HELP NEEDED FOR BEULAH HILL WEBSITE

As many of you will know, there’s an amazing Crystal Palace Football supporters website.

It includes a 50 page long thread about St Joseph’s Beulah Hill. Mainly negative, it has some harrowing details about Brother Solomon and Brother James Ryan.

Brother James Ryan was there 1969 – 1977.

There was also another, very different Brother James there in an overlapping period.

So I wanted to look again at four or more damning comments on the thread about Brother James – which I’m pretty certain refer to Ryan – and possibly get in touch with the Old Boys who wrote them.

Trouble is – I can’t get into the Crystal site. To join, they want to know the nickname of Crystal Palace FC.

I’ve tried The Eagles and also The Glaziers.

No luck.

It’s possible it’s just a glitch. It’s also possible it’s a trick question and genuine Crystal Palace supporters will know this!

I’ll try again tomorrow, but if anyone’s encountered this before and knows the solution, do say.

Or if anyone has a school group photo of Ryan at Ipswich or Beulah Hill it might clear up his identification once and for all.

Thanks!

These are two possible links to the site

St Joseph’s college – Page 21 – CPFC BBS

ST JOSEPH’S BEULAH HILL WEBSITE – SOLOMON AND JAMES

I’ve just come across this one off website with some powerful words about the De La Salles.

Notably from readers’ comments:

Unlike Savile, no-one can be bothered holding to account the institution that nurtured and protected these destroyers of hundreds, possibly thousands of young lives. They preyed on the most innocent, the most vulnerable, with impunity. 11 fucking years old…That school and others like it should have been razed to the ground. Instead it carries on as if nothing had happened. No acknowledgement and no consequences. The effects of those times still haunt me practically every day.

Pat’s comment: Well said! We are holding them to account – through a work in progress on Brother James. Any one who remembers anything relevant on this man, do let me know.

BROTHER SOLOMON comment on this Beulah Hill site:

Solomon was a paedo I lived in fear of him. He would order me to come to his office at lunch time in my P.E. shorts with no underwear on. He would check by fondling me under my shorts. Behind the curtain in the office he would bring out from the bottom of a wicker basket/trunk lederhosen suede shorts and order me to put them on. For what seemed an age he would be stroking my bum. He threatened me with ‘six of the best’ if I turned around. I couldn’t tell my parents as my mother would have beaten me for telling lies.
The school and their so called Christian brothers have left me with major problems in my life.

Pat’s comment: This is the same vile pattern of behaviour Brother James used on two pupils at St J’s. ‘Don’t turn around’ for reasons I don’t need to spell out.

BROTHER JAMES comment on this Beulah Hill site:

You forgot brother James aka Jimmy Tremble a teacher so nervous he used to grind chalk into the palms of his hands presumably to give himself a form of stigmata.

Brother Wilfred a complete idiot who seemed to imply he was in the French Resistance.

Pat’s comment: This suggests that, by the time Brother James left Ipswich and went to Beulah Hill in 1970 he was in a poor state mentally. He may have had a series of breakdowns, according to one source.

There’s some confusion which may just be my source’s recollections. He remembers Brother James being 5’10 whereas I’d say he was 5’8 . My source says he was wearing different square glasses, but only some of the time. In fact, I know Brother James did change his glasses in later life.

Because his behaviour was identical, a crazed psychopath, I do not think there were TWO Brother James at Beulah Hill in the 1970s. That’s too weird, even for the De La Salles.

And – just to add to the confusion – my source says his Brother James also renamed himself Brother Wilfred. He may have done this temporarily. People who are having a crisis or breakdown do sometimes rename themselves. Or to escape justice.

Yet, as you see above, there actually was a Brother Wilfred!

I think it’s all symptomatic of the madhouse that was the De La Salle schools and I believe can be ‘unpacked’ and made sense of.

Any insights you have could be invaluable.

BROTHER SOLOMON/ MIKE MERCADO latest news

Here’s the latest newspaper article about Mercado.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-housemaster-paid-18k-following-abuse-allegation-8795634

A Catholic boarding school housemaster accused of sexually assaulting a child was given a pay-out worth £58,000 today, we can reveal. 

Brother Solomon, also known by his lay name Mike Mercado, taught at St Joseph’s College on Belstead Road in Ipswich for the first time in the 1950s, and left in 1961.  

