ST PETER’S SOUTHBOURNE

An Old Boy from the school above just wrote in with a recollection, triggered by the post The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s (my old school) which mentions a Brother Elwin at St Jo’s who I can recall very well. 

Here’s the link to the Shocking Truth:

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1029

But to quote from one just element in this testimony I still find hard to read:

I went through the main entrance and climbed the wooden staircase up to Brother Elwins Office, which was immediately above the main entrance. I did not knock I was in no mood to be polite. There was no one in his office but the door to his bedroom was ajar. I heard a kids voice saying “there is someone in the your office”
I just flung the door open and there was Brother Elwin naked on his bed with a naked kid of only about 12 sitting on his stomach.

The dreadful nature of this testimony is why I’m urging Catholic Safeguarding to look at the whole De La Salle Order NOW.

Not to mention the modern St Jo’s still connected with the DLS. They can’t keep ignoring their past.

There may just possibly be two Brothers with the same name, I suppose.

Anyway, my somewhat chaotic blog (!) linked the recollection below to ‘The Shocking Truth’ which means it may not be seen by many new readers who are only looking at current and fairly recent posts.

So I thought I should feature it here.  I think the post below speaks for itself and requires no further comment from me.

I was a boarder at St Peter’s Southbourne 1961-65. Brother Elwin was Head for a couple of years and then Brother Edwin. I was surprised to be told at the beginning of an afternoon’s lessons that Brother Elwin wanted to see me in his office. He sat me down on the other side of his desk and told me the facts of life. Even as a 13 year old I thought it strange that I had been singled out. I was a boarder with Brother Ives and on returning to school after summer holidays he said I would be moving to Brother Elwin’s house as I was in his choir. Again that seemed strange to me but at least it was an escape from Ives. Brother Elwin was always on duty in my new dormitory when I got changed for bed. No physical abuse occurred but it is only now some 60 years later that I realise things were not as they should have been and possibly I had a lucky escape.

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE: OUR SHARED HERITAGE

In the coming months, as various matters proceed, the De La Salle Connection to modern St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, may well be relevant.

Originally, the school appeared to me to just be ‘In the La Sallian Tradition’. But my previous post featured information which indicated, to me at least, that there was still a La Sallian Connection.

Certainly the school is STILL listed as a La Sallian school.

Anyone who can shed further light on all this, do please let me have your thoughts. Any information will be treated in complete confidence and your anonymity respected.

Meanwhile, I’ve looked at two similar examples which I will shortly be citing to Catholic Safeguarding should the modern school disclaim or fail to acknowledge its past. Hopefully their moral compass will not make that necessary.

Firstly, Sherborne. A school previously run and owned by a transgenerational paedophile headmaster, Lindsay,it was sold for £1 (!) to the current school. Lindsay still maintained a close geographical connection with the school.

The current school Sherborne Prep School gained charity status and became a limited company.  

Current chairman of governors at Sherborne Prep School, Nigel Jones, said: “It is a completely different financial, legal and governance organisation.

“We don’t know what happened (in Lindsay’s era) because we are not in any way party to things that went on.”

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/lawyer-argues-change-legal-status-3378220

It would appear that St J’s Ipswich has a stronger connection to its past and I would hope they would not use a variation on these dismissive words of indifference to survivors.

The second example is  Celtic Football Club who were criticised in a review. It, too, separated itself from its abusive past – in this case its junior club.

‘Celtic Boys Club also featured in often distressing personal accounts of sexual abuse.

Celtic FC has previously said that while it shares “historic contacts” with the boys club, the two are separate organisations.

But the review concludes: “If the relationship and history between the youth football club and the senior club was so shared, so close, and so inextricable then when sexual abuse of young players formed part of the history of one then it too formed part of the history of the other.

“A SHARED HERITAGE IS NOT CONFINED TO TROPHIES, VICTORIES AND CELEBRATION. IT ALSO EXTENDS TO DEFEATS, FAILURES, AND DEFICIENCIES.”’

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-56019232

I don’t see how anyone with any morality, never mind a Catholic, would disagree with the review’s conclusion and how this applies to our own school in a remarkably similar way.

This fairly widespread practice of attempted disassociation amongst schools and youth organizations that seek to remove themselves from their historic crimes is likely to come under increasing public scrutiny and criticism because it is so blatantly a financial ploy to evade responsibility and lacks real substance.

