Creator and first editor of 2000AD, champion of girls' and political comics. Spacewarp, Requiem Vampire Knight, Marshal Law, Accident Man, Nemesis, Charley's War and more. Get in touch: patmillswriter (@) gmail.com. Go to millsverse.com for comics stuff.
Encouraging words from Doogster 61, a St Ninian’s survivor:
I also attended a residential school in Scotland, andI am happy to say my litigation against Brother Benedict, St Ninians Gartmore is now at the stage of financial negotiations with their insurers. I will keep you informed of the eventual outcome.
I believe one of your followers, Tam B. requested to talk to me in person.You can pass my email onto him. If I can be of any assistance to him, it would be my pleasure Pat.
I am fully aware of the barriers and pitfalls you encounter when you are trying to obtain information and the mislaid, destroyed, fire damaged, perished,disappeared, dissolved, evanesced, evaporated, disintegrated, dissipated, discarded, discontinued, mice eaten, moth attacked, removed with demolition companies, sent to the school board, sent to the Archdiocese of Glasgow, sent to the Vatican, sent to the Home Office, it,s in the National Archive Libraries, the social work sevices have them, the DLS have them, its data protection, no access for 75 years, official secrets act, redacted, redacted, redacted etc. etc!
Think you get my drift Pat.
So yes after many many years of profound digging, I eventually found some of the documents that were relevant to pursue my litigation. The conviction of Michael Murphy (Brother Benedict) has undoubtedly assisted in my pursuit.
Therefore if I can be of any assistance to my fellow survivors I will be only to willing and glad to help. This includes all of your followers.
I know how frustrating and upsetting this will cause to some people who encounter the shield of covercy. Yes its demanding and extremely exhausting, but the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment is truly consoling to compliment yourself in not taking no for an answer! Well done you!
I will attempt to find every piece of information that will provide the laws to bring these perpetrators to justice.
So i say to your readers and followers Pat, dont cede in your persistence for justice and if i can, -you can. Keep your faith and keep fighting until you can fight no more. Say to yourselves, “i will never be beaten again. Ever!”
My sincere thoughts to all my fellow survivors, and I wish you every success in our quest!
My sincere empathy to the friends and families who have sadly passed and didnt get the opportunity to witness the emergence of disbelieved truth, justice, and punishment these bastards truly have self merited.
A further letter from Rocky which I have passed onto DLS Safeguarding and SCOE.
I hadn’t realised that parents had to pay for their children to go to a DLS approved school.
In this case where their child was grievously tortured and abused.
Rocky is asking that the DLS pay that money back to him which would still be admitting nothing.
My Mum and Dad both worked. Dad full time driving lorries and Mum part time and full time for the 6 years i was in the care of the DLS. Part of my sentencing to Approved School was that, after asking my Dad if he worked? and had he brought wage slips as instructed? The Sherriff then ordered a deduction from his wages at the rate of £8.00 per week. Starting from Nov 1963 rising to £25.00 in July 1969.(They were both working full time by 1969.
This money was to pay the cost of my welfare and upkeep by the DLS at St Ninians.
As has been proven in court recently the DLS plainly did not look after my welfare. I nearly died from gangrene and but for the skill of a gifted surgeon and only after many days of agony, being injected with massive doses of a new type of Penicillin, did the gangrene subsided enough and i only lost my finger instead of my life!! aged 10.
So im asking the DLS Order to return to me with interest all the monies deducted and paid by my trusting Mum and Dad 63/69 and by my calculations it should be a mere pittance to you. You did not earn my parents Money!! They were betrayed!!! Give it back! You obtained it under the worst pretence of all, God!! You used their faith to cover up my abuse.
Do you think any parent would willingly pay to have their 9 year old abused repeatedly and daily for 6 hellish years.
Pay the monies back to me. Your admitting nothing DLS, only that you took money from my mum and dad and were returning it because you realize it was a mistake taking it from them in the first place and that its the Christian thing to do and the RIGHT thing to do DLS.
