SCOE  – Safeguarding

Dear Des Bill

I wanted to see what the latest situation was regarding the numerous allegations of abuse by old boys, including myself, at the hands of the De La Salles. Not only at St Joseph’s Ipswich, but also Beulah Hill and elsewhere. As you know, they are all recorded on this website and have also been available in summary for an investigator’s convenience.

I’m aware that they have been sent to police Operation Hydrant, via yourself and Catholic Safeguarding, and I look forward to their response in due course. 

The DLS have also contacted Suffolk police  – see below – and this may be part of the Hydrant investigation or separate. It’s not been made clear and it would be useful to know.

It was also stated by the DLS spokesperson that an independent investigator would be commissioned to look into these allegations which he said were  ‘unheard of’.

‘ most of the accusations made on Mr Mills blog were “completely unheard of”, he (Hudd) said. 

See EADT December 11 2021

“With regards to St Joseph’s, we’ve put the ball in Suffolk Constabulary’s court”, Mr Hudd said. “It’s up to them to work out what happened and if the abuse truly was systemic. 

“We’ve also hired our own independent and experienced child abuse investigator to assist the police. 

In fact ‘most’ allegations were ‘heard of’ and were  familiar to the DLS as survivors of Brother Kevin’s abuse prove on this site. And the Beulah Hill survivors who have made numerous allegations on line about Brother Solomon. 

For the DLS to claim they were unaware of these allegations and more is unconvincing.

The DLS own records will confirm that ‘most’ were ‘heard of’ as I’m sure Hudd knows only too well.

Moving onto the investigation, I have not had any contact from an investigator. But how else are they to reach the authors of the various allegations on my site?

We have been waiting these many months and nothing has happened. Who the investigator is has not been revealed to us.

I have the strong feeling that the investigator – six months later – has done nothing.

Is that the case?

You will recall that when the DLS provincial Laurence Hughes was being similarly investigated for allegations of his violent abuse of children, I put your independent investigator’s details on my site. Consequently, several Old Boys got in touch with the investigator.

As a system, it worked well and I have no complaints.

Surely that is the way to go here?

On which subject, I’m sure survivors of Hughes’s alleged violence would like to know what is happening. I understand that police action against Hughes is not proceeding? Is this correct? But I believe you said that – whatever the legal outcome – there would then be an internal inquiry? 

Is Hughes now reinstated as head of the DLS or has he ‘retired’ ? I think the survivors of his alleged assaults would like to know. 

I’m putting this letter up on my blog so survivors can be kept in the loop. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pat Mills


  1. Hello Pat,
    I was in the same year as Zach, we were friends and partners in crime (small fish). What surprises me is that the worst abuser in our time at ‘Oak Hill’ has not been mentioned nor hinted at. Bro Kevin was absent in 1986/1987 for at least a term but a certain Brother (Bro Kiern as I recall, but Mercado fits the bill) was present and his abnormalities and penchants were manifested in unpredictable violence (Bro Kevin was a disciplinarian within ‘reason’) and making us boys play PE and swim in the nude. This temporary clerical staff member was a monster in look and action, yet he has not even been hinted at in your survivors testimonies.
    Bro John was not violent, rather indolent and lazy (as a teacher). Mr Mack was a violent man who beat me on my first night (aged 8) for having the temerity to question the cooks expertise. I suffered insomnia at Oak Hill and Bro Kevin used to find me late at night on the landing and invite me to his rooms in the tower where we would discuss religion.literature and high fantasy, he didn’t abuse me sexually then (though he did beat me often in public; I was and still am a rebel).
    Unlike you and some others I am a Catholic yet. I see things through the lense of humanity. Nobody is Perfect. Not me, not you, not the clergy. That is the whole point in Catholic faith learned the hard way, it is a human and living faith. Everyone falls short but love, truth, wisdom and faith overcomes all of the BS.

    • Brother Kiern sounds like a sexual abuser to me. I haven’t seen his name come up before either. I shall post it separately because it could be important

  2. Good Afternoon Pat,

    Hope your well mate.
    Its been 10 months since i had correspondence with Des Bill. As he informed me at the time, all the information I disclosed was indeed passed to Operation Hydrant. (‘Hydrant oversees all historic abuse allegations. They have acknowledged receipt of my referral. They have passed on the referral to Suffolk Police to address. Operation Hydrant will then monitor how the investigation progresses’).
    Unfortunately for me, My abuser is now dead and will not face justice. I fully appreciate resources are squeezed in all areas of police investigations, but 10 months and not even an acknowledgement or a ‘heads up’ on progress. I believe the current media engagement and indeed this blog will help combat any future abuse at the hands of Catholic monks, brothers, or what ever the fuck you want to call them.
    So yes your right to be concerned at the ongoing timeline , as in seems to be very much dragging its feet.

    • Thanks, Zach. Yes, I fully expect Des Bill to say something like ‘The independent investigator is waiting to work with the police when they are ready to look at the case.’ In other words it gave the calculated and false illusion in the newspaper that they were doing something straight away, when in fact they are doing nothing. I so hope I’m proved wrong! But I had to give them enough time to act. Or to be shown up as fakes. If the latter, I’ll certainly be highlighting how it was a ‘smoke and mirrors’ response or worse. Speaking for myself, I find ‘naming and shaming’ works. It acts as a catharsis, it attracts more survivors to tell their stories and it highlights the past crimes of the DLS which I know they really hate -cos it must cost them financially and they won’t appreciate bad publicity, so it’s always a result! But if – and it’s an if – these past crimes of the DLS are validated by Hydrant, especially if they’re shown to be systemic, you may be entitled to compensation against the order, especially if there’s a second proven survivor of your predator. (Forgive me, there are so many DLS predators, I’ve forgotten which one was yours.) I’m told Richard Scorer, a CSA specialist, takes on cases for a ‘no win, no fee’ basis and he’s probably not alone. It’s something I keep under review myself – there will come a point, I think, when I may give up on Hydrant, but it was recently confirmed that our cases are still on the list. Hopefully not a ‘slush pile’!

    • Zach, it’s Simon. Somehow knew this would be where our paths cross again. Let me know if I can help. Peace to you brother.

  3. Good for you, Rafael. I can imagine a little of what you went through. The De La Salles are very clever operators but you are determined and you have truth on your side.

  4. St GILBERT’S APPROVED SCHOOL I’ve was interviewed by operation Quale west Mercia police D.C Skeleton into historical abuse at St GILBERT’S that 8 years ago came to nothing when I contacted Jordans law firm they contacted the Da La SALLE they’re response was five thousand pounds and sighn a N D A agreement I sacked Jordan’s and never persuade it going to open my case up again they are not going to get away with it the herendoous abuse we children whent through at that hole

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