We, the survivors of the historic De La Salle St Joseph’s College, clearly have a shared heritage with the modern, still DLS connected, St Joseph’s College.

The history of one forms part of the history of the other.

And so we seek their acknowledgement of what has happened in the past.

Remaining silent with so many shocking abuse cases identified and confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt seems inexcusable.

I’m quite sure there’s a form of words which acknowledges the crimes of its past without accepting financial liability which, presumably, is a matter for the De La Salles.

I would urge today’s St Joseph’s College to respond now. Don’t wait to be fetched.

THE LA SALLIAN CONNECTION?

Information I’ve recently looked at would suggest that today’s St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, is not just ‘In the La Sallian Tradition’ but there may be a current financial La Sallian Connection.

If so, it might explain why the current school has shown no interest in the serious and numerous allegations against the De La Salle Order when the latter were in charge.

St Joseph’s College Ipswich was the centre of widespread sexual and physical abuse by the De La Salle Order and associated lay teachers from the 1960s to 1980s.

Today’s College is not connected and has shown no interest in this past, even though it is ‘In the La Sallian Tradition’, has the same uniform etc. and honors the positive achievements and teachers of the past, but never their crimes. Thus it has a current prize for Chemistry, honoring 1960s to 1980s sadist teacher Kearney who, amongst other instances of violence, punched a boy in the face and was forced to apologize.

In fact, it would seem, the school is STILL linked financially with the De La Salles.  Companies House link here). It appears to me from this that the DLS are the ongoing financiers of the school.

However, the local Ipswich paper in 2014 presents the same information as a final total separation of today’s school and the DLS.

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich-st-joseph-s-site-sold-to-school-in-multi-2121066

If so, why are the DLS still listed as the financiers on the Companies House records?

I’m confused.

St Joseph’s is also STILL listed on Wikipedia as a Lasallian educational institution.  One of eighteen schools, when I was under the impression they only  physically operated eleven now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasallian_educational_institutions#United_Kingdom

That doesn’t fit with how the school is currently presented. It suggests they are still very much part of the DLS portfolio, even if it’s only through finance.

If anyone knows of further connections to the DLS or can illuminate these contradictory positions, do please let me know.  Perhaps I’m missing something in which case I will happily pass on any clarification.

Originally the Knights of St Columba also seem to have funded the establishment of St J’s in the 1940s, but they seem to have dropped out of the school’s financial records afterwards, although, possibly, there is an ongoing investment there, too.

All this is relevant, too, because of various events. For example how the Knights possibly protected their investment in the school to help cover up CSA  (Child sexual abuse) by the DLS at St J’s in the 1960s. Or perhaps they simply saw it as their Catholic duty to protect the school against scandal.

See my blog.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1029

And there’s the exploitation of poverty for the purposes of CSA by the Knights to pay my school fees, as I’ve previously described, born out by how the Old Boy in the case above had his school fees paid in a similar manner to silence him.

In view of this, the Knights’ financial involvement in the DLS school is relevant to future investigation. Especially when or if they withdrew their investment or if it still ongoing in some form.

To summarise, there are three organisations relevant to the finances of St Joseph’s and two of them – the De La Salles and the Ipswich Knights of St Columba – have a provable past record of corruption and abuse as illustrated on this site.

How they affected or continue to affect the last organisation – the current school – should be a matter of concern to them and to any investigating body.

One thing is certain: the current school is still connected with the DLS to a lesser or greater extent and therefore must acknowledge its responsibility to survivors whom it has currently shown zero interest in. 

And also to condemn the DLS and lay abusers responsible, which it has, once again, shown zero interest in doing.

At the time of writing, they are continuing to ignore this clear responsibility and that is something I will be taking up with Catholic Safeguarding and other relevant organisations.

Meanwhile, a statement from the current St Joseph’s College addressing and clarifying all these matters I’m sure would be welcomed by survivors, other Old Boys, and parents of today’s pupils.

BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES: REQUEST FROM CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING

Update from a St Jo’s Old Boy below. My emphasis on his post.

