‘SCOTLAND’S BIGGEST-EVER ABUSE SCANDAL.’ THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS, ‘THE BROTHERHOOD FROM HELL’

Today, I received this comment from ‘Doogster 61’, an Old Boy of the De La Salle’s St Ninians School.

Hi Pat, just to let you know, I was a victim of Brother Benedict.

St. Ninians Gartmore.

He was found guilty of 29 charges and will be sentenced on 3rd November. Waited 51 years for this justice.

DeSalle. The brotherhood from hell!

A complete misconception of the words pray & prey!

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My heart goes out to you, Doogster. I’m so pleased you finally got justice.

I had looked at St Ninian’s before. But for readers unfamiliar with the case, I’ve highlighted some relevant areas below.

Many of them are also relevant to St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, up to and including the early 1990s. Of course,like all groomers, these abusers didn’t pick on everyone, but only selected victims. That’s why St J’s  Old Boys sometimes write in and say, ‘They never did anything to me.’ I wasn’t so fortunate and, like Doogster, I will have justice.

In the meantime, parents considering sending their children to a De La Salle school, or one closely connected with the De La Salles, should consider the case below.

As late as the early 1990s, a psychotherapist friend told me he had several troubled young clients from St Joseph’s, Ipswich. This was after the DLS had left, I believe. But his advice to their parents was still, ‘You want you son to heal? Get them out of that school. NOW!’

He told me parents rarely listened to his advice. St Joseph’s was such a ‘good school’, you see.

Where, when, how and if the De La Salles ever changed has never been made clear to anyone. We just assume they’ve cleaned up their act.

Until it is made clear, they truly are:

‘The Brotherhood from Hell’.

BACKGROUND

Here’s Wikipedia’s account

In 1953, the Archdiocese of Glasgow bought the house to establish St. Ninian’s, a list D school run by the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order. During this period the house was the site of numerous cases of child abuse, perpetrated by the staff of St. Ninians. These cases did not come to light until several decades later.[4]

Here’s the Guardian in January 2001

Members of an order of Roman Catholic monks have been accused of physically and sexually abusing boys at a residential school in Scotland, including giving them electric shocks by making them grasp the exposed wires of a generator, it emerged yesterday.

Police in Stirling confirmed that a report had been sent to the procurator fiscal after a three-year inquiry into St Ninian’s school at Gartmore in Stirlingshire, which was run by the De La Salle Brothers.

Former pupils at the school, which closed in 1982, have alleged they were tortured, beaten and sexually molested by a number of the monks and civilian staff.

A spokesman for the order said all the allegations were vigorously denied, and the home had been run in an “exemplary” manner.

Former pupil Christopher Fearns, 34, now a social worker, was sent to the school when he was eight. He has alleged that he was beaten with a riding crop two or three times a week for four years.

“They were constantly beating us,” he said. “They told us they’d beat the devil out of us. One brother whipped me with a horsewhip. He’d tied knots in the end to make it even more painful and I was beaten solidly for 10 minutes.

“I was battered so many times on my head and ears I cannot hear a thing on my left side, and I’ve undergone extensive surgery because of it. There was a field next to the school with an electric fence. I saw the monks, on a number of occasions, forcing boys to grasp it until they cried out in pain.”

John McCormick, a Glasgow-based lawyer representing the De La Salle order, said the monks had cooperated fully with police. “Nobody has been charged,” he said. “The allegations are vigorously denied.

“All the evidence available to me indicates that St Ninian’s was run in an exemplary manner. Unlike those making the allegations and their advisers I will reserve any further comment until after the results of the civil action are known.”

Daily Record October 5, 2021

A former monk who was branded an “animal” is facing his third jail sentence for a catalogue of abuse and brutality he meted out to children at residential schools, including one in Stirlingshire.

Michael Murphy, 88, was convicted of 29 offences of assault, indecent assault and indecent conduct against boys who were housed at St Ninian’s List D School, at Gartmore as well as at St Joseph’s School at Tranent, in East Lothian.