It was formerly run by the De La Salle order of monks and has been hit with allegations of historic sex abuse in recent years. It has been under independent ownership since 1996. 

(The article continues with further information about the case)

I did wonder who brokered the deal which seemed, from Mercado’s letter, to have been about ensuring his silence. Was it the Knights of St Columba whom past posts have clearly shown were called in to prevent scandal.

The only element I would add to the article at this stage is that there is now confirmation that Solomon was in DLS Jersey for one year in the early 1960s.

I’m pleased about this because I was the only pupil from that era who could remember he was sent to Jersey. It was believed at the time – amongst us 11 year old schoolboys – Jersey was some kind of reformatory for sexual predators. With typical gallows humour, we thought it was funny! No one else could recall it in recent years but it left a strong impression on me at the time. I dread to think why! This article confirms my memory was correct.

It also ties in with past posts on this blog where another DLS Old Boy heard a conversation about DLS monks – under suspicion – going to Bournemouth and then Jersey and – if necessary – escaping to France.

A De La Salle ratline for their predatory monks to escape justice. Pre Ryan Air, a ferry ratline would have made sense.

As I’ve related before, Brother Kevin used the ratline to escape to France where he seemed to have spent a year.

From memory, there was only one case of Solomon’s abuse at Ipswich. This involved caning perversions and a group of boarders. I’m sure there were more cases, though, because we all knew he was a predator. But at Beulah Hill there were endless allegations about his vile and violent behaviour, which may have later led to the death of one pupil , a poet,who had a troubled life

Currently the DLS claim they don’t know anything about them, even though they have currently appointed an independent investigator to look into the cases on this site. I’ve never heard from the investigator, so I’m starting to feel suspicious. Is this yet another DLS cover-up?

This man really was a monster. There’s more about him in the pipeline and a cursory ‘Sorry’ just ain’t enough.

THE DE LA SALLES – WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

I’ve just sent SCOE and DLS Safeguarding – the two relevant Catholic Safeguarding organizations –  the summaries of evidence on Brothers Kevin, James, Solomon, Father Jolly the DLS school chaplain, and a summary of other DLS abusers.

These summaries will greatly facilitate the work of the investigations detailed below. It’s hard trawling through the numerous testimonies posted on this site over several years and my summaries are designed to make life easy for DLS Safeguarding and SCOE.

Here’s my understanding of what is currently happening:  There are THREE strands of investigation into the DLS which is encouraging.   However, they appear to overlap which – hopefully – won’t be a problem.

The three strands are:

1.The DLS Safeguarding Inquiry. 

Here’s the newspaper account revealing the inquiry.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/st-josephs-ipswich-abuse-monks-ask-police-8553626

But to quote from it:

Barry Hudd, head of safeguarding at the De La Salle Brothers, said the order wanted to “clear the whole thing up”. 

He added that while there have been more than 200 abuse claims made against the order from across the UK, until now only a handful have come from St Joseph’s. 

One of these, he said, was settled recently outside of court, but most of the accusations made on Mr Mills blog were “completely unheard of”, he said.

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

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

Previously, DLS Safeguarding had set up an Independent Investigator to look at De La Salle Brother ‘A’  which may still be ongoing, so I won’t comment on that matter. Other than to say their Investigator was Jo Norman whom I found tremendously helpful to talk to. Other Survivors have said the same thing.

However, no one from DLS Safeguarding has been in touch with me thus far regarding this new investigation, even though I understand it’s based entirely on the testimonies on this site.

And one survivor  recently wrote direct to DLS Safeguarding with his well documented account of abuse and was disappointed by their brief response.

So I have a question for the DLS:

Has the DLS independent Investigator been appointed? 

Because we were told by SCOE when Jo Norman was appointed. I think we should be similarly told by DLS Safeguarding what is going on and who the Investigator is.

2. The SCOE. Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education (SCOE). 

Its Independent Chair is Rev Dcn  Des Bill.   He informed me:

“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

The SCOE themselves have also already been dealing with complaints of DLS abuse. Des Bill has  been forwarding the testimonies on this site to the police of Operation Hydrant (see below).

Possibly DLS Safeguarding will do the same separately via their Investigator or will co-ordinate with SCOE?

Des Bill was also involved in the investigation into De La Salle Brother ‘A’.  In fact, I thought it was SCOE who had initiated it.  But a reporter told me that De La Salle Safeguarding had advised her that they initiated it not SCOE. 