Jules Gooch commented on BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES: NEWS UPDATE

Update – Had a good conversation with Jo Norman today who is looking into this matter. I recounted my memory of the swimming pool assult and she would like to hear from anyone else who had experience of or witnessed the kind of behaviour that we are discussing here. We also briefly discussed a number of other individuals who were involved in similar matters. I think this is possibly a good opportunity to see some kind of consequence / justice for what these people got up to. If you feel you can and want to I recommend you in the first instance contact Des Bill with details. Des Bill deacondesb@gmail.com

BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES – CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING INFO.

The posts below from St Jo’s Old Boys reminded me I should have given details of Catholic Safeguarding as they are a complex organization https://www.csas.uk.net/links/

The relevant department for the De La Salle Order is the Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education (SCOE).

The St Jo’s Old Boy who heard from SCOE that Brother Laurence has been suspended was officially informed by:

Rev Dcn  Des Bill

Independent Chair,

SCOE

desbill.SCOE@gmail.com

He advised that an independent safeguarding professional has been commissioned to manage the case.

So I would suggest that Old Boys who want to share information about Brother Laurence contact  Rev Dcn Des Bill direct at the above email address.

……………………………..

James commented on BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES   Brother Laurence Hughes , He should leave the order and retire . I am a old boy from St Joseph’s Ipswich. He beat a boy around the head at the swimming pool & gave him six of the best with the slipper. He is a sadist. I know the boys name , I watched what happened to him . This is 43 years later. 

I received this post today:

My attention has been drawn to this by another old boy who reached out to me. I am the boy at the swimming pool and want to share the story. I can confirm directly that BLH was a bully and a savage. What is the best way to proceed?

BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES: NEWS UPDATE

Brother Laurence Hughes is  Provincial (Head) of the De La Salle Order in Great Britain and Ireland. Following recent posts about Brother Laurence on this website, a fellow Old Boy of St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, Suffolk, sent me a copy of an email from the Chair of the SCOE – the Catholic Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education. To quote from this email, dated 12th August 2021:

‘I can confirm that since we have been in receipt of your allegation that Bro Laurence has been suspended from all public ministry and roles he performed’ 

Rev Dcn  Des Bill

Independent Chair,

SCOE

The email also states that the case will be managed by a senior and independent safeguarding professional ‘to ensure recommendations and actions taken are objective and not influenced by any person within SCOE or the De La Salle congregation.’

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE memories 1970s – 1980s

I just received this comprehensive memoir about school life at St Jo’s. It was typewritten, with no origins address, unsigned and was posted to my old address where I haven’t lived for many years. The current owner photographed the pages and emailed them to me, so the only way I can show them is as photographs, I’m afraid.

PAGE ONE OF LETTER FROM ST J’S OLD BOY
PAGE TWO OF LETTER FROM ST J’S OLD BOY
PAGE THREE OF LETTER FROM ST J’S OLD BOY

There’s nothing controversial or confidential in the contents and so I feel it is safe and appropriate to share.

My thanks to ‘Anonymous’ for his observations. Do send me an e-mail another time and I assure you your name and address will remain confidential.

I found Anon’s recollections of Kearney interesting. I didn’t know about his early retirement to Greece and his subsequent death in his 50s. I believe Anon is the second Old Boy to say Kearney wasn’t a good chemistry teacher; he also says Kearney wasn’t actually interested in the subject. This makes it all the more remarkable that he has a current chemistry memorial prize named after him by today’s St Joseph’s College.

I recall Kearney getting us to drink heavily diluted acid, which was, of course, perfectly safe. I’d forgotten that he also got pupils to dip their hands in similarly diluted acid. Anon says he put ‘the fear into you without actually doing anything.’

At the time, I regarded such behaviour as clearly ‘sadistic’. Today his actions would also be recognised as abusive.

It’s the limits of his sadism that interest me. Was his classroom sadism, as confirmed by various Old Boys as well as myself, the full extent of his disorder? Was he a normal person outside the classroom?  Not in my experience. I believe sadists can’t actually ‘switch off’ from their disorder, although they can control it in most – but not all – circumstances.  But I wait for other accounts before elaborating. This makes a unique Kearney defender very angry and impatient with me. She remembers Kearney as a kind and good teacher and he seems to have made a strong and positive impression on her. She regards complaints about him as ‘hearsay’ and unfair as he’s no longer here to defend himself.  In response, I’ve told her the same was said about Jimmy Savile directly after his death. I’ve also told her repeatedly, it’s for me as a survivor to evaluate and decide my best strategy on my PTSD recollections of Kearney, not for her to dictate it or tell me to ‘forget it and get on with my life’.

