariat for the economy at the Vatican, has stated that he willingly co-operated with the detectives of the Victoria police when they interviewed him in Rome in October last year.

Sano has also investigated allegations that as a young priest Pell abused boys in the swimming pool of his hometown Ballarat. Pell also denies these allegations.

Milligan writes that Pell and his defenders have been able to “bat off or gloss over” the swimming pool allegations by casting them as “horseplay or a bit of rough and tumble … The story of [the choirboys] has no such ambiguity. If these allegations are true, they point to utter, sinful hypocrisy.”

Citing ill health, Pell declined to return to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission in person last year and instead gave evidence by videolink from Rome. In February this year the Australian senate called on the cardinal to return home “to assist the Victorian police and office of public prosecutions with their investigation into these matters.”

Pell dismissed the parliamentary resolution as “an interference on the part of the Senate in the due process of the Victoria Police investigation.”

According to reports, the police have now twice sent briefs of evidence concerning Pell to the Victorian office of public prosecutions.

The Guardian is not claiming Cardinal Pell is guilty of any allegations of sex abuse, only that they have been investigated by police.

Operation Sano continues.

The Guardian contacted the Vatican, Pell’s office in Rome and his office in Australia for comment.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/13/cardinal-george-pell-accused-of-sexually-abusing-two-choirboys-book-claims?CMP=share_btn_tw

May 17 2018

Ballarat in Western Victoria became an epidemic of clerical paedophilia in the late 20th century. The dark tragedy affects thousands of lives to this day. It is widely acknowledged the Catholic Church protected its worst offenders and moved them on to prey on new unsuspecting communities. But how could offending on this scale have failed to draw the attention of local authorities? Who was protecting whom?

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ballarats-children/news-story/33580594d14a97741e8cf4ded22179ba

Cardinal George Pell ‘to be CHARGED over child sex abuse allegations’ sending shockwaves through the Catholic Church

Cardinal Pell is not just Australia’s most senior cleric, he is one of the highest-ranking officials in the Catholic world.

For two decades, he has been a frontline figure in the Church’s debate over controversial issues such as homosexuality, Aids and stem cell research.

He has also handled the Church’s official response to allegations of sexual abuse within its Australian ranks during a series of inquiries.

He gave evidence via video link to a Royal Commission into abuse last year.

It is hard to overstate, therefore, the significance of the decision to press charges against him.

When he returns to face those charges in an Australian court, every second will be scrutinised not just by the Australian press, but by members of Catholic congregations across the globe.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40439489

  • Cardinal George Pell will reportedly be summoned to Australia by police
  • The summons is believed to be related to a child sex abuse investigation  
  • Authorities are expected to announce the possible charges this morning

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations.

It is understood Cardinal George Pell will be summonsed to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police.

The summons will be issued today to the 76-year-old head of finances for the Vatican, according to The Australian.

Authorities are expected to provide additional details on the investigation and possible charges this morning.

It is not clear whether the cardinal will return home from Europe or if he will be extradited to face the charges.

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations (pictured eating in Italy)

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations (pictured eating in Italy)

Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police
Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police

Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police

Cardinal Pell appeared via video-link for a public hearing of Australia’s national child-abuse Royal Commission in early 2015.

When he was asked to fly to Australia to appear in person, he declined, citing health problems.

The Cardinal was interviewed by three detectives from the taskforce in Rome in October 2016, who updated the evidence.

He has strongly denied the allegations of abuse.

The Office of Public Prosecutions submitted a second brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the police last month, according to The Herald Sun.

The summary said charges could be laid against Pell based on the evidence but that it was up to the to decide if they wanted to or not.

The Sano taskforce, which investigates allegations of sexual abuse, has been investigating Cardinal Pell since 2016

The Sano taskforce, which investigates allegations of sexual abuse, has been investigating Cardinal Pell since 2016

Police could be powerless to make Cardinal Pell return to Australia because he is so high up in the Vatican that he has diplomatic immunity.

Cardinal Pell was appointed to the Vatican’s Secretariat of Economy in 2014, the third highest ranked position within the church.

His high ranking grants him diplomatic immunity in Australia, meaning he cannot be forced to attend court or provide information, according to legal experts.

New South Wales state parliament member David Shoebridge told the Newcastle Herald in May that Australia had an extradition treaty with Italy, but it did not include the Vatican.

‘[Australia] hasn’t managed in 44 years to get one in place with the tiny pretend nation-state of the Vatican that exists wholly within Rome,’ he said.

‘This is why George Pell can’t be forced back to face questioning.’

Victoria Police will not comment on reports Cardinal George Pell is to be charged by summons over historic child sex abuse allegations.

