There are now so many testimonials, threads and comments on this site about De La Salle Brothers in Ipswich, Beulah Hill and elsewhere it could be confusing for newcomers and for INVESTIGATORS to make sense of it. So I’ve done a quick SUMMARY which I can add to and improve as time goes on. The testimonials can all be found on this site.
I believe this Summary makes a strong case for the De La Salle (DLS) Order to be investigated, not only for the historic harm it’s done, but also because it is still in charge of many schools today. The transgenerational nature of some of these crimes means they are relevant today and children could still be at risk. Plus there’s the endless shocking cases against DLS schools elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.
Old Boys feel free to add anyone I’ve missed or add to this List.
MR TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence. One testimony. To quote from it: ‘Took a cat-o-nine tails out of his drawer. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding.’ This crime was covered up by St J’s, Ipswich with no reporting to the police.
JO HOMAN. De La Salle Brother, Ipswich, who then left DLS to establish BOYS’ TOWN in India. Maintaining links with DLS. While still a DLS Brother at Oak Hill (St J’s prep school) he committed a shocking sexual assault on a child. Full testimony. There are other testimonies of his physical violence. Possible connection with Brother Solomon who, from my researches, probably visited Boys Town as a sex tourist. Homan successfully sued media who made extensive allegations about his abuse and exploitation of children at Boys Town. Reported in Times, Mail and elsewhere. These media accounts have now been removed from the web. Glowing obituary by St J’s Old Boy MP and author Chris Mullin in Guardian does not refer to Homan’s crimes at St J’s or to his alleged crimes at Boys Town.
Boys Town charity is now under new management, new systems, new safety protocols, and a likely new name.
BROTHER JAMES RYAN. 1950s to 1980s approx. Endless testimonies of pathological violence. Strongly indicating this man was a dangerous psychopath. Four testimonies of sexual abuse. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich and later at Beulah Hill. Connected to St J’s DLS paedophile ring -see Knights of St Columba, survivor’s testimony. And author’s testimony.
MR KEARNEY. Lay teacher. Irish, spent time in South Africa. At St J’s Ipswich, 1950s – 1980s. Several testimonies of sadistic physical abuse. One describes how he punched a boy in face and was forced to apologise. Also described as a racist, burning a black or mixed race pupil, a claim disputed by a (white) Old Boy. Work still in progress by the author. Further allegations against Kearney likely to follow.
This man is commemorated with a ‘Mike Kearney Memorial Chemistry Prize’ by the current St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, proving they have not cut links with their school’s criminal past.
BROTHER KEVIN 1960s onwards. Several testimonies of physical abuse. More testimonies of sexual abuse. At Oakhill (St J’s prep school). St J’s Ipswich. St Peter’s Bournemouth. At least one Old Boy took police action against him. Kevin initially admitted, then denied charges. Other Old Boys were considering police action when we heard that he had been driven out of his village by local youths for abusing children. He went into an Ipswich home, suffering from dementia, and may now be dead. The Oakhill MATRON wrote to this site to strongly defend him. She herself has been accused of questionable behaviour by an Old Boy.
KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA. IPSWICH PROVINCE. The Knights appear to have funded the establishment of St J’s Ipswich in the 1940s and maintained a close connection with the school ever since. The main allegation against them is in ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s.’ There is more information on this case available from the author. In summary, they covered up a violent physical and sexual assault by Brother James and provided London private hospital care. They paid for the boys’ school fees as compensation and for his silence. (They paid for my school fees and my brother’s for reasons I am still investigating.) The testimony indicates their ‘troubleshooting’ is not limited to Ipswich and dealing with such crimes has happened on more than one previous occasion. Possibly nationwide. The author has been informed that another province – today – has oversight on the lives of parishioners without proper safety protocols. I also have evidence that any negative report about them – e.g. a Colchester Knight sexual abuser given a long prison sentence – is either not reported or has been removed from the web. The Knights were provably connected with Jimmy Savile and that has not been investigated.
There is no evidence when the Knights stopped their connection with St J’s Ipswich. Theoretically they may still be involved today – e.g. governors, ‘troubleshooters’ etc.
BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich in 1980s. He is currently HEAD of the DLS Order in UK and Ireland. Three testimonies of physical abuse against children.
One testimony where Hughes attacks a boy with a cricket bowler’s ‘run up’ is identical to Brother James’s attack on a boy witnessed and testified by the author.
Such extreme violence is often associated with other forms of abuse. Therefore this man should not be head of the DLS and should be removed as a matter of urgency.
In view of its importance, I’ll quote one of the survivor’s account here. He is referring to BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES
Does anybody remember the night of my beating by the C**t?
1980 2nd year boarder.