Ps Edit it anyway you like Pat
How much out of curiosity is £ 8 in 63 rising by £2.50 every year to £ 20 in 69? How much was £20 in 69 worth in todays money? I reckon £75,000 give or take, but i only got a “B” in maths.(Laughing) Send them my bill Pat
As you are in charge of DLS Safeguarding, I do think it’s relevant to inquire if you are a member of the De La Salle Order as at least one survivor believes.
A survivor of St Ninian’s, Rocky 1954, asked me to bring this matter to your attention. See his letter below.
3 months have passed since DLS Brother Michael Murphy was convicted of terrible offences against myself and 28 others at Edinburgh High Court. How can an order of the Catholic Church(DLS) have no liability, no culpability, no redress, no conscience, no sense of guilt or even horror at what was done in their name!!. Scottish Redress have informed me that the DLS have declined to contribute to the scheme.!! They use the best barristers in the world to fight an attritional battle against aged and infirm victims knowing that every legal argument or complex delay saves them millions in compensation. Every year hundreds of these elderly survivors die, so delay pays. I want, we want satisfaction but the DLS won`t even give us an apology. They answer to no one, regardless of pretences. The Salesians are Contributors to the Redress Scheme and as much as it galls they at least have acknowledged their guilt. Give them (the De La Salles) my contact details Pat and see how long it takes for me to get an apology or explanation why its taken so long and what they intend to do about myself and the other 28 who were so greviously abused and in my case lost a finger at 10 years old while in their sole care.
The matter is further explored on this post
It highlights how two Survivors of the De La Salles feel about your order’s lack of response in the Benedict case. As a fellow Survivor of the De La Salles I stand with them.
Here are Rocky 1954’s contact details. (In my email to Barry Hudd)
I’ve included the Rev Des Bill in this communication. I’m aware Scottish Safeguarding is yet another organization but hope you can pass it on as before, Des. Or let me have their contact details and I will.
And I think this matter is also of concern to you.
Two Survivors of Brother Benedict (Michael Murphy) have been in touch with me.
Both have the same issues with the De La Salles.
Namely, they have received :
And they have both rejected:
POOR COMPENSATION FROM THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT.
This Redress scheme by the government is doubtless because they feel some responsibility.
The government have invited the De La Salles to contribute to this fund and they have declined.
But other relevant organizations – the Salesians (who also abused the first case below) and Save the Children (for charitable reasons)– have contributed.
FIRST – THE CASE OF ‘ROCKY 1954’
He wrote to me today
3 months have passed since DLS Brother Michael Murphy was convicted of terrible offences against myself and 28 others at Edinburgh High Court. How can an order of the Catholic Church(DLS) have no liability, no culpability, no redress, no conscience, no sense of guilt or even horror at what was done in their name!!. Scottish Redress have informed me that the DLS have declined to contribute to the scheme.!! They use the best barristers in the world to fight an attritional battle against aged and infirm victims knowing that every legal argument or complex delay saves them millions in compensation. Every year hundreds of these elderly survivors die, so delay pays. I want, we want satisfaction but the DLS won`t even give us an apology. They answer to no one, regardless of pretences. The Salesians are Contributors to the Redress Scheme and as much as it galls they at least have acknowledged their guilt. Give them my contact details Pat and see how long it takes for me to get an apology or explanation why its taken so long and what they intend to do about myself and the other 28 who were so greviously abused and in my case lost a finger at 10 years old while in their sole care.
Just to remind you, here is Rocky 1954’s original account:
Dear Mr Mills,
I am a survivor of abuse by both the DLS brothers and also the Salesians of St John Bosco order. You can refer to me as “Rocky1954” if you want to relay my story. I was the lead witness in the trial of Michael Murphy. A bit of background. I was born in Whitburn West Lothian Scotland and attended the local Catholic school. I persistantly truanted and was sent to St Ninians @ the age of 9. this was Sept 1963. Benedict raped me. He put my hand in a vice and crushed my little finger. Infection set in and i was given primitive medical care at the school and only after my whole arm swelled up and turned blue was a doctor called. He was very angry at the Matron an alchoholic and took me in his car to Stirling. Upon arrival at Stirling Royal Infirmary i was diagnosed with gangrene and for 4 days i was in and out of coma, while they were debating amputating my arm. A surgeon came from London. 3 more days on a new antibiotic and i responded to it. My finger was gone.!! 2/3 amputated. I was learning Piano and was grade 2. After the operation i had no coordination in my left hand and no feeling on one side of my elbow. My mum and dad didnt know i had been in hospital till i came home on leave. The headmaster Bro Thadeus set up an elaborate scheme where another boy on promise of release said he did it. Benedict had nothing to do with itand they were believed. I had no idea about previous trials in Scotland, ive lived in Leeds over 50 years and im afraid Scottish news is not freely read in England. I travelled to Edinburgh at the age 67 and gave my evidence. He was convicted of the offences against me. Assault causing serious injury leading to loss of limb. Lewd and Libidinous offences, which cover the serious and repeated Sexual Assaults.