 


More protected paedophiles – Thaddeus Kotik of Caldey Island

Another protected Benedictine paedophile – Thaddeus Kotik of Caldey Island

Prince Charles HRH The Prince of Wales meets monks Father Robert, Brother Gabriel, and Acting Abbot Father Daniel during his visit to Caldey Island in 1997

Image result for prince charles caldey island

HRH The Prince of Wales meets Mrs Veronica Cattini as she works in the Post Office on Caldey Island today (Saturday). Photo Barry Batchelor/PA. July 26, 1997

Priest jailed for child abuse images lived on scandal-hit Caldey Island

Exclusive: revelations mean that four men convicted or accused of sexual offences against children lived or stayed on tiny monastic Welsh island

Father John Shannon, who was subsequently caught on the mainland with pictures of children as young as nine, lived on the island off the Welsh coast for nine months.

Father John Shannon, who was subsequently caught on the mainland with pictures of children as young as nine, lived on the island off the Welsh coast for nine months. Photograph: Archant Cambs/Archant

A priest who was jailed for downloading hundreds of pictures of child sexual abuse is the latest offender to be identified as having close links with the monastic island of Caldey, which is at the centre of a growing scandal.

Father John Shannon, who was subsequently caught on the mainland with pictures of children as young as nine, lived on the island off the Welsh coast for nine months.

The revelation means that four men convicted or accused of sexual offences against children have now been identified as having lived or stayed on Caldey and will increase pressure for an inquiry.

In November the Guardian revealed a string of allegations against a monk, Thaddeus Kotik, dating back to the 1970s and 80s. Kotik was a member of the Cistercian order of Benedictine monks and lived in the monastery on Caldey Island from 1947 until his death in 1992.

It later emerged that police are investigating a second man over accusations of sexual abuse on the island during the same period and that a sex offender called Paul Ashton hid there while on the run from police. Ashton was finally caught on the island in 2011, taken back to the mainland and jailed.

The abbot, Daniel van Santvoort, has confirmed that Shannon, lived on the island in 2008 and 2009.

Shortly afterwards, in 2010, police found 740 indecent images of children on a computer that he had downloaded while working as a lecturer at a Catholic seminary in county Durham. Three of the images were “level five” – of the most serious nature – and 75 were level four.

Shannon’s barrister argued at his client’s sentencing hearing that he had never had a chance to explore his sexuality and viewing the images became a compulsion.

Jailing him at Durham crown court for eight months, Judge Christopher Prince placed Shannon on the sex offender register for 10 years and banned him from working with children for life.

Van Santvoort told the Guardian that Shannon took on the role of priest on a trial basis in 2008 with the abbey’s approval after islanders asked for the parish church of St David’s to be re-opened.

“[Shannon] came with good references and took up residence in a cottage. During this period it was evident the role of a parish priest was not viable and he left the island within nine months of his arrival, in 2009,” the abbot said.

“We understand that some time later, whilst working on the mainland elsewhere in the UK, he was investigated by the police for offences committed on the mainland after he had left the island and was subsequently convicted.

“That inquiry did not involve any allegations of offences committed on the island and the police did not conduct any inquiries on the island in respect of this person. We understand therefore that he had no criminal convictions when he came to the island nor when he left.”

While Shannon was living on the island, Ashton was hiding from police there. Ashton was wanted after police found 5,000 images of child sexual abuse on his computer and in 2011 was found on Caldey , where he had been living under an assumed identity for seven years.

A whistleblower has told the Guardian that another convicted criminal, John Cronin, is suspected to have lived under an assumed name in a cottage owned by the monastery for a month in 2009.

Cronin was jailed in 1992 for sexually assaulting an adult Conservative party volunteer. One of his modi operandi was to pose as a priest.

The source said the man they believe to be Cronin left the island suddenly, taking keys to a property and owing money after he was recognised by a monastery employee from online photographs.

Cronin had allegedly requested through the abbey to stay at a monastery property on the island over winter.

However, Van Santvoort said the abbey did not know of Cronin’s alleged stay.

“We have no knowledge of this person whatsoever. The name is completely unfamiliar to us,” he said.

Thaddeus Kotik and two children on Caldey Island.
Thaddeus Kotik and two children on Caldey Island. Photograph: Supplied

Caldey Abbey settled civil claims by six women in March this year and Van Santvoort has publicly apologised for the abbey’s failure to report Kotik to police despite its knowledge of his offences.

Another six women and a man have since approached the Guardian alleging abuse by Kotik.