Anon also doesn’t believe Kearney engaged in systematic physical abuse. He certainly did in the 1960s, using a Bunsen burner tube to whack kids with. It was not so much the actually whacking, but his sadistic glee that I remember thinking at the time was entirely inappropriate.  I shall never forget that leering grin on his face as he would excitedly yank the rubber tube off a burner – although he never whacked me with it. And also his smiling with delight at a boy’s fear as he applied a blackboard duster to his knuckles. And there is, in the 1970s or 80s, the testimonial of the Old Boy who was punched in the face by Kearney, resulting in him having to apologise to his parents and –  hopefully – the boy himself. I can’t believe this was a ‘one off’ and – in any event – that is a serious criminal assault for which he should have been prosecuted, even in those times.

Anon believes the aberrant behaviour he describes at St Jo’s was typical of private schools in the late 20th century  and St Jo’s shouldn’t be singled out.  It’s true that there were others – other De La Salle schools, Benedictine schools, and Sherborne prep school.  And doubtless many more.  The fact that it was ‘normal’ doesn’t make it acceptable and I believe abusive teachers should be fully exposed. Thus there’s a testimony on this site – concerning an incident in the 1980s, I think – where another lay teacher from St Jo’s had a cat o’nine whip he used on a boy. That’s a specialist sadistic device.

Please do share your recollections of St Jo’s on my site. They can be positive or negative – it all helps to produce a rounded picture of the times and the school before its ‘new management’.

For instance, no one ever mentions Mr George, my history teacher from my 60s era.(Not to be confused with the later rugby teacher) I’m curious to know if he moved onto another school.

I’m planning to write a chapter about the De La Salles for the forthcoming  ‘The Unturned Stones of IICSA’ book which looks at the shortfalls of the inquiry. The book is introduced by Richard Scorer who wrote ‘Betrayed’ about RC CSA in the UK.  So any relevant thoughts, positive or negative, would be invaluable, especially if I can quote them, anonymously if necessary.

How survivors feel about IICSA

There’s a forthcoming Webinar planned about the considerable shortcomings of IICSA. And a planned book THE UNTURNED STONES OF IICSA where survivors can write a chapter about issues they feel were neglected by IICSA. Currently I’m writing a chapter about the DE LA SALLE BROTHERS, but if anyone else wants to cover the same or similar ground, I’m fine with giving them a voice instead and I’ll take a back seat.

There are so many other areas of the Catholic Church that I want to look at.

Here’s the link to a brief podcast explaining in more detail.  And there’s an email address included for you to write to.

Episode Description

TRIGGER WARNING: STRONG FEELINGS EXPRESSED. Listening to the Pioneers of Authentic Change express their formidable concerns about the integrity of the independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Lisa Nandy MP, Raymond Stephenson from Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, (www.shirleyoakssurvivorsassociation.co.uk) Ian Mc Fayden, Andy from Newcastle, Malcolm Mansfield QC & Lloyd Evans from JWatch (see Youtube video IICSA:Part of the Problem

THE IPSWICH CONNECTION. A STORY OF TWO DOCTORS.

The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim. They have become a threat. – James Baldwin

This is a work in progress. It’s about two doctors who were prime suspects in an infamous Ipswich murder case in the 1960s. They escaped justice for their crimes and both are now dead. It’s only indirectly relevant to most of the accounts on this blog, so please ignore this post if your interest is primarily in remembering school days at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich. Or if you don’t want to read an incomplete story, particularly one involving murder. As it’s a work in progress, inevitably there are some conjectures in my account that may well be wrong. In fact, I would be happy if they were proved wrong and there was an innocent or less disturbing explanation of the facts.

I’ve been wanting to write about one aspect – involving R & W Paul of Ipswich – for years, long before I even knew about the doctors and their Ipswich connection, but I held off because I was hoping to find the missing pieces of the jigsaw first. They may or may not eventually fall into place.

At this time, my recollections are not of sufficient clarity and detail to take further. After all, they concerned events that took place a lifetime ago back in the 1960s. Nonetheless, they are persistent.