There were double doors into the TV room, he set up a chair on one side of the doorway, told me to bend over it & walked off holding a plimsole, he got to the back of his office and began his run. As he passed me he hit me with all his might and put his hands in front of him to cushion himself against the wall of the TV room – rather like those indoor 60m runners after they’ve crossed the line.
He did this to me 6 times. My colleagues, in bed, way down the corridor heard it all.
I could not sleep on my back for a week.
Now I feel sick and am shaking. I’m a 50 year old man… I was 13 when he did this – he was 32.
BROTHER LEO. Headmaster St J’s Ipswich. 1960s. Three testimonies sexual abuse. Known as a ‘nocturnal groper’.
PAEDOPHILE RING @ ST JOSEPH’S, IPSWICH. The evidence for this is primarily the Survivor’s post: ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s’. On this blog. 1960s era. There are private follow ups to this post available to investigators from the author. This is clear evidence of ORGANISED CRIME and CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY. A physical and sexual assault by BROTHER JAMES. Sexual abuse by the HEADMASTER. Cover up by THE KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA and FATHER JOLLY, School Chaplain. There are two seperate testimonies of sexual abuse by Father Jolly.
Extensive academic research proves such school paedophile rings are TRANS-GENERATIONAL and therefore this cannot be ignored as ‘historic’. The era when it stopped at St J’s must be identified for safety reasons. See my post the Dark Network and https://eprints.qut.edu.au/132822/2/Sally_Muytjens_Thesis.pdf
ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH TODAY. The school has made it clear that it has no connection with the criminal DLS era. Yet it continues to ‘have its cake and eat it’ with prizes and proud references to its past and proclaiming on an external sign it is ‘IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION.’ Harvey Weinstein made some successful films and the DLS were successful teachers , so to survivors, like myself, that is like proudly saying ‘IN THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRADITION’.
That sign should be removed and all connections with the school’s criminal past confirmed as severed. Today’s school doubtless has records from the criminal era which ended late 1980s, possibly early 1990s, that should be available to investigators.
BROTHER SOLOMON aka MIKE MERCADO aka SWINGING MONK. 1950s – 1980s. Endless testimonies of extreme physical and sexual abuse at Ipswich and St J’s Beulah Hill. Started off as Brother Solomon in Ipswich. After abuse charges transferred to Beulah Hill. Had to leave after more abuse charges. Had short pop career in 1960s. May have been a ‘sex tourist’ to Joe Homan’s Boys Town in India. Returned to St J’s Ipswich as Mike Mercado lay teacher. More abuse followed. Left under questionable circumstances 1980s.His resignation letter threatens to ‘spill the beans’ and tell all about the DLS. He appears to have been paid off by St J’s College, Ipswich.
Here’s a new post from Old Boy Michael, who I would assume went to Beulah Hill.
‘I went to a De La Salle school in London and experienced violent behaviour throughout my time at the school. In Northern Ireland they are having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of letting go of the troubles and they asked that we report any violence or other misdemeanour. I emailed the Diocese Office in London and was put in contact with the current head of the De La Salle order in England, a brother named Lawrence Hughes. I then saw that your article named a Brother Lawrence Hughes as a violent teacher. Needless to say I have had a less than satisfactory dialogue with him and I wondered if the current head of the order is the same man that you mentioned.
I cannot remember any teacher who did not cane, strap, beat or punish me. I would appreciate your thoughts.
As I’ve replied to Michael, it is indeed the same man: Hughes.
Here’s my current thoughts on the De La Salle order which Hughes is head of.
The problem many survivors face is similar to Michael’s: the Catholic Church and the De La Salle Order passes the buck endlessly and this is what’s happened here.
However, there is a small ray of hope. A very small ray.
There’s the NEW Catholic Safeguarding Organisation now known as The Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency CSSA which replaces two earlier systems.
It happened just this month.
Its head is Nazir Afzal who is an excellent choice – a Muslim who pursued the Rochdale paedophile rings and he is clearly an honourable and genuine man.
I’m sure the Church’s reason for appointing him is pure window dressing to make them look good and they must have factored in that they can still carry on as before: sweeping everything under the carpet.
I think it may be different with Nazir, even though there is no current mandatory reporting of abuse.
I’ve listened to an excellent audio podcast of Cardinal Nichols’ safeguarding officer a few weeks ago and whilst the lady concerned is clearly genuine it was so obvious her hands were tied.
Nazir is not a Catholic and he has a reputation to uphold, so I’m not sure how far they can restrict him.
Even so, the terms of his remit and the likelihood that endless survivors will come forward means that more buckpassing is likely. And the Clergy are experts at this. They’ve been doing it for centuries and they’re not stupid. They will have thought about this long and hard before appointing Nazir.