The Conservatives’ children’s spokesman in the Welsh assembly, Darren Millar, has called on the Welsh government to launch an investigation into Caldey Island.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/12/priest-jailed-for-child-abuse-images-lived-on-scandal-hit-caldey-island?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

and also on Caldey  island – paedophile Paul Ashton who was in charge of their internet – found with 5000 images


Sex offender hid in Caldey Island abbey for seven years

24 Nov 2017

Paul Ashton was found while on the run after his image was posted on a Crimestoppers Most Wanted list

A sex offender lived in the abbey on Caldey Island for seven years while on the run from police until he was found in 2011, taken back to the mainland and jailed.

Paul Ashton lived among the Cistercian monks on the private island off the Pembrokeshire coast in south-west Wales as police searched for him after finding thousands of images of child abuse on his computer. Ashton was finally found after his image appeared on a Crimestoppers Most Wanted gallery.

Caldey Abbey is at the centre of a scandal after the Guardian revealed a string of allegations against a monk called Thaddeus Kotik dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

The abbey has been keen to emphasise that the Kotik allegations are of a historical nature and no members of the current community were on the island at the time. But victims claim there is at least one monk still alive who knew Kotik and say the abbot himself knew Kotik from 1990, two years before the monk died in 1992.

The fact that Ashton, a suspected sex offender wanted by the police, was able to live at the abbey so recently and for so long will cause huge concern.

The current head of the abbey, Daniel van Santvoort, has been abbot since 1999.

Following the Guardian’s revelations about Kotik, whistle-blowers came forward to describe how Ashton lived on the island under the name Robert Judd.

Ashton had been arrested by police in West Sussex in 2004 when officers executed a warrant at his address in Bracklesham Bay. He was given bail while police examined his computers. Officers found more than 5,000 images of children but he had vanished when they returned.

At that time, a man in his 50s calling himself Robert appeared on Caldey. Whistleblowers said Ashton arrived on the island as a monastery guest in 2004 but stayed and moved in.

“When Robert arrived, he offered to help and made himself indispensable,” a whistleblower said. “He operated the island’s satellite internet and phone system, managed online accommodation bookings and the accounts and worked in the mail room. He put himself in an ideal position.”

They said that “Robert” changed his phone number frequently, encrypted his emails and never left the island.

In May 2011, “Robert” further aroused the suspicion of the whistleblower by emailing him that he had “met another family” that included two young boys on the island and had invited them to his private quarters in the monastery.

Curious and worried, the whistleblower began investigating Ashton and discovered that a man called James Robert Judd was named as a director of a cleaning company called St Martins of Caldey, according to Companies House records.

The whistleblower carried on investigating. “ I just knew in my gut that something was wrong,” they said. Eventually an image appearing to be Robert was found on the Crimestoppers site. It named him as Paul Ashton.

“One evening we had a phone call telling us to look at a website and there [Robert] was, on the most wanted list,” he said. “I saved and printed the photo, showed it to the abbot and asked him who it was. He said: ‘That’s Robert of course.’ I asked if he was absolutely sure and he said: ‘Yes without a doubt’.”

Whistleblowers have passed on photographs they took of plainclothes police officers escorting Ashton to the boat Caldey Island II beside the island on 6 July 2011.

At Chichester crown court on 1 March, Ashton admitted possessing more than 5,000 indecent images of children and was jailed for 30 months. The court was told he was found after an anonymous call was made to the Crimestoppers charity.

It heard that South Wales police arrested him in relation to the Sussex inquiry – and said that more computer equipment containing further images were found on his Caldey Island computers.

Speaking after Ashton’s conviction, DC David Midgley, of West Sussex CID, said: “Credit must go to the anonymous informant to Crimestoppers who became suspicious and rang in. Thanks to their actions, Ashton was finally brought to justice after spending nearly eight years in hiding.

“In each image, a child was a victim of crime. The length of the sentence shows how the justice system will punish those who download indecent images of children.”

The Guardian has sought comment from van Santvoort who is believed to be in France but has not yet received a reply.

Six women sued the abbey over the allegations against Kotik and another seven women have now come forward to the Guardian since the article exposed the offender last Saturday. The victims have welcomed calls for an inquiry into the protection of child sex offenders on the island.

Friends of Our Lady of Tintern
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The Patrons of the Project are:

Rt Revd Dom Paul Stonham OSB, Abbot of Belmont


Rt Revd Dominic Walker OGS, Bishop of Monmouth

Rt Revd Daniel van Santvoort OCSO, Abbot of Caldey

http://www.ourladyoftintern.co.uk/supportus.php?mnu=supportus

Dedication of the statue

On Sunday 9th September 2007 the statue was blessed and dedicated in a moving ceremony conducted jointly by the Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith, and by Bishop Dominic Walker of Monmouth, Church in Wales. A very large crowd gathered for the occasion, in the region of 800 people.