So I assume that SCOE acted at the original  ‘front person’  for DLS Safeguarding and that they liaised behind the scenes.

However, here’s what Jo Norman said herself:

I am an Independent safeguarding consultant who has been commissioned to provide management of all complaints against  Brother ‘A’ and to support the SCOE (Safeguarding Commission for Orders in Education) in making decisions regarding these complaints. 

Catholic Safeguarding (Chair: Nazir Afzal ) are NOT involved.  Their full name is Catholic Standards Agency: CSSA. They are a completely new and separate organization.  They deal with abuser priests and are not involved with religious orders like the DLS.

3. Ipswich police

If an abuser is still alive, it’s relatively simple for a Survivor of the abuse to get a response without going through this complex system.  Ipswich police will  deal with you direct. I found them helpful and pro-active.

But if the abuser is dead, the complaint goes to Operation Hydrant. This is an umbrella police organization dealing with historic and systemic abuse.

It is still handled from Ipswich, but the police tell me they require an authorised intermediary   – like Jo Norman – to  present the information to Hydrant.

That sounds simple enough, but there are inconsistencies. Thus Des Bill has been sending testimonies from my site to Hydrant without such an intermediary.

Maybe this happened because the information was already summarized which would usually be the job of an intermediary.

And at least two DLS Survivors have reported historic abuse – where the DLS abuser is dead – to Ipswich police who have responded direct to them.  Maybe they didn’t need an intermediary because they were ‘one off’ cases.

                                                         ……………………..

The three strands are confusing, a little contradictory, and there is a noticeable lack of detail.   

But I’m hoping these two Catholic Safeguarding organizations will make things clearer for us all in the future.

We need full transparency to avoid going round in circles and in line with the recent Elliott Report which said Safeguarding Officers should adopt a more compassionate, communicative and respectful attitude to Survivors.

The lack of communication I’ve described is certainly not in line with the Elliott Report.

WHAT DOES A SURVIVOR OF DLS ABUSE DO NEXT?

I’m asking both DLS Safeguarding and the SCOE for some guidance here and I think we all need some answers from them to the questions and my suggestions below.

Here is an example of a key case.

Survivor Z has written a detailed and important testimony about a  dead DLS sexual and physical abuser. It’s been backed up by supporting evidence by other Survivors.  It’s in the evidence posts I’ve sent the Safeguarding agencies.

And it should be backed up by further evidence in the DLS files. There is no way this DLS abuser’s sexual and physical abuse crimes could have been unknown by Oxford (The DLS HQ). There would be many complaints about him.

As with all the evidence I have presented, I strongly dispute that they are ‘completely unheard of’ as the cases themselves make clear.

So what happens next? 

1)Does Z wait until Hydrant gets in touch with him ?

Or will the DLS Safeguarding independent Investigator seek to also get in touch with him before passing the same evidence to Hydrant?

2)The Investigator  or Hydrant can get in touch with Z by contacting me and I will pass on their request.

And the Investigator can ask me – from looking at the evidence summaries I’ve provided – who else they would particularly like to get in touch with. I will happily act as facilitator for them.

 If that is not acceptable, we need to know why. 

 3) An alternative would be for the Investigator to place a request for information on my blog, asking survivors to come forward.  This has been done before and I believe it worked well. 

But a few important testimonies will need addressing separately. For example, if a Survivor who made a key testimony rarely reads my blog, so he’s not going to know about the Investigator’s request.  Then I would need to contact them.

4) Or should Z write to the DLS Investigator or DLS Safeguarding?  Bearing in mind his testimony has already gone to SCOE and thus onto Hydrant.

5)Can SCOE and DLS Safeguarding tell us how they avoid this possible duplication and a Survivor like Z telling his story twice to two overlapping organizations?

6) The DLS files in Oxford will be bulging with information on the most notorious DLS abusers:  Solomon, Kevin and James.  If an Investigator goes to those files FIRST, it should confirm many of their crimes.

So how necessary is it for all Survivors to be contacted and repeat their allegations which are painful to recount?

Bearing in mind the Elliott Report asks Catholic Safeguarding agencies to have a more compassionate and kindly approach in future.  

For example, the DLS Investigator should be able to confirm from the DLS  files alone that Brother James was a violent abuser who had psychotic episodes.