In the end, I decided I had no choice but to write about them. Firstly, as a personal catharsis, so I can have closure. Secondly, because it is possible that my memories may cross-reference with others and therefore be of value. It has happened before on this site. The case of Brother James, for example. One courageous testimony by a survivor led to three other Old Boys of St Josephs, myself including, making similar statements about the crimes of Brother James.

So here goes.

The two doctors in question were Dr Martin Reddington and Dr John Byles.  The full story of their awful crimes, including at least two murders of children, can be found here: https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/

I will just highlight a few details in the Needleblog account. Firstly, the comments at the bottom of that post reveal even more about the Doctors and none of it is good. Secondly, it’s remarkable how often they were charged with child abuse crimes, found innocent or escaped justice by jumping bail and fleeing the country. They seem to have gone to Canada, South Africa and Australia and returned to the UK again and again without being apprehended. It’s reasonable to conjecture they had some useful connections to achieve this.

Although they were prime suspects in one murder, when they fled to Australia it was felt there was insufficient evidence to extradite them to the UK.

But Byles was going to be extradited for being the ringleader of the Holy Trinity paedophile ring described in the Needleblog account. He then skipped bail in Australia and committed suicide in 1975, leaving three suicide notes. The notes have not been made public. Reddington was arrested in Australia in 1977 for indecently assaulting a child. He regularly visited the UK without being apprehended by the police, and died in Surrey in 1995.

Now we come to the Ipswich connection. There’s a link on the Needleblog and the same link is here: Tattingstone suitcase murder. It describes the crime that took place in January 1967. Tattingstone is a village just outside Ipswich.

‘Detectives pinpointed the pair as suspects at an early stage. When the case was re-opened in 1977 the case became even stronger.’ Ipswich Star

The Doctors were regarded as prime suspects because in 1977, one of the suitcases used to dispose of the body was thought to have belonged to one of them. And Reddington, who was born in Colchester, had a surgery close to where the victim was last seen in Muswell Hill. Byles also lived in Muswell Hill. The murder victim, Bernard Oliver – a vulnerable 17-year-old – had been expertly dismembered by a doctor or someone with similar medical knowledge and skill. It was believed to have taken place somewhere close to where the two suitcases containing his remains were found.

Somewhere like Ipswich.

Then, astonishingly, in 2012, there was a new development: https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich-new-lead-in-45-year-riddle-of-body-in-2723320. A witness, Mr Thurston, came forward to say that between 1am and 2am in early January 1967 he had seen a man wearing surgeon’s gloves standing inside the entrance to R & W Paul’s offices in Salthouse Street, Ipswich. At his feet were two suitcases. The witness and his friend were terrified by his scary appearance and escaped on his scooter.

It’s worth quoting a key section from the article:

Mr Thurston, now of St Austell, Cornwall, said he first attempted to speak to police ten years after the murder, but felt he was not being taken seriously and did not make a statement.

However, after reading Tony Oliver’s story while back in Ipswich for Christmas, he went in to the town’s police station to report what he had seen.

Lisa Miller, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We can confirm an appointment has been made to see Mr Thurston and the information will be followed up.”

I’ve found no further article, but obviously the police would have looked closely at the R & W Paul connection. Whatever conclusion they reached, they presumably decided it was of no significance and/or not appropriate to make any of it public. And the case is closed, after all.

I came across the article by accident a year or so ago and was shocked by it for two reasons.  Firstly, because after the Knights of St Columba stopped paying my school fees, I had to leave St Joseph’s College at the age of fifteen, and then worked for R & W Paul as an errand boy between 1964-1965: less than two years before the Tattingstone murder took place.

As an aside: the criminal role of the Ipswich Knights of St Columba in this period, and how they covered up a paedophile ring at St Joseph’s College, has been described by another survivor. See The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s. It’s confirmed by other survivors’ accounts. A post, incidentally, that neither the current Knights, the De La Salle Brothers, the Catholic diocese, Catholic Safeguarding, or St Joseph’s (now safely ‘under new management’) have chosen to respond to.

I knew R & W Paul’s offices in Salthouse Street very well. I worked out of the little mail sorting-house that was reached across a courtyard at the back of those offices. Riding my trade bike, I cycled in and out of the entrance that the witness described ever day for a long, boring year. So I know Mr Thurston’s account is true, because the detail is so accurate. And why would anyone make up such a bizarre story?

There was a second reason I was shocked.