Page 26, 10th November 1990

Home news

Satanic abuse ‘possible’

The belief of social workers that children in Nottingham who were sexually abused were also forced to take part in ritual practices connected with Satanism has now been supported by the director of the city’s social services department. In a report issued last week, Mr David White said that “on the basis of the children’s testimony it would be unwise not to accept the possibility that there were ritualistic elements to this case”. Nottingham Police strongly reject the suggestion that ritual practices played any part in the Broxtowe child abuse case, in which ten adults were jailed in February 1989 for offences of incest, indecent assault and cruelty against 23 children in the extended family; a view which Mr White originally shared.

The case became controversial when some of the children, who had been made wards of court after being sexually abused, started to describe experiences of a bizarre nature of which foster parents and social workers had no previous knowledge. They talked, among other things, of being burnt by sticks, of animals sacrificed and of drinking the blood, of witchcraft parties and even of other children being killed. A report commissioned by Mr White and the chief constable of Nottinghamshire, which appeared in December 1989, concluded that there was no evidence of Satanic abuse. It criticised the work of social workers concerned in the case who, it suggested, had unwittingly encouraged children to believe in and allege bizarre abuse.

The new report, which was expected to be approved on Wednesday by Nottinghamshire social services committee, follows intense media interest in the case and the disruption of working relationships between the police and social workers in the city. It praises the work of the specialist group of social workers concerned, and says that “the disclosures made by the children are unlikely to have been created in their minds by the social workers or foster parents”. Having read the diaries of the children involved, Mr White now supports the social workers’ view that even if the children had not suffered each incident physically they were made to believe that they had.

Mr White argues that the case is of national significance in that it challenges the conventional wisdom about how children should be listened to and how matters can be dealt with which are beyond existing knowledge. Mr White’s recommendations include the setting up of a joint police and social service body to review practices and procedures in the field of child protection; and the establishment by the Department of Health of a nationally co-ordinated research programme to monitor the problem and offer guidance.

Social workers in Manchester, who also had been criticised for encouraging children to make up stories of ritual abuse, were defended recently by the Anglican Bishop of Manchester, Stanley BoothClibborn (The Tablet, 6 October). Allegations of ritual abuse have also been made in Rochdale. Canon Dominic Walker, co-chairman of the Christian Deliverance Study Group, which trains Anglican and some Catholic exorcists, told The Tablet that the Churches are concerned and are holding meetings with social workers, police and psychiatrists. “People are fairly convinced that something is going on“, he said, “and that it is not just an invention of fundamentalism. What is not clear is whether it is a new development of Satanism or whether the people involved are paedophiles who are adding Satanic ritual to their practices.”

The secretary to the Committee for Social Welfare of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Mgr Michael Connelly, noted however that no evidence had been produced of ritual practices associated with child abuse. Only one diocese has informed him of such a case.

Source: archive.thetablet.co.uk/article/10th-november-1990/26/home-news

Caldey Island: Sex offender evaded justice at abbey

March 2012

A fugitive child sex offender fled to a Pembrokeshire island’s abbey to evade justice and remained there for seven years, it has been revealed.

Paul Ashton, from Sussex, went on the run in 2004 charged with possessing indecent images of children.

When he was discovered at Caldey Island in 2011, more indecent images were found on his computer in the monastery.

He was arrested and brought to justice after a visitor recognised him from a Crimestoppers “Most Wanted” list.

The revelation comes after it emerged six women have been paid compensation by Caldey Abbey after they were abused by a monk on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s.

Since that information came to light last week, a further five women have come forward accusing Father Thaddeus Kotik of abusing them.

Allegations were made to the abbey in 1990 but complaints were not passed on to police.

Dyfed Powys Police was eventually made aware of the allegations in 2014 but could not prosecute Kotik as he died in 1992.

The current abbot, Brother Daniel van Santvoort, has apologised the complaints were not referred to police sooner.

Ashton is understood to have arrived on Caldey Island as a guest in 2004, but stayed and moved into the clock tower which overlooks the island.

He was provided with accommodation and food by the monks, who knew him by his alias Robert Judd.

A source said: “When Robert arrived he offered to help and made himself indispensable.

“He operated the island’s satellite internet and phone system, managed online accommodation bookings and the accounts and worked in the mail room.

“He put himself in an ideal position.”

Ashton had absconded from his home in Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex after Sussex Police executed a search warrant and confiscated computers in 2004.

In July 2011, an anonymous call was made to Crimestoppers by someone who had seen Ashton’s face on its “Most Wanted” list, and he was arrested on the island.

Sussex Police said: “They recognised the picture as a man working in south Wales but under a different name… police were informed and local officers swiftly arrested him in relation to the Sussex inquiry.