However, I think there’s a case that could be made to the CSSA that the De La Salle Order UK is suspect with a man like Hughes at its head with three testimonies of violence against him. See a past post.
Given that the DLS still run UK schools that does not seem appropriate.
Hughes should resign.
Furthermore, that historic cases against the DLS which have been ignored – such as Michael’s and the endless DLS abuse cases on this blog – should be investigated in order to ensure the DLS is now safe.
It’s no good saying that’s all in the past. It’s still relevant to today.
It’s surely the CSSA’s responsibility to do this, especially given that the DLS have fobbed off survivors as Michael’s post also suggests.
That could be a way forward, Michael. Feel free to use anything on this site, including this post.
Be prepared for the CSSA to buck pass. To say it’s another department or refer it to the safeguarding at Diocese level. But they just might respond, given that they know their boss is Nazir and they must be scared of more bad publicity.
Nazir is also on Twitter, so if you get screwed around (which I bet you will) you could always approach him direct. Go over their heads.
It’s something I plan to do myself at some point, but my first stage is to do a summary page of the crimes of the DLS for quick reference. Currently there’s far too much for an investigator to read. This includes an example of DLS serious organized crime which may be transgenerational and thus especially relevant today. (‘The Shocking Truth About St Joseph’s’). In that example, a child nearly died. If he had, it would have been manslaughter. At least.
Summarising will take a while and I need to have the patience to deal with buck passing that will follow. Plus I’m also pursuing Catholic abusers from a different direction.
But the DLS are still on my radar and I will deal with them soon. Not least because children today in DLS UK schools could still be at risk if a physical abuser like Hughes is still in charge.
Good luck, Michael.
Andy Taylor recently interviewed me for his Voices of Awareness podcast. Previous guests on his podcast include lawyer Richard Scorer, author of Betrayed, about the English Catholic Church, Jonathan West who presented evidence to IICSA about Ampleforth College, and Carol Lawrence, the Catholic Church’s leading safeguard officer.
My interview is over three parts and is about St Joseph’s College, Ipswich and the De La Salle Brothers and how they – inadvertently – inspired my writing career. Hence the title of the interview: The Dredd-ful violence of the De La Salle Brothers. Judge Dredd is a character I developed and wrote when I created the British science fiction comic 2000AD. The interview also covers the stories of other Survivors from the school.
Below is Part One.
Pat Mills exposes the violence of the De la Salle brothers of St Joseph’s college, Ipswich that inspired the plots & character traits of Judge Dredd and 2000AD. He covers the catholic tumors of shame & guilt, coming out as a survivor, blowing the whistle, trauma memories surfacing in middle age, revenge ideation, the catharsis of lampooning abusers & the testimonies of assault by Brother Lawrence Hughes.
NB: The Podcast about the De La Salle Brothers is currently listed second in the list below – click on the title to play.
The UK is a Sex Offender Friendly Society – Voices of Awareness's Podcast
I thought it was important to make a separate post of this new statement below from an Old Boy. This now makes four accounts of sexual abuse by Brother James at St Joseph’s. (As well as endless accounts of his extreme violence.) The implications of Brother James’s comment, ‘I can see you’re not ready,’ is troubling and confirms his role as a serial sex offender as well as a violent psychopath.
If I had confirming evidence in my own case against James, e.g. a witness, I would have already taken legal action against the De La Salle Order. Unfortunately, it’s a solo crime, but sooner or later the right case will come along as it does with other schools, and action can be taken.
I was reflecting today that I wish there were other sites or places where the crimes of the De La Salle Brothers and the Catholic Church in Ipswich could be recorded. I’m very happy to list them here because I know one day soon they will have to be acted upon, especially as the testimonies grow in numbers. But some Old Boys may prefer sharing with a different body.
For the record, I’m only aware of three options. But do say if you know of more.
1)The police. By far the best option if the De La Salle brother or lay teacher is still alive and compos mentis. Many of them are still alive, so if you’re a survivor and you can handle it, please don’t leave it too long. I can assure you from personal experience the police will take your statement seriously.
2) Diocese Catholic Safeguard Officer. In my opinion and personal experience, they are there to safeguard the Church, not survivors. I tried them some years ago and found the Officer was a complete waste of time and full of b.s. They might argue that the DLS brothers fall outside their jurisdiction. The Church’s ability to buck pass is impressive. But I would be very happy to be proved wrong.
3)The De La Salle Order. Its current head is Brother Laurence Hughes who has stated publicly how concerned he is for the well-being of children. See a past post. I’ve just read three harrowing accounts of his extreme physical violence against children when he was a teacher at St J’s. One account, where Laurence takes a bowler’s run up to beat a child, is identical to the violence the psychopath Brother James used on a boy. A man like this is a disgrace and should clearly resign, but until he does I don’t see how the DLS can take complaints of abuse seriously.