My survival technique as a vulnerable kid was to block out most negative memories of my Catholic abusers. It worked incredibly well at the time, but, as is often typical for survivors, memories come back in mid-life. So I’ve spent a fair amount of time since making sense of them and piecing them together. And then taking appropriate action against abusers – with some success, I’m pleased to say.

Because, in my opinion, the most healing and satisfying therapy for survivors is for the hunted to become the hunter.

So for the last six years at least I’ve had recurring negative memories of strange ‘parties’ at R & W Paul at which I was present, aged 14-16. At first this seemed most unlikely to me, especially as I would have still been at school. And I believed that I escaped the Knights when I left school at 15, so that was the end of it. But the Knights didn’t see it that way. Just because they no longer were paying my fees did not mean they had lost interest in me. For them, it was all about power and overcoming resistance. And I resisted endlessly, I’m also pleased to say.

A survivor giving evidence at IICSA about his Catholic school explains it rather well. ‘Boys like me who resisted could look forward to having their educations derailed and wrecked… It was if these men were following an instruction manual they’d learnt by rote: grooming, accusation, persecution.’

I have a memory that one particular Knight got me the job at R & W Paul using his ‘connections’. My recollection was that he was an agricultural engineer, and he certainly dressed the part with his expensive clothes. In fact, I’ve since discovered from his death certificate that he worked for an agricultural engineers, Ransoms, Sims and Jefferies, as a paint shop foreman. Given his arrogant character, it’s likely that he told me he was an engineer to impress me, or it could be that my memory wasn’t precise in this regard.

But why I would need ‘connections’ to get such a truly crap job beats me. I had left school at 15 with no ‘O’ Levels, but this was an era of full employment and there were far better jobs available as I discovered later for myself. More likely, I was steered into the job for a reason.

Thus I remember the troubled kid who had the R & W Paul errand boy job before me. He had a posh accent, and had gone to a private grammar school, just like me. But there was some kind of problem in his life that he didn’t reveal to me during the week we spent together as he introduced me to the work. And he didn’t even live in Ipswich, like me. We were both surely over-qualified as errand boys. My feeling is that this lowly position was a placeholder for rebellious and ‘troublemaking’ teenagers after their education had been ‘derailed’. Here they could still be kept an eye on and used when required.

But that’s all speculation, of course, and finding difficult teenagers such work seems like a huge and pointless waste of time and energy to me – but then I don’t think like criminals who see vulnerable children as property.

So let’s look at the hard facts instead. I’d always thought the idea of parties at R & W Paul, Salthouse Street, was absolutely nuts. It’s an office block, after all. It’s the most unsuitable place for a conventional party, never mind deviant parties. Why not have their party using Paul’s Social Club near St Joseph’s? So I dismissed the idea even though, year in and year out, I’d get constant subconscious reminders about going to ‘weird parties at Pauls’.

Similarly, when I read the 2012 newspaper account, I thought once again that it was also nuts. Carrying out an operation to dismember a corpse in the Salthouse Street offices seems so unlikely. No one in their right mind would consider it.

It seems to be the weakness in the 2012 account. It’s simply not feasible for such a crime to be committed on the office premises. Once again, I dismissed it from my mind. Or tried to.

Finally, I studied the site on Google maps a week ago and realised it’s not impossible after all.

The impressive office building is still there – there’s possibly a preservation order on it – but there are substantial buildings directly behind it. They now belong to Hypercars and the company name and building style indicates they are of recent origin. They could have replaced earlier similar buildings.

The R & W Paul offices follow the curve of Salthouse Street before ending a short distance from Fore Street. In the 1960s, there would have been a substantial space behind the visible office frontage. It may have just been a wide expanse of courtyard or – more likely – it also contained further buildings, extensions or outhouses not visible from the street. Ordnance survey maps of the period represent it all as a simplistic solid block. All I can remember as an errand boy is taking letters from a little mailroom outbuilding, in which three of us worked, down through the open air courtyard, and into the main offices.

So yes, it is possible a building projecting into or even partly filling the courtyard could have been used for illicit purposes. It’s also possible I blocked the memory of it out for that very reason.

Suffolk had a bad reputation at this time. The Krays – who abused children –had strong connections with the county. Other crimes against children have been noted and collated here: https://angirfana.blogspot.com/2015/04/suffolk-centre-of-child-prostitution.html. And the Ipswich red light district around London Road was notorious back in the 60s, long before the serial murders in 2006.