There must also be a dozen accounts of  Brother James’ violence on my blog which bear this out. Contacting all survivors would be laborious and may be unnecessary when the DLS already know he is guilty.

In my opinion, the DLS  acknowledging that James was guilty of psychotic  violence should be a relatively simple matter, irrespective of Hydrant. Then it’s up to individual Survivors to decide what to do with that DLS acknowledgement next.

In fact, it hardly needs to go through Hydrant, taking up valuable police time, especially when they seem overloaded with work which may mean it could take some considerable time before they respond – this is according to Barry Hudd, the DLS Safeguarding Officer.

If that proves to be the case, I will have to look at the implications. Namely : are the DLS being obstructive and against the recommendations of the Elliott Report?

There is a simpler solution if the DLS genuinely want to get to the bottom of all this.

 A simple but specific admission of James’ guilt by the DLS would suffice.

The position is similar where Brothers Solomon and Kevin are concerned.

Their cases are provably and emphatically NOT ‘completely unheard of ‘.

7) DLS lay teachers are the responsibility of the DLS, as confirmed by DLS Safeguarding saying that they are looking into Mike Mercado. But I think we want to be sure.

So here’s another key question to DLS Safeguarding:

Will you please confirm that DLS lay teachers detailed in the relevant evidence summary are included in your investigation?

8)DLS Safeguarding started off on ‘the wrong foot’ with Survivors as I’ve previously exampled. (e.g their not-so-public ‘public’ apology). It would be good if we can put that behind us now. 

I’m prepared to do so, if I see there’s a change of attitude from now on.

Bearing in mind  the sensitivity of the issues, the opening of old wounds, the huge emotional toll to Survivors of DLS crimes, and the recommendations of the Elliott Report for Catholic Safeguarding agencies to do much better:

Is there anything DLS Safeguarding and/or the Investigator would like to say to help Survivors just now?  I will happily post it on my blog without comment.

9) Finally, there’s the whole issue of proper DLS apologies and proper DLS acknowledgement of crimes, but I think that’s worth addressing in a later, separate post, possibly as the investigation proceeds.

DE LA SALLES –  THE FINAL EVIDENCE

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:

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1481

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)

2)Liverpool DLS  https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1220

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:

Recent interview on ABC TV in Australia has some horrible stuff about Homan (about 10 minutes in): http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/one-plus-one/2018-06-28/one-plus-one:-michael-robotham/9920588

Nevertheless it strengthens the case that Homan should be investigated for his conduct when he was a De La Salle Brother.  It confirms his extreme violence.

4) St Ninians DLS. Brother Thadeus & Brother Benedict.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1379

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.

1)

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.

2)

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.’

3)

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.

BROTHER SOLOMON/MIKE MERCADO – THE EVIDENCE

I want to be sure the Independent Investigator appointed by the De La Salles to look into their crimes has all the key testimonies. There are so many on this site, I’d hate the Investigator to miss important ones. So there’s a SUMMARY below on Brother  Solomon/Mike Mercado. If I’ve missed anything crucial, or made a major error, do let me know. Or if you have an additional testimony about Brother Solomon that is important. Your details – as always – can remain confidential and anonymous if you wish.

If the Investigator wants further confirmation, provided the Old Boy in question gives me permission, I can put them in touch, but the evidence against Solomon is so overwhelming in most cases it should not be necessary.

Mercado was a pupil at Beulah Hill in 1941 – 43.  Then, as Brother Solomon, he taught at St Joseph’s Birkfield Ipswich: late 50s to 1960/1.  Sacked ostensibly for drunken abuse, he went to DLS Jersey briefly. Then he took up a new post at  St Joseph’s Beulah Hill. In 1965 he lost his job and he was expelled from the order. After a short pop career there was an interim period where he may have gone to ‘The Missions’ : Boys Town in India. In the 1980s he went back to St Joseph’s Ipswich as lay teacher Mike Mercado. Once again he was sacked, ostensibly for drunkenness.

EVIDENCE OF HIS SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST JOSEPH’S IPSWICH

1)

There is an account of Solomon sexual abusing a group of boys that can be read in the link below. I have the original account which is more graphic and detailed and proves beyond any reasonable doubt that he was a twisted and evil pervert.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-ipswich-paid-off-monk-abuse-allegation-8569960

Solomon was ‘Prefect of Discipline’ and so had ample opportunity to pursue his perverted caning fantasies as described above.