“More computer equipment containing further images was also found.”

Ashton, then aged 59, pleaded guilty at Chichester Crown Court to possessing more than 5,000 indecent images of children on his computers, hard drives and USB sticks.

He was jailed for 30 months in March 2012 and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Caldey Abbey has been asked to comment.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42121382

Wanted paedophile hid in Welsh island monastery for seven years while on the run from police

25 Nov 2017
He aroused suspicion in 2011 when he emailed a whistleblower saying that he had ‘met another family’, including two young boys on Caldey Island and had invited them to his private quarters in the monastery.

Ashton was escorted off the island by plain-clothed police officers on July 6 2011. 

Appearing at Chichester Crown Court on March 1, he admitted possessing more than 5,000 indecent images of children and was jailed for 30 months.

The court heard that South Wales Police arrested Ashton in relation to Sussex Police’s inquiry and said more computer equipment containing indecent images was found on Caldey Island. 

Man with 5,000 child porn pictures is jailed

A 59-year-old man found with more than 5,000 indecent images of children has been jailed after almost eight years in hiding.

Paul Ashton, from Sussex, but of no fixed address, fled the area after he was arrested in 2004.

Ashton was only caught following a tip-off after he was featured on the Crimestoppers Most Wanted list.

He was discovered living in South Wales under an assumed name.

He has now been jailed for 30 months.

Ashton was initially arrested in 2004 after Sussex Police raided his home in Bracklesham Bay and recovered computer equipment.

He was arrested and bailed while officers analysed the hard drive.

His address was searched again a few months later with more computer equipment seized.

Police said all the computers contained numerous indecent images on the hard drive and USB sticks.

Indecent pictures

However, Ashton fled his home and did not answer bail. He was only traced in July last year after someone spotted his photo on the Most Wanted list.

South Wales Police were told and he was arrested, when more computer equipment with further indecent pictures of children was found.

He pleaded guilty at Chichester Crown Court to possessing more than 5,000 indecent images at a hearing on Thursday (March 1).

DC David Midgley, of West Sussex CID, said: “This case highlights how an individual’s criminality will catch up with them – whether it’s weeks, months or years later.

“Credit must go to the anonymous informant to Crimestoppers who became suspicious and rang in. Thanks to their actions, Ashton was finally brought to justice after spending nearly eight years in hiding.

“Ashton recognises that in each image, a child was a victim of crime.

“The length of the sentence shows how the justice system will punish those who download indecent images of children.”

Ashton was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and will sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.


Paddy Lyons has written a book about the four years he spent inside Caldey Island’s monastery.

when back in Britain as a 26-year-old, despite a new girlfriend and a three-year traineeship with Unilever in Birkenhead.

“I thought I had to try this lifestyle out because it had never gone away and though I first tried the hermit lifestyle of the Carthusian Order I ended up on Caldey Island,” said Mr Lyons, now 74.

He has since been a social worker, a Financial Times journalist, a press officer for what is now the charity Action For Children, has got married to wife Elsie and raised five children in Barnet

https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-198378512/in-the-swinging-sixties-paddy-couldn-t-wait-for-a
Action for Children

Government IT expert is caught with child porn stash… but why did Downing Street keep it secret for six months?

2 August 2014

Not Patrick Rock – Sebastian Crump

Worked for the Cabinet Office – he received promotion at Cabinet Office while he was being investigated

He has spent a decade working in technology and communications for Government offices, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Central Office of Information

He was arrested in January – Patrick Rock was arrested in February

Crump landed a government job after working as a children’s charity website manager, Action for Children, which helps support vulnerable and neglected children, between 1998 and 1999.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713810/Government-digital-chief-caught-child-porn-stash-did-Downing-Street-secret-six-months.html

Father Paul Satori came to me first; his attitude was totally different from the priest who I had first gone for counseling. He was very understanding and gentle; his concern was that homosexuality was still a criminal offense in the United Kingdom.

The meeting with my parent’s local doctor lasted for about an hour, I was told a lot of young men went through a period in their teenage years of confusion about sexuality and, with the right treatment, I would soon be a normal heterosexual man.

Two days later, against my will and to my horror, I was sectioned in a psychiatric hospital and forced to undergo electric shock treatment. I was kept in a private ward in the psychiatric hospital for three months while I underwent a series of shock treatments. After leaving the hospital, feeling very confused and lonely, Father Satori arranged for me to go on retreat for two weeks at the Caldey Island monastery before returning to university.

https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-227279152/catholic-hiv-positive-and-one-of-god-s-children

Thaddeus Kotik

Revealed: monk who abused children on ‘crime free’ Caldey Island for decades

17 November 2017

Abuse by a monk who preyed on girls on a tiny island off the coast of Wales was covered up in the 70s and 80s

Kotik offended against the six girls between 1972 and1987, though the women believe there may be many more victims, over many more years.