Rocky also added today:
If any other survivors of DLS approved schools in Scotland want my details or to contact me through your good self thats also fine. I have never seen such an intricate web of deceit and smoking mirrors as the DLS.
SECOND – THE CASE OF DOOGSTER 61
Good to hear we have one contributor to the Scottish government redress scheme Pat. Nothing from De Salle. The Scottish scheme requires a signature to waive your rights to pursue legal action. I,m afraid I wont be grasping the 30 pieces of silver and besides, the De Salle refusing to contribute leaves me no alternative but to pursue litigation.
As for the apology? More chance of the Pope chapping my door with an Easter hamper. It would mean nothing to me now. I have already got my justice with the conviction of Brother Benedict. Now they can justify it financially. Incidentally, the maximum the Scottish government are prepared to pay is £100K. Now, after waiting for justice for 52 years, that equates to £36 per week. Certainly seems the Scottish government are trying to protect the perpetrators in order to receive contributions from them. They should be suing them directly never mind asking for meagre contributions! I,m sorry but if any victims have the time and health on their side, then I suggest litigation is the only route for financial recompense.
As a fellow survivor of the De La Salles, I stand with Doogster and Rocky – and so many more, like Rafael – in their search for justice.
In preparation for the independent Investigator, I’ve previously summarised the evidence on this blog concerning Brothers James, Kevin and Solomon. Also, school chaplain Father Jolly and the Knights of St Columba and their close links to the DLS.
But it shouldn’t be assumed that the abuse is limited to these rotten apples.
There were many more DLS abusers noted on this blog and elsewhere.
My concern – and I believe the concern of others – is that there could be a damage limitation exercise to just deal with those criminals as ‘scapegoats’ in Ipswich alone and then claim the matter is dealt with.
That won’t work.
It’s far more wide-ranging and systemic. And if there is a damage limitation exercise, it will only mean ANOTHER investigation LATER because I’m not giving up until the whole rotten orchard is exposed.
Another damage limitation technique is to claim that DLS corporal punishment was ‘normal’ for the times. That won’t work either. It was abnormal and any attempt to spin it away will result in an avalanche of anger from Survivors. See for example, this post with Old Boys’ views about corporal punishment:
I realize the investigation has to be realistic and set some boundaries. Nevertheless, the DLS is a multi-million pound organization and owes it to survivors to look into these matters properly and comprehensively.
It’s also worth noting that the four abusers detailed on this blog were clumsy criminals. They made mistakes and that’s why they’ve been discovered.
Brother James was a psychopath; he couldn’t control his behaviour. Father Jolly forgot to retrieve the tape recorder he left in the confessional. Brother Solomon and Brother Kevin were such insatiable paedophiles, abusing countless children, and they could not suppress their criminal lust.
(I have seen evidence that Kevin and Solomon were still in close contact in the 1990s after they had both left the DLS when Solomon was clearly as predatory as ever.)
By comparison, most paedophiles are smarter and better at hiding their tracks. See the section on DLS Lay teachers.
GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS OF DLS SYSTEMIC ABUSE
It would be wrong to investigate Ipswich DLS alone. Two other DLS schools at least are intimately connected with St J’s Ipswich.
As previous evidence has indicated, London Beulah Hill DLS was probably far worse that St J’s. Ipswich.
St Peter’s Bournemouth DLS was also a major concern – not least because it was the start of an escape route for abuser Brothers to flee to France if the police were closing in on them.