EVIDENCE OF HIS PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST JOSEPH’S BEULAH HILL

 There are 21 pages of accounts of DLS abuse on a Crystal Palace supporters site. Many feature Brother Solomon. See Brother James – the evidence – for the link. They need careful study by an Investigator. I’ve extracted two accounts below but there are many more.

1)

Solomon groomed and abused a pupil PAUL WILKINS who years later wrote a book of poetry about Solomon’s crimes. (The Truths of Unremembered Things. Amazon) On the Crystal Palace thread, Paul describes in shocking detail the nature of his relationship with Solomon which continued into Paul’s adulthood and lasted until Solomon’s death.

Here’s one account about this on the Crystal Palace thread:

Solomon was not a nice person. I recently got to know a lovely man, Paul Wilkins, who boarded at the same time as me. Paul had become an alcoholic and had suffered a number of nervous breakdowns before he found some peace with himself and went to work at a School in Ireland. He died last Christmas after a short illness.

Paul told me in detail of the abuse that he had suffered as a result of this man. Solomon tried it on with me as well when I started at the School, but I told my father who made a complaint and Solomon ignored me after that.

Solomon was a nasty piece of work: a bully and an abuser.

Comment by JamesM ( member )  22nd June 2011 … and another quick follow up. The documentary on the BBC last night ‘Breaking the Silence’ reminded me of this thread and DJA’s posting on the cpfc.org Forums a week or so ago. I decided to publish an email I received from Paul Wilkins (mentioned below) who suffered a great deal at the hands of Solomon. His account is very well written – but it makes disturbing reading. If DJA or anyone else is interested, they can read the letter here: w*w.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=220813 Again, I have replaced one of the w’s with an asterisk, so the link will now be deleted. If you want to read the report, please copy the link and replace the asterisk when pasting into your browser. James 
  
  
  
  

 2)

This account is also on the Crystal Palace thread.  

I was a pupil at St Joseph’s College, Beulah Hill, from 1955 to 1965 – I can confirm that it was an absolutely terrible experience – and in 1961, as if there weren’t enough very strange, totally weird, ‘Christian’ Brothers (all from the ‘De La Salle’ order) – they brought in Brother Solomon (they already had Brother Leo and Brother David, niether have been mentioned in these columns but I can honestly say, both horrendous, merciless, harshly-appalling people).

Brother Solomon was allowed total freedom by the school and by the order as ‘Master of Discipline’ – everything that has been said here about this man is true, however it all only just touches on his evil brutality, his mental and sexual perversion; I would say he was at least twenty times worse than anyone has stated here – over a period of four years he became worse and worse and by 1964 he was out of control. Despite what clearly must have been known by those in authority, he was allowed to continue with his sinful, vicious, atrocious, criminal, immoral, debauched, perverted, abhorrent, detestable, monstrous, foul, vile, disgraceful ways for a further full year – it was absolutely scandalous.

Finally, during the summer holidays of 1965 Brother Soloman was dismissed from St Joseph’s and at the same time expelled from the De La Salle order. Within a very short time he became known nationally as ‘The Swinging Monk’; he was in the Sunday papers and on Records, TV and Radio being described as pianist ‘Mike Mercado’.

Today he would have been in court, subsequently locked up, after just a couple of days in any school; he got away with it for so long by intimidation and because in those days, if you dared to say anything against this “incredible” school (in your Catholic parents view) you were immediately set-about by your father, as I was on several occasions – including once when I phoned my father (a complete bully) from the phone box at Crown Point and described an incident that had only just occurred in Bro’ Soloman’s locked and curtained office; “Stay right there, it’ll take me an hour to get to you!” shouted my father as he slammed down his phone – some time later, as he pulled up and dived out of his car I thought to myself (I was still in the phone box) this is it, at last, this will be the downfall of this terrible man, Soloman, but alas, my father ripped open the red glass-paned door and totally laid-into ME, beating me almost unconscious; I was lying on the ground as he turned for his car, shouting at me “get back into that school and don’t you ever tell such lies about people again, or I’ll beat you to death”; and then he sped off. I was helped into a nearby sweet shop by a GPO telegram boy who had seen the beating and so was very sympathetic but terrified for me of my father, saying you’d better get cleaned up and back into school in case he comes back….