A former soldier who fought in the Free Polish army during the second world war, Kotik moved to the island in 1947, joined the strict Cistercian order and was ordained a priest in 1956. He lived on the island until his death in 1992. It appears he was never questioned by police and that they were not informed until 2014.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1480675/Naive-monks-sacked-cook-and-his-wife-unfairly-tribunal-rules.html

In the late 80s, when she and her family were residents of the island, Emily, then five years old, told the then Abbot Robert O’Brien – who died in 2009 – about Kotik assaulting her. The abbot ordered Kotik to stay inside the monastery enclosure, but Kotik regularly escaped from the monastery grounds and continued to abuse children.

 

Abbot Robert O’Brien

The girls reported the offences to the principal of their school, St Phillip’s Christian College in Newcastle, New South Wales in the late 1980s. According to Charlotte the deputy principal Richard Rule, who now runs a child care centre, prayed for the students and told them they “didn’t need to talk of this again because God has forgiven everyone”.

Also in 2014, Charlotte emailed the current abbot of Caldey Abbey, Brother Daniel van Santvoort, seeking an acknowledgment of the crimes committed against her and her sister. “The effect that this abuse has had on me has been quietly catastrophic,” she wrote.

No secret

But it wasn’t the first time van Santvoort had heard allegations against Kotik. In a response to Charlotte he wrote: “I have heard occasionally about this serious matter as regards Fr Thaddeus”.

Van Santvoort told her the monastery knew about the monk’s offences and that he had been reprimanded and banned from contact with islanders and visitors in the 1980s, but had not been reported to police. “I am fully aware now of this terrible criminal offence and Fr Thaddeus should have there and then been handed over to the police – something that never happened.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/18/revealed-monk-who-abused-children-on-free-caldey-island-for-decades

The island was bought by Anglican benedictine monks in 1906 and it was this group that built the monastery and abbey which sits in the centre of the island.

Now it is home to about 40 residents and a group of about 18 Cistercian monks.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2244669/caldey-island-monks/

Caldey Island is three miles off Tenby and popular with day trippers in the summer.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/aug/26/caldey-island-independence-tenby-council

Caldey Island: police investigate second man over sexual abuse claims

Separate investigation comes after it was revealed that Cistercian monk allegedly abused at least 11 girls in 1970s and 80s

Detectives are investigating a second man over accusations of sexual abuse on Caldey Island after it was revealed that a Cistercian monk allegedly abused at least 11 girls in the 1970s and 80s.

Police said the alleged assault took place at about the same time, and the accused was visiting the island off Tenby in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales.

Officers refused to give further details because they said it would jeopardise the investigation, but said he was not a member of the abbey or abbey staff.

The Guardian reported on Friday that six women claimed they were abused as children by Father Thaddeus Kotik.

Since then, it has emerged that five others allegedly suffered abuse, and earlier this week, the head of Caldey Abbey issued an apology acknowledging that allegations of serious child sexual abuse made against Kotik should have been passed on to police.

Dyfed-Powys police are aware of allegations by eight women – the six original complainants and two more who have since come forward. A spokesperson said: “Following the recent media reporting of sexual abuse at Caldey Island, police received two further reports of non-recent sexual abuse.

“They relate to offences committed during the same time period (between 1977 and 1987) and with the same named perpetrator, Thaddeus Kotik. These crimes have been recorded and officers are in contact with the victims during the investigation and to offer specialist support.

“Police have also received one further report of a sexual assault by another male at Caldey Island around the same timeframe. The report has been made by one of the original six victims.

“This is being investigated separately to the Caldey Island abuse and concerns a man who was visiting Caldey Island at the time and no longer lives there. No further information can be released at present as it would jeopardise the investigation.”

Simon Thomas, a Plaid Cymru AM, said: “What is most troubling about this case is that the victims of sexual assault felt that they were not able to make a complaint at the time, and that complaints made were not dealt with properly. As a result the perpetrator was never brought to justice and children grew up bearing the weight of being a victim of these terrible crimes.

“Caldey Island is a landmark on the Welsh coast, and children and tourists visit there every day to learn about the abbey’s history. It’s important that people can visit there with confidence. ”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/23/caldey-island-police-investigate-second-man-sexual-abuse-allegations?CMP=share_btn_tw

Caldey Island: More monk sex abuse accusers speak out

 

  • 21 November 2017

Three more women have come forward alleging they were sexually abused by a monk on a Pembrokeshire island in the 1970s and 1980s.