London was also where the private hospital was located where DLS victims were treated. Did these young victims, under the aegis of the Knights of St Columba, come from DLS schools all over the country?
It should be possible for an investigator to discover by looking at the hospital records.
So where to draw the line? At just those three schools? An ex De La Salle Brother had this to say:
‘maybe it would have been better if the (DLS) schools in London, Portsmouth, Ipswich Bournemouth, Jersey, Liverpool, St Helen’s, Manchester had never been built.’
In my opinion, ALL DLS schools should be investigated in order to confirm or reject that systemic abuse took place across the whole of the UK and not limited to just Southern England.
Most of the Old Boys at other DLS schools are unaware of this site, but that is changing and more evidence and testimonies are likely to be forthcoming.
These are just some of the examples I’m aware of:
OTHER DLS SCHOOLS
1)London DLS Blackheath. One survivor had previously complained to the DLS at Oxford about inappropriate violence at the school and was fobbed off by the DLS brother in charge.
I believe this survivor has now passed his testimony to SCOE : Catholic Safeguarding responsible for religious organizations. This is separate to DLS Safeguarding. (I will look at the confusing nature of these twin overlapping safeguarding organizations in my next post)
This is a testimony from the 1980s: ‘ i too went to a De La Salle school in Liverpool although it was not a boarding school there 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.’
3) St Gilberts DLS school. A Survivor of this school has informed me when DLS teachers served their sentences for crimes they committed there, they were then sent to another DLS school in Scotland. If correct, this is evidence of systemic abuse.
4) St Ninian’s. See next section item 3 below.
OTHER DE LA SALLE BROTHERS AS SYSTEMIC ABUSERS – THE EVIDENCE
1. Brother Elwin was the headmaster at St J’s Ipswich, mid 1960s, when there was a major cover-up of Brother J’s psychotic sexual violence. As the account describes,’ there was Brother Elwin naked on his bed with a naked kid of only about 12 sitting on his stomach.’ https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1029
This testimony has been on my site since March 2020! So the DLS and SCOE will be aware of it. Yet no one has been in touch to respond or ask to contact the Survivor. This is a DLS headmaster.
Ignoring this account alone for over a year amounts to systemic abuse by the DLS today.
Apart from the account above, Brother Hugh is also referenced here:
‘Brother Hugh. Actually I am slightly worried that I might be misremembering events because I have seen no reference to him as an abuser but when I was in the 3rd or 4th form he was in charge of our dormitory, and at night regularly positioned himself in a chair next to one particular bed after lights out and abused it’s occupant. One of the boys with a quick wit came up with a re-working of the tune to Dad’s Army which parodied this activity. Was Brother Hugh’s surname Leyland?’
2.Brother Leo. Headmaster St J’s Ipswich. 1960s. Three testimonies on my site of his sexual abuse. He was known as a ‘nocturnal groper’. Here’s the testimony by DN in the comments section of my post ‘In the La Sallian Tradition 3’:
‘Normally we would fall asleep quickly being 13 or 14 but that night I stayed awake watching Bro.Leo (headmaster at the time) who opened the door to leave but then closed it and stayed still in the corner until he thought we were asleep. I assumed he would walk to the other boy’s bed but instead he came to mine and molested me. Only when I rolled over a couple of times did he stop. The next day I went with the other boy to father Jolly and told him the story. He told us to stay at his house while he went on his own to the Headmaster. Later he came back to say the HM denied it but for our information he was leaving at the end of the term for other reasons!! Father Jolly then took us to the HM’s study and we had to relate the story to his face. He denied it and we left. That was the last I heard of the matter.’’
Once again, Father Jolly is centre-stage in these DLS systemic abuse cover-ups.
3. Joe Homan when he was a DLS Brother at Oakhill. Late 50s approx.There are several accounts of his extreme violence to children on this site. I also have a testimony of Homan’s serious sexual assault on a pupil at Oak Hill. I can facilitate that Survivor contacting an Investigator.
This interview below relates to Homan after he left the order:
The DLS headmaster brother Thadeus ‘set up an elaborate scheme where another boy on promise of release said he did it.’ So Brother Benedict putting a child’s hand in a vice was blamed on another child.