A total of 20 boys, some of whom were as young as seven or eight, were subjected to abuse by the religious brother who beat them and administered electric shocks to young children. The offending began in 1961 and continued until 1981.

Murphy, who was known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, had denied a total of 43 charges involving 29 youngsters at the start of a lengthy trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

But after the Crown withdrew charges during the proceedings the jury was required to return verdicts on a total of 33 charges. He was acquitted of four alleged offences.

The trial judge, Lady Carmichael, told him that a custodial sentence was “inevitable”.

…………..

But many escaped according to the Scottish Sunday Mail. Here’s the link

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/OUTRAGE+AS+7+OTHER+DE+LA+SALLE+SCHOOL+TORTURERS+WALK+FREE%3B+Victims+to…-a0103894720

One items stood out for me in this account and showed the De La Salle needs investigating from to bottom.


January 14: We tell how boys abused by the monks were used as medical guinea pigs after being given mysterious white pills.

THE COVER-UP – This part of the Sunday Mail article is particularly relevant because it’s always been my personal memory and belief that St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, its governors and lawyers were all closely interwoven in my day – through the Knights of St Columba – and perhaps still are. Note the same attempt to distance the DLS from their crimes. Today’s St J’s has a similar outlook

Yet St J’s today is part of the De La Salle rugby trophy!

Here’s what the Sunday Mail has to say:

THE lawyer accused of a sickening smear campaign against the De La Salle victims is the son of a former governor at their school.

Solicitor John McCormick’s dead father Frank was a governor of St Ninian’s at Gartmore, Stirlingshire.

McCormick has been blamed for labelling the victims attention seekers and accusing them of being motivated by greed.

He told the Catholic Observer: “There are many reasons why people make spurious allegations, including, of course, the obvious, a claim for compensation.

“There are also people with various attention-seeking psychological conditions.”

McCormick also battled to stop victims getting financial assistance to fund civil actions against the Catholic order despite their tormentors gaining Legal Aid to defend themselves in court.

He told the Scottish Legal Aid Board the De La Salle order never “owned, governed, or ran” the former List D Schools, St Mary’s Bishopbriggs, St Joseph’s, Tranent, St Nininan’s, Gartmore, or St John’s, Springboig.

Yet all of these schools were listed in the Scottish Catholic Directory as De La Salle Schools, and large number of Catholic Church heirarchy held reponsible positions in them. Lawyers for all three convicted abusers also attacked victims in court during the two-week trial.

They tried to convince the jury that none should be believed because some had troubled pasts. They claimed that all the men were lying and chasing compensation.

But they could not explain why one flew from Australia and was visibly shaking as he faced his abuser in court.

And they could not explain why several victims give evidence without joining the civil action against De La Salle.

Scott Brady QC, for Murphy, even criticised Sunday Mail investigator Marion Scott as he smeared the victims at the High Court.

Brady suggested the claims of the vast majority of victims who had contacted the Sunday Mail had been investigated and found to be false. But today, we reveal that many were never interviewed by police and many others saw their abusers escape charges.

Brady said: “Marion Scott told us 200 people called her up and identified Bootsie (Murphy’s nickname) and she passed their details to the police.

“Just five per cent of those remain now. Does that mean that 95 per cent of them were telling a pack of lies? If they were – how easy would it be for the other five per cent?”

The lawyers persuaded the judge to ban publication of photos of the men during the trial in case it helped victims identify them.

In the meantime, Murphy had lost up to two stone in weight and was not wearing the glasses that he used to wear at the school.

McKinstrey’s lawyer, George Pollock, also tried to demolish the character of witnesses. He described one of McKinstrey’s victims as someone who’d “lied all his life”. And he attacked another of McKinstrey’s victims because he had criminal convictions for theft.

He also attacked newspapers and TV programmes for reporting the scandal. He said: “In this country we do not have trial by TV, trial by documentary, trial by newspaper – we have trial by judge and jury.”