I would say I was one of probably less than a dozen boys regularly (daily) picked on by Brother Soloman but those awful times have, on and off, affected my whole life – as a young 13 and 14 year old boy I was completely traumatized on many occasions, and left with absolutely no support from home, and that has returned to haunt me at various different stages of my life.

EVIDENCE OF HIS CONNECTION TO BOYS TOWN.

After his pop career, Mercado then went on to work to raise money for Boys Town in Southern India, run by the notorious abuser Joe Homan, an ex DLS brother. St Joseph’s Ipswich also helped raise money for ‘ a new tractor’ for Homan. I have a harrowing account of Homan’s abuse while he was a DLS brother.  He carried out a terrifying sexual assault on a child at St Joseph’s Oak Hill Ipswich.

I believe Mercado visited Boys Town to ‘assist Homan’, but in reality he was a sex tourist.  The new post-Homan regime at Boys Town are very helpful and may have records to help an investigator.

The close links between St J’s Ipswich, Mercado and Homan at Boys Town suggest there was something systemic going on between them.  It’s still a work in progress and cannot yet be proved, but I hope someone will come forward to tell us more.

EVIDENCE OF  HIS SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST JOSEPH’S SECOND TIME WHEN HE WAS MIKE MERCADO

1)

Comment on Crystal Palace site by Old Birkfeldian ( member )  28th June 2011:

Mike Mercado worked as a housemaster at another St.Josephs – namely St Joseph’s College Ipswich – in the 1980’s. After complaints for again being a bit ‘hands-on’ he was removed discretely, I am saddened that he was allowed to teach there with his previous history, the damage he did was immeasurable.

2)

The Ipswich Star account

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-ipswich-paid-off-monk-abuse-allegation-8569960

EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMIC ABUSE  INVOLVING SOLOMON/MERCADO AND THE DE LA SALLES.

1)

The way Solomon was moved around from Ipswich to Jersey to Beulah Hill. Then returns to Ipswich as lay teacher Mercado.  His application to become a DLS brother again was turned down, but – even though he was notorious – he was still allowed to teach children. That suggests a typical Catholic abuse cover-up. 

I recalled as an eleven year old that he was briefly sent to a ‘reformatory’ in Jersey in 60/61 and an Old Boy of St Peter’s confirms there was a ‘rat line’ to Jersey for abuser brothers to escape the police.

 https: wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1440

2)

Mercado’s farewell letter is full of hints about cover-ups. I’ve tried to unpack it here:

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1060

He also threatens, ‘I am fully aware of what goes on within the Order’

The Ipswich Star account also confirms a cover-up

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-ipswich-paid-off-monk-abuse-allegation-8569960

3)

Deleted – as I’m looking again at that evidence (arbitration service offer to Solomon)

4)

At Beulah Hill they knew and did NOTHING  about Solomon for at least a year!

Here’s what that Survivor said again:

over a period of four years he became worse and worse and by 1964 he was out of control. Despite what clearly must have been known by those in authority, he was allowed to continue with his sinful, vicious, atrocious, criminal, immoral, debauched, perverted, abhorrent, detestable, monstrous, foul, vile, disgraceful ways for a further full year – it was absolutely scandalous.

5)

The DLS must have known about my blog and allegations about Brother Solomon for years yet did nothing until the media pressure became too great.

Accusations on the Crystal Palace site have been there since 2011 with Old Boys relating how they were actively trying to find out more about Solomon.

It’s unbelievable that the DLS didn’t know about this past interest in Solomon either on the Crystal Palace site, my own, or elsewhere and are only now looking into it.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/crime/st-josephs-ipswich-paid-off-monk-abuse-allegation-8569960

Why now?

Answer: Because it’s in the media. So they are FORCED to act.  

This and so much else makes me and many other Survivors wonder how far the DLS have really changed today as they claim.

BROTHER JAMES – THE EVIDENCE

I want to be sure the Independent Investigator appointed by the De La Salles to look into their crimes has all the key testimonies. There are so many now on this site, I’d hate the Investigator to miss important ones. So there’s a SUMMARY below on James Ryan. I’ll do the same for Solomon and Kevin.  If I’ve missed anything crucial, do let me know. Or if you have an additional testimony about Brother James that is important. Your details – as always – can remain confidential and anonymous if you wish.

If the Investigator wants further confirmation, provided the Old Boy in question gives me permission, I can put them in touch, but the evidence against James is so overwhelming in most cases it should not be necessary.