Despite the very recent conviction of Brother Benedict, the systemic abuse involving the headmaster Brother Thadeus does not appear to be addressed and there is no personal apology to the Survivor. Why not?
This all looks to me like a continuation of systemic abuse by the DLS today.
5) This is the view of an ex De La Salle brother about abusers in his order:
‘In my opinion, the biggest disgrace is the cover up with regard to the individuals (albeit a minority) of abusers. Men like this tend to be quite cunning and the rest of us in the rank and file did not know what was going on, beyond a sense of unease, which we were too reticent to share with outside agencies or with the ecclesial authorities at higher levels.’
When systemic abuse is present, it makes reporting abuse difficult and that is what happened here. Everyone kept quiet. It’s hardly surprising when DLS headmasters like Brothers Leo, Thadeus and Elwin (see above) are sexually abusing children and/or are part of an elaborate criminal cover-up.
LAY TEACHER ABUSERS HIRED BY DE LA SALLES – THE EVIDENCE
Lay teachers were hired by the DLS and are thus their responsibility. This is confirmed by the DLS acknowledging they are currently looking into lay teacher Mike Mercado.
DLS lay teachers therefore need investigating as well as DLS brothers. Especially the cover-ups,
At least as many abusive DLS lay teachers have been mentioned on this site as DLS brothers. But – generally – they are mentioned briefly in passing and there is less secondary confirmation from Old Boys. Based on my own experiences with DLS lay teachers in the 1960s, I’d say this is because lay teachers were so much better at covering their tracks than abusive DLS monks.
This is not a comprehensive over-view of lay teacher abusers below.
If I’ve missed anyone important, do say and I will add them. Two lay DLS teachers are excluded from the names below for legal reasons.
ABUSIVE DLS LAY TEACHERS IN THE 1960s.
I’m still collecting evidence on two other abusive DLS lay teachers in this period. I’ve spent a fortune on therapy over the years and the biggest percentage is processing my encounters with these two individuals, more so than Brother James and Father Jolly. It’s still a work in progress but what I can say just now is my encounters with these two teachers is once again evidence of DLS systemic abuse.
ABUSIVE DLS LAY TEACHERS IN THE 1970S.
I understand from an Old Boy there are abuse issues relating to at least one lay teacher from this era. This, too, is a work in progress for the Survivor.
There’s also this testimony from another Old Boy:
‘I was at St Joe’s for many years. I remember them , Bros Cecil, James, Hugh, Damien, Owen, Gerard, Soloman, Denis Robert, Gregory, Benet, Cuthman, Peter, Terrence and others. They seemed all to have some sort of attitude or psychological problem or were perverts. Having spoken to others over the years about this it does seem that all the Del a Salle Schools and Catholic Schools were all the same. I am quite sure all the stories are pretty much true. The film Catholic Boys captures it pretty well. I’m in contact with a number of people from the 60s and early 70s from St Joe’s, I think some have tried to give details to the police. Interestingly and rather oddly one of the number listed above is still around and his partner (female) works for the police in relation to child abuse. Talk about poacher turned game-keeper! He waxes lyrical now about abuse saying ‘it only takes good men to do nothing etc etc’. He knew what was going on when he was at St Joe’s and did nothing. The pious hypocrite.’
ABUSIVE DLS LAY TEACHERS IN THE 1980s.
(Mercado has been covered previously.)
Two abusive PE staff and another lay teacher were mentioned to me in a recent email from an Old Boy. He has contacted Ipswich police.