Nightwatchman James McKinstrey, 70, of Port of Monteith was convicted of four sexual abuse charges, despite protests from his defence that he was mentally retarded.

But we can reveal that McKinstrey tried to infiltrate an abuse survivors support group only months before his court appearance.

Furious Frank Docherty, of the support group In Care Abuse Survivors said: “He tried to get us to accept him into our group, claiming he had been a victim of a Catholic care home.

“He told us he’d been abused himself when he was a child and that was why he’d abused boys at St Ninian’s.

“There was no sign that he was mentally retarded. It was simply an attempt to forge an alibi for his own sick perversions.”

IS IT STILL GOING ON?

In February 2017, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer wrote to a constituent concerning abuse in the town.

His comments included this: ‘I am aware that, according to a report in October last year, Ipswich has the unfortunate accolade as being the town with the largest number of sex offenders per resident, a total of 361, living in it…’

This is also born out by the Mirror https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/towns-uk-highest-levels-sex-9137993

Ipswich, Hull and Grimsby have the highest rates of sex offenders living in the area, as numbers in England and Wales continue to rise.

There are 361 registered sex offenders in Ipswich, a rate of 308.8 per 100,000 people aged 10 and over.

The information was only brought to my attention yesterday, but it came as absolutely no surprise to me.

Ipswich was, and seemingly still is, an infamous town where children are more at risk than elsewhere.

My recollections of Ipswich in the 1960s are that it was an absolute hive of secular and non-secular abuse.  I believe there was often an important overlap between the two which is also worthy of comment.

I’m sure proven De La Salle sexual abusers – like Brothers James, Solomon, and Kevin – didn’t care whether their young victims were Catholic or Protestant or Atheist. Whoever was the most vulnerable, available and would keep silent. It just happened to be Catholic children.

Although some predators normally hunt and eat zebras, and that’s their modus operandi, I’m sure they’re not averse to antelopes, too. It’s all just meat to them.

I mention this because it took me a while to realize, as I recalled my childhood experiences from fourteen to sixteen years old, that such Catholic and non-Catholic predators mixed freely and socially at parties with each other. Sharing their common interest in prey. Perhaps naively, I had previously thought that abuse was divided along strictly sectarian lines, just like everything else with religion.

This is why important Catholic laity, Catholic professionals, and Catholic lay teachers from that era are of particular interest to me. The De La Salles may have had their boarder victims already easily available ‘on tap’, and has no need to go hunting, but St Joseph’s lay teacher abusers – and there were some from that era  who I’m not going to name today –  had to look elsewhere for their prey.

In Ipswich.

The worst town in the whole of Britain for the sexual abuse of children.

Defining what this means in practise gets me into the territory of the Catholic laity and the Ipswich Knights of St Columba, already clearly identified as covering up abuse in my ‘The Shocking Truth’ post.

Consequently, I’ve asked Catholic Safeguarding to look into both organizations both on a local and a national level.

But the confirmation that my hometown is still the darkest town for abuse in Britain set me thinking about further implications.

Like most of us, I’ve always thought – perhaps with justification – that Catholic abuse, at least, died down around the millennium and there were significantly less Catholic abuse crimes afterwards. Statistically that’s probably true. But equally, children often keep traumatic experiences to themselves, block them out (as I did) and only acknowledge or recall them in mid-life (as I did). So it’s possible that ten years from now there could be a series of allegations that could change our perception. After all, we’re told that abuse is actually on the increase, presumably thanks to the internet.

But not where Catholic abusers are concerned? Really? Does that increase apply only to secular abusers now? Have the Catholic organizations really cleaned up their act? When and why did that happen? Especially given the intergenerational factor in organized abuse, provably passed on to the next generation. That’s another question I’ve asked Safeguarding.

We can’t simply take the word of the De La Salles that they’re the ‘good guys’ now. They forfeited that right with their crimes. That’s for others to judge now, not for them.  And don’t tell me about all the supposed good they and the Knights of St Columba do today. All the wonderful work for the poor, for charity etc. So did Jimmy Savile whom the Knights admired so much that they officiated at his funeral.