A total of 11 women now claim Father Thaddeus Kotik abused them on Caldey Island when they were children.

A letter seen by BBC Wales shows Kotik’s abuse was reported to abbot Brother Robert O’Brien in 1990, but not to police.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it received reports of the abuse in 2014 and 2016.

The force investigated but could not prosecute as Kotik died in 1992.

Six women have already been paid compensation in an out-of-court settlement by Caldey Abbey following the sexual abuse claims.

But journalist Amanda Gearing, who has spoken to victims, said three more women now claim to have been sexually assaulted by Kotik.

One woman who reported her case to police on Monday told the Guardian she broke down and was unable to sleep for 36 hours after reading about Kotik’s abuse of others.

She said her abuse was “low level compared with others” but it happened when she was sat next to Kotik on a bench.

“He put his hand up my top. Then his hand went up my back and under my arms. I squirmed away from him and walked away. I didn’t go near him after that,” she said.

Another woman told the Guardian she and her two sisters were abused by Kotik, but claimed there was pressure by both the church and family for victims to “shut up”.

Kotik befriended families who regularly visited the island. After gaining the trust of parents he would babysit the children and sexually abuse them, court papers have suggested.

One of them, who has already spoken out about what happened, said she “bitterly regrets” her abuser was never jailed.

There are fears there could be more victims and calls have been made for an independent inquiry by the Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42071238

 

Inquiry calls into abuse complaints on Caldey Island

21 Nov 2017

There are calls for an independent inquiry into allegations of historical sexual abuse at an abbey on Caldey Island off Pembrokeshire.

It’s understood six women were paid compensation following claims against a monk – Thaddeus Kotik in the 70s and 80s. But it’s feared there could be more potential victims.

Police say they did receive reports of historic sexual abuse but could not proceed with a prosecution because the monk died in 1992.

Now a support group, Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, says an independent investigation should take place and the abbey should apologise.

Six women have received an out of court settlement, after claims they were abused by the monk Father Thaddeus Kotik when they visited the island as children in the 1970s and 80s.

Three of them shared their experiences with Australian journalist Amanda Gearing:

The effect of the abuse on these women has been particularly severe – partly because of the threats made against them which separated them from their parents.

The offender told them that if the children reported what was happening their parents would not want them anymore and would leave them on the island with him

– Journalist Amanda Gearing

It is claimed Brother Thaddeus Kotik groomed, and sexually assaulted the children of families staying on the island and although they spoke out at the time, no formal action was taken.

It wasn’t until almost thirty years later the crimes were brought to the attention of the police. By that time, Kotik had been dead for two decades.

Dyfed-Powys Police told ITV News that “Appropriate professional support was offered and the matter was drawn to a close.”

Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that in 2014 and 2016 it received reports of non-recent sexual abuse that occurred at Caldey Island with the named offender being the deceased Thaddeus Kotik.

These reports were recorded as crimes and victims contacted by police. During the investigation, information was obtained to confirm that the perpetrator was deceased and therefore a prosecution was not possible.

Dyfed-Powys Police always encourages anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward and report it by calling 101.

– Dyfed Powys Police

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, says although action should be taken, it’s too early to call for an enquiry.

“I’ve been in contact with the National Catholic Safeguarding Advice Service and also have written directly to the abbey on Caldey Island to seek reassurance that they are following the Catholic churches national safeguarding policies and procedures on child protection.”

The victims believe they’re not alone. and that Kotik – who lived on the island for 45 years – abused others.

ITV News has contacted Caldey Abbey for comment but has not yet had a response.

http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2017-11-21/inquiry-calls-into-abuse-complaints-on-caldey-island/

Dyfed-Powys Police

Married chief constable used police force credit card to entertain his mistress – and skipped meetings to see her

Terry Grange, a married father of three, retired from his post after 30 years’ service,  at Dyfed-Powys Police last November after the woman made a series of damaging allegations.

She said that they had exchanged ‘politically insensitive’ and ‘sexually explicit’ emails between his force computer system and her account.

Yesterday, the IPCC upheld all four of the

allegations it investigated. Last month, the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Grange, 57, for misconduct in a public office or obtaining monies by deception.

He will not face a police misconduct inquiry because he is retired.

Grange had regular dealings with the Government as spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers on child protection and the management of sex offenders.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/married-chief-constable-used-police-force-credit-card-to-entertain-his-mistress-and-skipped-meetings-6631120.html


Caldey Abbey apology over handling of monk sex abuse claims

22 Nov 2017

An abbey at the centre of child sexual abuse allegations has apologised that claims against one of its monks were not passed to police.

Eleven women allege Father Thaddeus Kotik abused them on Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, in the 1970s and 1980s.

