I want to be sure the Independent Investigator appointed by the De La Salles to look into their crimes has all the key testimonies. There are so many on this site, I’d hate the Investigator to miss important ones. So there’s a SUMMARY below on Brother Kevin Dillon. I’ve done the same for James. Still working on Solomon. If I’ve missed anything crucial, or made a major error, do let me know. Or if you have an additional testimony about Brother Kevin that is important. Your details – as always – can remain confidential and anonymous if you wish.
If the Investigator wants further confirmation, provided the Old Boy in question gives me permission, I can put them in touch, but the evidence against Kevin is so overwhelming in most cases it should not be necessary.
Brother Kevin taught at St Joseph’s prep school Oak Hill Ipswich. St Joseph’s College Birkfield Ipswich. Went to France for one year approx 1968. Then returned to St Peter’s Bournemouth. Then back to Oak Hill again where he became Headmaster.
EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST JOSEPH’S IPSWICH
(OAK HILL FIRST TIME & BIRKFIELD)
NW1’s account below. He was abused at Oak Hill and Birkfield.
… regarding St Joseph’s, Birkfield, and also Oak Hill, the prep school just down the road. I was a pupil at both between 1967 and 1974, when I was expelled mid-way through the year. As I was mid-way through my lower sixth, they allowed me to complete my studies at St Peter’s, in Bournemouth. Many of the Brothers’ names mentioned in other posts are familiar to me and other boys used to talk about them as “homos” at the time, but I have no proof of this.
In my case, I was sexually abused by Brother Kevin, a diminutive shit who was at OakHill when I started there before transferring to Birkfield later in that year. My abuse began while I was at the prep school. Kevin was in charge of the boarders and used to summon me, as well as other boys, to his bedroom after lights out.
After he moved to Birkfield, Kevin used to come down to Oak Hill on Sundays, seek me out and try to abuse me in the biology rooms.
The abuse continued when I moved to Birkfield myself and during my first year there, during which time I was a boarder in one of the dormitories in the so-called 55 Wing. Kevin, whose room looked out on one of the dormitories, continued in a similar vein as before, summoning me and others to his room after lights out.
(See footnote from NW1 below)
He was transferred to France at the end of that school year (1968) but returned to St Peter’s, where I re-encountered him after my expulsion from St Jo’s. Inexplicably, he was once again in charge of the junior boarders. By then, I was too old for him, so was left in peace. I have no doubt whatsoever that he continued to abuse kids there. Sickeningly, the young boarders’ section included kids who were six or seven years old.
About 20 years ago, I reported my abuser to the police in London and he was briefly detained, made a partial admission and was released on bail pending further inquiries. The next time he was interviewed he showed up with a solicitor and denied everything. He was never charged.
Simultaneously, I sued the Order in 1996 and after six years they settled out of court in return for me signing a confidentiality agreement which I suppose I’m breaking today. The settlement just about paid for seven years of therapy. However, the Order refused to offer an apology because to do so would imply that they were culpable. Even today, 15 years later, that refusal to admit what happened and apologise for it – despite paying me compensation – makes me feel incredibly angry.
I remember I went up to Oxford in the mid-90s to confront the order at its “Mother House”: they didn’t seem remotely surprised that Kevin was in the frame as a sex abuser. I mentioned another brother, (AKA Squealer) who I was fairly certain had abused children, although I did not have 100% definitive proof. They effectively admitted he too had been an abuser and it was suggested to me that I should consider whether giving his name to the police would be worthwhile as he now had dementia. I did name him to police but nothing happened to him either.
While I was at St Peter’s, there was another Brother – Cyril – who was in charge of the middle year boarders (3rd and 4th year). He, too, was talked of as an abuser by some pupils, although I did not have any personal knowledge of this. Cyril became head teacher at another school in Southsea, was subsequently charged and cleared of sex abuse.