It’s children at risk today that rightly take priority over ‘historic’ crimes. I fear they may still be at risk today from Catholic organisations. The precise reasons why I fear this I have also brought to Safeguarding’s attention and will elaborate on it further with them.

I would assume, rightly or wrongly, that the usual targets today are not schools and boarding schools anymore (because of the terrible publicity about them) but children abused via the internet, family victims, runaways, children bred for purpose, trafficking, institutional victims and organizational victims.

As the Catholic Church plays a key role in the last two categories that concerns me.  

Personally, I’m bemused if parents who are aware of this blog and similar sources should want anything to do with them anymore. Why take a risk with your children? Whatever happened in the past doesn’t just go away with an unemotional, meaningless apology like Cardinal Nichols https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3rgeY8ZWTc.

To me, the De La Salles and other religious organizations with a history of sexual and physical abuse have to carry the shameful cross of their crimes for a long, long time to come

STATEMENT FROM THE CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING STANDARDS AGENCY

I’ve received the statement below from Catholic Safeguarding which I see as a positive and encouraging step forward.

“The information contained within some posts is deeply troubling.  We urge all victims and survivors of Catholic Church related abuse to come forward so that we can offer support and ensure that individuals accused of abuse can be referred to the statutory authorities for investigation.  We will take all necessary steps to ensure that those coming forward are listened to and supported, and that regardless of action by statutory authorities, risks posed by people who currently have roles within the Church are addressed. 

Please contact me at the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) via Colette.limbrick@catholicsafeguarding.org.uk or refer directly to the Police so that the appropriate action can be taken”.

Colette Limbrick, CEO, Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA)

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.

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?

BOUNDARY BREAKING

As you’ll see from the page below Durham University are keen to talk to survivors and other informed people about abuse in the Catholic Church and its various organizations.



There’s also a link with further information.



I talked to the organizers this week and recounted some of my experiences as an Old Boy of St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and also the central role of the Catholic laity, specifically the Knights of St Columba.



I found it a valuable and cathartic experience. Valuable firstly because it was useful to interact and explain some of my childhood history to researchers connected to but independent of the Church. But secondly because it means this website has been noticed and is finally being taken seriously. It needs to be. It’s a unique platform and resource with a considerable body of important evidence about abuse and abusers.



So thank you to everyone who has contributed their recollections of Catholic abuse so far, some of which must have been quite tough to relate.



The project is funded by a charitable foundation with further contributions from other Catholic institutional funders, but as the organizers made clear to me, the University is a public secular institution, and the Centre for Catholic Studies which is behind the research is part of the University and independent of the Church.

All research is conducted in line with the University’s expectations of integrity and impartiality and is subject to ethical review; confidentiality and anonymity is maintained.  

If you are interested, please contact Marcus Pound on m.j.pound@durham.ac.uk or Pat Jones at patricia.jones@durham.ac.uk.  

Please see the University’s web page for more information: https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/research/boundary-breaking-/ 

Durham University’s Boundary Breaking Project is looking for research participants.

Boundary Breaking: Ecclesial-cultural Implications of the Sex Abuse Crisis within the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Boundary Breaking is a project of the Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) within the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. It is a three-year research project, working in collaboration with survivors and organisations in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Our task is to explore the role of Catholic culture and theology in contributing to the creation of an environment in which abuse by clergy and brothers, and its subsequent denial and mishandling, was and is possible. The project is led by Dr Marcus Pound as Principal Investigator, working with Dr Catherine Sexton, Dr Pat Jones and Prof. Paul D. Murray.

Our aim is to examine the possible relationship between the abuse crisis and weaknesses or distortions in the culture, organizational realities, and ecclesial self-understanding of Catholicism in England and Wales. We hope to produce theologically informed reflections and recommendations on aspects of safeguarding and culture within the Catholic Church, to help the whole Church to respond proactively to the sexual abuse crisis. We will host an international conference (planned for January 2023) to present our research findings and generate discussion and action.