It goes without saying that the current St J’s would go into Pontius Pilate mode and say any complaints against the school are nothing to do with them. They’re very happy to draw on the great achievements of the school’s past but not its serious crimes against children.
It’s surprising how many famous and influential Old Boys who were at St J’s at the same time as myself but have nothing to say about the appalling abuse which we all know was endemic at the time. It may not have happened to them personally, but they’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have seen what going on. At the time, with gallows humor, we’d all make jokes about Brother Solomon being sent to the DLS Jersey ‘reformatory’. Shipwrecked sailors arrived on the island, saw Brother Solomon, and ran from him in terror.
Now is the time to speak out, even if it duplicates what’s already been noted. It helps to confirm the truth beyond any reasonable doubt.
I’m reminded of the phrase: If you are able to speak up and you don’t, then you are implicitly condoning it.
THE LATEST ACCOUNT:
|I’m coming to this very late. I had a fair bit of contact with Brother Elwin as I was Head Choirboy in the year or so leading up to his death, and I lived a long way from Ipswich so spent half term holidays at the college. During half term he would sometimes set up practice sessions with me and get me to sing music outside the usual Catholic repertoire. I was obviously lucky or just unattractive to him as even in those 1:1 situations he was never other than appropriate. I wish I could say the same of 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? I was groomed for a time in my first year by I think Brother James (I have buried the memory very deep) and ended up naked (him still dressed) in the laundry room off our dormitory, but bizarrely he then said “I can see you’re not ready” and told me to get dressed and didn’t touch me. That was my one and only near-miss although I was on the receiving end of much brutality during my years (1967 to 1973).|
HEAD OF THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS IN THE UK AND IRELAND
I recently posted a school photo of St Joseph’s College Ipswich, from the 1980s. As I’ve said previously, three Old Boys (myself and two others) have identified a total of five abusers in the photo above.
In fact there were six abusers in this era if one includes the infamous Mike Mercado (not present).
This seems a considerable number of abusers for any one group of teachers and has disturbing implications which I have previously written about.
An Old Boy then advised me as follows:
‘Brother Laurence Hughes (on the extreme right of the photo) is now head of the De La Salle Brothers in the UK and has made statements at various abuse enquiries. He must have at the very least been aware of abuse at St Joseph’s.’
So I looked Brother Laurence up and saw that he has spoken out strongly against child abuse.
Here are two examples. The second quote refers to the notorious Brother James Carragher, surely one of the most evil men to have ever joined the De La Salle Order.
EXAMPLE ONE (from The Scotsman)
‘Brother Laurence Hughes, head of the De La Salle Brothers in Great Britain and Ireland, told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry he would have expected other members of staff to have known what was going on.
‘Br Hughes said he had already met with survivors abused by the congregation in Northern Ireland and was prepared to do so in Scotland.’
EXAMPLE TWO (from an ITV News report)
‘Carragher is a former member of the De La Salle Brotherhood.
The group released the following statement.
“We totally condemn, without reservation, any action or behaviour which harms young people. The behaviour of James Carragher was a deep betrayal of the Order’s mission to the young and of the trust that was placed in him as a De La Salle Brother. He was dismissed from the Order following previous conviction.
Brother Laurence Hughes, De La Salle Brothers
A different Old Boy from St Joseph’s in the mid-1980s recognised Brother Laurence in the school photo and had this to say:
‘Brother Laurence. An absolute psycho who assaulted a couple of boys in my second form dorm. He asked to see me once after lights out so I combated it by turning into an objectionable little bastard and he then kept away.’
I asked this Old Boy for permission to quote him anonymously which he gave me.
He then added:
‘This is the dude who would invite 11 year olds into his study after lights out. He bandaged my foot once after a rugby injury and was creepy as fuck.’
Other Old Boys from St Joseph’s may wish to share their recollections of Brother Laurence Hughes in the comments here. Or you can email me in the strictest confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you can see from the foregoing, anything you wish to say will be kept strictly anonymous and your privacy respected.
It’s also worth adding that the current St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, has had nothing to say on the huge number of testimonies on this site of child abuse at St Joseph’s in past eras.
The crimes took place before their time but the current school still maintains many proud links with its past, whilst ignoring the endless cases of past abuse. This is certainly a cause of pain for me as a survivor and doubtless many other survivors.
The testimonies prove beyond any reasonable doubt that serious offences took place in the 1960s to 1980s. Often they are related by different Old Boys in different eras yet describing recognizable modus operandi of the same clerical abusers.