(See GL’s account of Cyril later)
Three years ago I was contacted by police in Dorset who had received another complaint of abuse at the hands of Brother Kevin by a pupil at St Peter’s. Dorset police managed to track down my name and other details from the 90s and I went through the another set of interviews, filmed this time, and waited several months before the CPS decided not to go ahead with a prosecution, again. My evidence and that of the other person were not considered credible enough.
I’m aware of several other kids who were abused during my time there, also by Brother Kevin. I once met up with one of them many years later. He and another lad were abused a year or so before me and I still remember him telling me that when Kevin started on me he felt jealous a being supplanted by someone else. There was also talk about several other Brothers being abusers while I was at Birkfield, including Squealer, but I have no personal evidence of that. It does make me wonder whether they had their own little circles and agreed not to poach kids from each other.
Almost 50 years later, the abuse still affects me. My entire personality has been affected by the experience and I know I will never be free of what happened. But I’m glad others are talking about it publicly here and in one or two other corners of the Web. It’s about time the Order was forced to face up to what so many of its members were doing. It should make a public apology. I would also like to see all the abusers brought to trial. I’d be happy to work with anyone here to make sure that happen
NW1 added recently:
Kevin Dillon was sexually abusing me at St Joseph’s in 1969 up until May or June of that year. He moved that summer – he wasn’t there when we came back in September 1969. The reason I recall is that my mother died in the late spring of that year and Bro. Kevin was the man tasked with telling me, as a boarder, what had happened to her.
My name is Peter, I was a border at st. josephs preparatory school oak hill Ipswich, a de la salle school, from 1967 to 1970. I’m sure its the same school. Nwi would have been there at the same time as me, and my experiences were unfortunately similar. He might remember me because I am Australian (and still am), I’m sure my brother Robert and I were the only colonials there at the time. I also contacted the police and made a complaint but as I live in Australia haven’t been able to do anything else. I would really like to contact NWI, really, I really would. “Holy Innocents” was the name of the first dormitory I was in, I was 7. bro kevin told me he only did this to me because my mum asked him to, sound familiar?
EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST PETER’S BOURNEMOUTH
NW1’s account cites a St Peter’s pupil reporting Kevin to the police for sexual abuse.
And other boys at St Peter’s NW1 was aware of who were abused by Kevin and who acknowledged this in conversation with him.
I spoke at length by skype to ‘R’, an American survivor of Brother Kevin’s abuse at St Peter’s. He was there 1976 – 80. R was preparing to ‘take things forward’ when we learnt about Kevin’s dementia. See later. It’s possible R may talk to an investigator, although I’d say the case was proved already.
R tells me ‘Kevin was responsible for the care of about 100 boys aged 9-12; I’m sure the school must have known something.’
GL’s account of Kevin abusing boys at St Peter’s
EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT OAK HILL SECOND TIME WHEN KEVIN WAS HEADMASTER
“Bro Kevin took over as Headmaster at Oak Hill from the academic year beginning September 1979 He appears in the official history book of Oak Hill, some photos including with the very few boarders left at the end. The book says that he left in 1989.”
By which time the DLS must surely have been aware of his crimes, especially if he had spent a year in France possibly lying low? And yet, decades later, the DLS made him Headmaster – in charge of the YOUNGER BOYS he seemed to have preferred.
This is the link to a post covering Brother Kevin abusing a boy at Oak Hill in this era. See Item ONE in the post.
The matron he refers to passionately defended Kevin to me, but has since written to me reversing her position, saying she didn’t know what was going on.
Another testimony from a Survivor. This also involves Brother Kevin after he had returned to Oak Hill.
|FROM ZACH i first went to oak hill in 1984 and was abused by brother kevin, a vile little rat. used to take me to his room after lights out. would be nice to find where the rat is now??|
EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMIC ABUSE INVOLVING KEVIN AND THE DE LA SALLES.
My understanding of ‘systemic’ includes where there is an organised cover-up, a silencing (e.g. through an NDA), or an investigation is thwarted by being ignored by an organization, obscured or not reported to the police.