We are engaging with people from across the Catholic community and beyond: survivors, secondary victims including affected families, and individual lay members; parish groups (particularly in parishes where abuse has occurred) and key voices in both secular and Catholic safeguarding agencies; clergy and members of religious orders. We know that those who have been sexually abused experience devastating and lifelong effects, with clerical sexual abuse having a particular impact. The voices of victim-survivors, along with secondary victims, are potentially prophetic for the Church, and are essential to our study. Their testimonies directly inform the research.

If you are a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy or a religious brother (member of a religious order) then we would like to invite you to participate in our research. We can reassure you that everything you say is regarded as confidential. We pay careful attention to ethical issues, and work within Durham University’s ethics frameworks which ensure that strict confidentiality and anonymity protocols are in place in all aspects of our work.

We are working within the limitations imposed by COVID-19, which means currently working online, through Zoom and other digital platforms.

If you are interested, please contact Marcus Pound on m.j.pound@durham.ac.uk or Pat Jones at patricia.jones@durham.ac.uk.

Please see the University’s web page for more information: https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/research/boundary-breaking-/

SCOTTISH CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY – DE LA SALLE BROTHERS

The institutions highlighted in bold were announced as being added to the Inquiry’s investigations in March 2020

  1. Roman Catholic orders
  • De La Salle Brothers
    • St Joseph’s, Tranent
    • St Ninians, Gartmore, Stirlingshire
    • Kenmure St Mary’s Boys’ School, Bishopbriggs
    • St Mungo’s, Mauchline, Ayrshire
    • St John’s Boys’ School, Shettleston

There are numerous Catholic orders of ‘holy’ monks and nuns listed, but I’m only mentioning the DLS here.

All these are new names to me. There have been others mentioned elsewhere – DLS approved schools for example

It seems the crimes of the De La Salle order are truly endless.  If this was any other group, other than Catholic, it would be banned as a criminal organisation.

Yet St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, today,  is proud to be IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION

That’s like saying IN THE GARY GLITTER TRADITION

You really have no sense of shame to be PROUD to be associated with paedophiles

I’m amazed that your current pupils have not protested at this vile connection that you are so proud of.

DE LA SALLE SCHOOL LIVERPOOL – MISSING BOY

This was a post from a Survivor of a De La School in Liverpool in the 1980s.

Presumably it’s now the DLS Academy in Carr Lane East, Liverpool which is still being run by the DLS.

I felt it should have a separate post for two reasons. Firstly, in case it helps to highlight or explain the disappearance of a missing boy the author mentions: Mark Garvey.

Secondly, because it highlights how there is so much more to come out yet where Catholic abuse is concerned. Thus there were two missing children from my era connected with the Catholic community. (Not the De La Salles) I don’t have enough hard information (yet) to go into details and I don’t want to distract from this important post.

But my premise is that ‘brutal sadistic paedophiles’ of whom there were plenty at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, don’t necessarily know when or how to stop at ‘just’ abuse. So there are some potentially awful implications.

For this reason, the De La Salle Order when in Ipswich, the Knights of St Columba in Ipswich who backed the DLS,  St Joseph’s lay teachers from the 60s to the 80s (one of whom used a cat o’ nine whip on a child – see my summary) all need properly investigating.

It’s all on my SUMMARY THREE PAGES ready for investigators to look at.

Hello, i just want to mention i too went to a De La Salle school in Liverpool although it was not a boarding school their were Brothers, of worst sort you could imagine. They were brutal sadistic pedophiles in which One of them was convicted twice of sexual assault named brother Paul. In no way im i exaggerating when i say i was strapped easily Fifty times for the slightest infractions, they would get off on it. There was also a brother who would try to proposition you by sidling up next to you an sing under his breath the Pet Shop Boys i got the brains you got the looks lets make lots of money ?. This took place for me in the 1980s. One thing all ways comes to my mind and that is the disappearance of a young man called Mark Garvey who apparently would frequent the brothers house that was attached to the school i dont know if that was looked into it should be.