I have a strong sense – and it’s more than a feeling – that I have come across one or both of these doctors in the criminal circles that surrounded me.

Byles had first stood trial for offences against children back in 1963, so he was active at that time. Catholic and non-secular groups overlapped and shared a common perverted interest in children, something that is rarely acknowledged or discussed today. So we sometimes have the false impression that there was something ‘separate’ or ‘limited’ about Catholic abusers. In reality, Catholic and non-Catholic, teachers, priests, vicars, laity and De La Salle brothers like Solomon, James and Kevin, were all exactly the same low life filth and many undoubtedly ‘socialised’ with each other and shared victims. Sexual abuse of children inevitably leads perpetrators into related criminal activities. In particular, drug abuse, trafficking and worse. 

Thus, these two doctors were members of the Holy Trinity Church of England paedophile ring, using the church premises to take pornographic photos which they sold commercially, and commit sexual assaults and carry out abusive rituals, according to evidence at the trial. Their fellow criminal, Raymond Varley, was wanted for other crimes connected with the even more notorious Dr Freddy Peats. Peats was also a medical doctor and a social worker with the Catholic Church, and part of an international child abuse and trafficking ring. He was eventually caught, and died in a Goa prison.

This kind of overlap between Catholic, Church of England and non-secular criminals may well be the reason I keep being prompted to think back to R & W Pauls and what may have happened there.

That said, I’d hate to conflate memories of these doctors with Ipswich abusers. I’d be so happy if I discovered I had in fact conflated the two. If it is true, I’m lucky to be alive.

There is undoubtedly a connection. My memory progressively provides me with further details, so I’m optimistic I will find more pieces of the puzzle in due course.

This is more than an account of just two rotten apples. It’s a whole rotten orchard.

A LICENSE TO ABUSE

I’ve just read Corden’s Introduction to Canon Law. It’s a book that is well regarded by Catholics. It explains the mindset of Catholic authorities.

In summary, Catholic Canon Law is an astonishing license to abuse for Catholic child sex abusers.

It helps explains the crimes of the De La Salle Brothers and Catholic priests.

From the examples below it is offering little more than a ‘slap on the wrist’ to abusers.

Also, in one case study, it refers to ‘mild’ sexual abuse by a priest to a parishioner. It outlines remedies under Canon Law, but never informing the police.

It’s a current book yet it dismisses abuse with the statement: ‘Even ordained ministers go astray on occasion.’ 

‘On occasion’ ?!

 I don’t think it came up at IIICSA, but it should have as it’s central to abusers’ beliefs.

It’s an Abusers Charter.

De La Salle brothers and priests could easily see it as a ‘nod and a wink’ of tacit encouragement, ‘just don’t get caught’.

If I’m missing something, I would genuinely welcome a Catholic cleric or theologian’s response which I will publish here unedited.

What astonishes me is that no one complains about these truly outrageous ‘laws’ which I know are still quoted today by laity and are thus in current use.

Some quotes follow:

Sanctions in the Church

Book Six of the Code

Even ordained ministers go astray on occasion…. Punishment is a last resort. Pastoral exhortation, kind admonition, familial correction, earnest entreaty, and even firm rebuke should all precede penalties.  C1341.

Even in the application of punishments, leniency and mercy should temper the severity of a canonical penalty… In penal matters make the more benign interpretation.

Some persons may suffer a partial impairment of their … awareness and for them punishment should be reduced.e.g….those who acted in the heat of passion, while drunk, compelled by fear, under provocation.

If the person is truly sorry for the offences and seriously promises to make amends, then he or she cannot be censured. C1347

Another observer clarified the Law further:

The revised Book VI of Cannon Law defies God himself. If a priest is drunk, under the influence of drugs or if the child “tempted” him to excess, then he cannot be removed from the priesthood because his offence is “beyond his control”

As I say, I would welcome a response from a knowledgeable Catholic.

As it stands, to me and other observers it’s a document not so much of wishy-washy out of date rules, but rather an endorsement and an encouragement of pure evil.

Why aren’t Catholics demanding these laws be revised and strengthened, and acknowledged as being subordinate to the laws of the land?

Surely this is an area Catholic Safeguarding should look at?