A letter shows Kotik’s abuse was reported to abbot Brother Robert O’Brien in 1990, but not to police.

Caldey Abbey said they should have been reported, adding: “This clearly did not happen and we apologise.”

In a statement, current abbot Brother Daniel van Santvoort said: “It was with great sadness and regret that we heard allegations of historical sexual abuse involving Father Thaddeus who died in 1992.

“Any allegations of child abuse should be reported to the appropriate authorities and investigated. This clearly did not happen and we apologise.”

Brother Daniel said at the time the incidents were alleged to have taken place, the present Caldey Abbey Community was not on the island, which exacerbated the difficulties of the claims.

He said he knew nothing of the allegations when he first came to the island in 1990, or when he later became abbot in 1999, but said he forwarded the matter to police and the abbey’s solicitors in 2014 when he was contacted by a claimant.\

Brother Daniel said: “I acted at every step with compassion and empathy, and expressed my regret and sorrow at any such abuse. I flew to Australia to meet two claimants expressly to apologise.”

He continued: “I am truly sorry that my predecessors did not report allegations to the police and I am sorry that as an abbey, it has taken so long to compensate for these claims.

“Caldey Abbey has worked to ensure this can never be repeated. We now have robust child protection procedures in place on the island including a child protection coordinator.”

“As abbot, I very much regret any harm caused to any layperson as a result of the actions of one of my community, and strive to ensure that every visitor to Caldey enjoys only peace, comfort and the feeling of wellbeing,” he added.

Brother Daniel said the abbey was working with Children’s Commissioner for Wales, however Sally Holland has denied that is the case.

She has advised anyone with concerns to contact police or the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Truth Project, so allegations can be considered.

Brother Daniel added the abbey would fully cooperate with its inquiry and any other investigation.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42087525

 

THE LEADING CATHOLIC SCHOOL WITH A ‘TERRIBLE LEGACY’

St Benedict’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading Catholic schools has been blighted by a ‘terrible legacy’ of sex abuse by paedophile priests.

Soper is one of seven senior figures either convicted or accused of preying on pupils at the £15,000-a-year private school during the last 25 years.

Former headmaster Christopher Cleugh admitted the school ‘could have, and should have, done more’ to protect victims following a damning 2011 inquiry which concluded that Ealing Abbey monks had to lose their control of the school.

TIMELINE OF ALLEGATIONS AND CONVICTIONS:

1992: The junior school’s former headmaster Father David Pearce is accused of sexually abusing a boy, but police take no further action.

2001: Former abbot Rev Dom Martin Shipperlee receives complaint about Pearce and makes police aware of it.

2003: Former middle school master John Maestri admits three counts of indecent assault against two pupils between 1980 and 1984.

2005: Maestri pleads guilty to another count of indecent assault relating to a sex attack in 1982.

2006: The High Court awards damages to one of Pearce’s victims.

2007: Rev Shipperlee allows Pearce to return to Ealing Abbey as bursar. Pearce sexually assaults a child within months.

2007: Father Stanislaus Hobbs, part of St Benedict’s middle school staff between 1969-1984, stands trial for one count of indecent assault in 1984 but is cleared by a jury.

2008: Former middle school headmaster Father Anthony Gee is accused of caning a boy on his bare buttocks but no further action is taken.

2009: Father David Pearce is charged with 22 counts of indecent assault against six boys between 1975 and 2007 – prosecutors accepted his guilty pleas to 11 of the charges.

2009: Maestri admits one count of indecent assault between 1979 and 1981.

2010: Father Gregory Chillman is accused of one indecent assault between 1975-76, but no further action was taken.

2010: Two female pupils at another school complain about Father Chillman’s ‘inappropriate’ behaviour in 2004 and he is later put on restricted ministry and barred from access to children.

2010: St Benedict’s teacher John Skelton is convicted of indecent assaults against two pupils in 1983.

2011: Pearce is charged with four counts of indecent assault against another boy between 1977 and 1978, but he was cleared following a trial.

2011: Maestri is charged with three counts of indecent assault against another former pupil but is cleared by a jury.

2011: Former headmaster Christopher Cleugh apologises for ‘terrible legacy’ of sex abuse following damning inquiry by Lord Carlile.

2011: Father Andrew Soper withdraws £182,000 from his Vatican bank account and flies to Albania while on bail for sex offences against pupils.

2016: Deputy head of St Benedict’s Peter Allott, 37, is jailed for ‘getting hooked on child pornography’ and taking part in chemsex ‘paedophile sex parties’

2017: Soper convicted of 19 sex attacks on pupils at St Benedict’s in the 1970s and 1980s following an Old Bailey trial.



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