The way Kevin was moved around from Ipswich to France (1 – 2 years, ‘long enough for the scandal to blow away’ – GL) to Bournemouth. That suggests a typical Catholic abuse cover-up.
See also BROTHER SOLOMON – THE EVIDENCE (posting shortly) which indicates THE EXISTENCE OF A DE LA SALLE ‘RAT LINE’ FOR BROTHERS TO ESCAPE THE POLICE. From Bournemouth. To Jersey. To France.
We know Kevin went to France and it would seem likely he used this escape route.
But if Kevin had been arrested after whatever happened at St J’s Ipswich, instead of running away to France with the help of the DLS, none of those boys at Bournemouth and later at Oakhill would have been abused.
I find that so sad, upsetting and important, it needs repeating:
none of those boys at Bournemouth and later at Oakhill would have been abused.
GL’s damning conclusion of systemic abuse at St Peter’s is worth quoting in full here:
What is abundantly clear to me is that it was not just one individual who was responsible for moving these monsters around to avoid detection, but an administrative organisation. Someone somewhere knew exactly what kind of person Brother Kevin was/is and actively appointed him in a position of trust and authority over young boys, some as young as 6 or 7 years old. Even as 11 year old boys we were very aware of the pedophile nature of Brother Kevin. Indeed, the jokes and sniggering comments transcended through every corridor and classroom in the school. Yet not one teacher knew anything about his despicable tendencies?? Impossible. Of course they knew and were fully aware. Every single one of them. But this was the 1970’s and pedophilia behaviour and activities were a taboo subject. It simply did not exist. Sadly it did.
DLS at HQ’s Oxford’s tacit acknowledgement Kevin was an abuser. See NW1’s testimony. And suggesting NW1 not report another abuser because of infirmity.
Catholic Safeguarding told me personally that all abuse allegations MUST be reported to the police, regardless of mitigating factors, including death. The DLS were thus in violation of that rule.
NW1’s financial settlement with an NDA and no apology.
The DLS must have known about my blog and allegations about Brother Kevin for years yet did nothing until the social media pressure became too great.
The DLS also knew about NW1.
And, judging by a further testimony below, Kevin’s abuse was known by the DLS for up to 20 years.
Yet the DLS press officer reacts by commenting that the evidence on my blog is ‘completely unheard of”. Like it’s unusual, new and even questionable!
But see this testimony :
Bro Kevin (or just plain Kevin Dillon) was suffering in an advanced state of dementia in an Ipswich nursing home the last time I heard of him (2017). There was video on the nursing home website of him singing (trying) Christmas carols but the shell of a human being was hard to recognise as the Bro Kevin of our youth. He was a broken man before the dementia set in. Over the last 20 years he lost everything. When the first rumours about allegations of perversion reached the village in Suffolk in which he lived it brought with it abuse and intimidation from the local youths. His house was attacked and windows broken occasionally and after a couple of years he was compelled to sell up and move to Ipswich. The DLS and other powers-that-be distanced themselves from him and this pushed him over the edge.
5)The DLS should have reported Kevin to the police, probably at several stages in his life.
Especially as they knew the truth before he became ill, judging by their response to NW1. But it is NOT for the DLS to excuse his behaviour, whatever his state of health. That is for the police to decide. Distancing themselves from Kevin is also not enough.
Now it’s too late, but if the DLS – knowing what they did about Kevin – had reported him to the police a decade or more ago, he could have stood trial.
6) I’m sure the DLS will have a file on Kevin.
If there is evidence in the file, then a question an Investigator must ask is why wasn’t the file acted upon before as I’ve described.
7) Why the DLS appointed Brother Kevin as a Headmaster of Oak Hill, in charge of younger boys, is a matter of especial concern.
They knew he was a paedophile – using the De La Salle ratline to France earlier in his career – but they still put temptation his way, which he took full advantage of.