There is another testimony regarding a further lay teacher:
TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence. One testimony in comments – see: CS commented on ROLL OF DISHONOUR:
I attended St Joseph’s College from 86 – 90. I was at the school when David Hennesy became headmaster, he was a very relaxed guy and I liked him a lot. After our GCSE’s a few of us got our ears pierced – stupid, but hey we were crazy teenagers. We were in Birkfield house, Tony Hardy was the housemaster. He was a well known drinker and had a ferocious temper. After being told to take our ear rings out which we ignored as we were so close to school holidays we thought nothing more of it. One night Hardy had been out at a BBQ and came back after lights out, he pulled me and the other lads who had pierced their ears out of bed and made us stand in the corners of his living room. We were made to stand there when he went on a screaming rampage around the house. He came back to his quarters where we were all waiting frankly sh*tting ourselves. One by one he called each of the lads into his bedroom where he gave them all slippers. He then made me stand in a cupboard which he locked me in and then again went on another rampage around the house, when he came back hen made me stand in his bedroom drop my pyjama bottoms and then took a cat-o-nine tails out of his draw. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding. The next morning when in the showers the other lads saw the state of what had happened to me and they took me to see Mr Hennesy, when we explained what happened he sent us to his cottage on the grounds and Hardy was got rid of that day. My parents were dealt with by the school’s solicitors and unbelievably agreed that as long as he never taught there again, wouldn’t involve the Police.
This is a cover-up by the DLS in the late 80s.
Harding may still be alive. If so, that makes this testimony especially important.
I will now look at what the next step is on DLS abuse investigation. How does the investigation proceed? How can we Survivors help? Who do we get in touch with? My next post.
A Survivor’s account below. Michael Murphy is Brother Benedict who received 7 years imprisonment on top of his previous sentences.
What is especially concerning is the actions of the headmaster Brother Thadeus described below.
Thadeus ‘set up an elaborate scheme where another boy on promise of release said he did it. ‘
So Brother Benedict putting a child’s hand in a vice was blamed on another child.
That kind of devious and corrupt thinking is typical of the De La Salles in recent historical times as the posts on this blog confirm and I know from my own experience.
Have they changed and when? No one has any way of knowing for sure. The De La Salles just tell us repeatedly how honorable they are today, praising themselves as spiritual icons, and we are meant to believe they are now all holy men, unlike their predecessors.
That requires an act of faith which must be difficult even for Catholics.
Their recent public apology which was not public and was barely an apology is not a good sign. Putting it up on their website only after I had raised the issue seems devious to me.
The criminal behaviour described below was not restricted to one school. St Joseph’s College Ipswich had its own forms of De La Salle evil as recorded on this blog
It must cost everyone concerned – the De La Salles, the Suits who still protect them, Catholic Safeguarding and parents who still send their children to DLS schools – huge cognitive dissonance to believe that none of this is relevant to the De La Salles today.
All four are living in denial and there is a price they will pay for this spiritually and psychologically.
The Survivor is still waiting for an apology.
The De La Salles have not commented on the St Ninian’s verdict.
Again, that puts them in a very poor light.
Here is this Survivor’s testimony:
Dear Mr Mills,
I am a survivor of abuse by both the DLS brothers and also the Salesians of St John Bosco order. You can refer to me as “Rocky1954” if you want to relay my story. I was the lead witness in the trial of Michael Murphy. A bit of background. I was born in Whitburn West Lothian Scotland and attended the local Catholic school. I persistantly truanted and was sent to St Ninians @ the age of 9. this was Sept 1963. Benedict raped me. He put my hand in a vice and crushed my little finger. Infection set in and i was given primitive medical care at the school and only after my whole arm swelled up and turned blue was a doctor called. He was very angry at the Matron an alchoholic and took me in his car to Stirling. Upon arrival at Stirling Royal Infirmary i was diagnosed with gangrene and for 4 days i was in and out of coma, while they were debating amputating my arm. A surgeon came from London. 3 more days on a new antibiotic and i responded to it. My finger was gone.!! 2/3 amputated. I was learning Piano and was grade 2. After the operation i had no coordination in my left hand and no feeling on one side of my elbow. My mum and dad didnt know i had been in hospital till i came home on leave.
The headmaster Bro Thadeus set up an elaborate scheme where another boy on promise of release said he did it. Benedict had nothing to do with it and they were believed.
I had no idea about previous trials in Scotland, ive lived in Leeds over 50 years and im afraid Scottish news is not freely read in England. I travelled to Edinburgh at the age 67 and gave my evidence. He was convicted of the offences against me. Assault causing serious injury leading to loss of limb. Lewd and Libidinous offences, which cover the serious and repeated Sexual Assaults.