 EVIDENCE OF HIS PSYCHOTIC VIOLENCE AT ST JOSEPH’S BIRKFIELD

There are so many examples of his violence on this site, it’s not necessary for me to single them out.  They are easily found and there’s surely no need as the case is proven beyond reasonable doubt. So I’ll limit it to two examples.

1)

The violence I witnessed where James went berserk and beat Damian Moss to the ground. I described it in my autobiography Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!

He (James) raised the slipper high above his head and took a spin- bowler’s long run-up towards his bent-over victim, whom he had carefully positioned at the far end of the raised wooden dais. His shoes thundered noisily across the bare floorboards, his black robes flapped wildly around him, before he administered a savage blow to the boy’s posterior, raising a cloud of dust at the point of impact. Returning to his starting point, he took several more high-speed, bowler’s run-ups to his victim, thrashing him without mercy, before the poor kid collapsed in a heap on the ground, whereupon—as we watched, quaking in fear—he stood over him and rained more ferocious blows onto his crouched and cringing, sobbing form.

Damian Moss confirms it in this post:

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/862

Damian adds:

Brother James in all honesty was a figure of tragic pity. He was inadequate, unloved, deeply frustrated and a raging sado-masochist. Apart from that, he was you’re standard issue christian brother.

2)

Louis Mastriani. He was the courageous pupil who – in the mid to late 1960s –  was savagely attacked by James and fought back.  

As one Old Boy relates:

I have one wonderful memory, that of an American kid from the Bronx. James wanted to beat him and L.M. the student (who is now a prominent US human law rights Lawyer). At the end of the class we were all thrown out of class. B. James did his usual attack of kicking and punching. LM beat the sh….out of James with a few dozen boys watching and cheering.

Here’s a valuable suggestion made by an Old Boy:

I think it’s about time someone tracked down Louis Mastriani. The yank that fought back and beat Bro James. If he is a lawyer his testimony would be good to have. He and his brother left school the same day as the incident. 

I think this may be Louis here:https://www.adduci.com/attorneys/mastriani

I shall write to Louis and see if I’m correct and if he would like to comment, but it’s something an investigator should also look at. Perhaps LM’s parents withdrew their sons. But if they were asked to leave to cover up the crime, then it’s systemic abuse. Especially as James stayed on at the school.

EVIDENCE JAMES WAS A VIOLENT SEX OFFENDER AT ST JOSEPH’S BIRKFIELD

1)

James combined excessive caning with masturbation. He used the locked school hall. Mid 1960s.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/951

2)

Once again, James combined excessive caning with masturbation. Once again he used the locked school hall. 1964. This time things spiralled out of control.

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

3)

Sexual  assault on me – during school holidays. In the fizzy drinks cupboard.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1049

 4)

There’s an account somewhere on my site which I can track down if it’s important. In it, James strips a pupil and then decides he’s too young to molest and lets him go.

James seems to have been at St J’s Ipswich until late 60s

He came to Beulah Hill in 1970 and was there until 1978 approx.

This leaves some worrying questions. Why did James leave Ipswich? What school did he go onto after Beulah Hill?  It would seem likely he behaved in a similar way there. Or, given his psychotic behaviour, was he in a mental hospital?

The DLS will have a personnel file on him with the answers which Survivors of his evil have a right to know.

EVIDENCE OF HIS PSYCHOTIC VIOLENCE AT ST JOSEPH’S BEULAH HILL

There are reams of evidence of extreme physical abuse at Beulah Hill  by Brother James and Brother Solomon. It’s a long thread on the Crystal Palace football supporters website.

https://www.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=161283

There are 21 pages altogether and they date back to 2011. So the DLS cannot say – as they are currently claiming –  they didn’t know until recently or the evidence all came through my site.

Here’s THREE examples. It’s worth an investigator going through all 21 pages for more examples of James and Solomon.  They can reply to Old Boys on the Crystal Palace site if they want further confirmation, but I’d say these statements speak for themselves.  These ex-pupils are not seeking compensation and they are not on a witch hunt, they are simply expressing their outrage at the monstrous crimes of Brother James and how the DLS knowingly allowed him to abuse so many children.

An outrage we all feel.

1)

2016

I, too, was polluted by this excuse for an educational establishment. Was there 73-78 and, I have to say, I’m shocked no-one has mentioned the monster that was Bro. James.

Brother James gave me the most savage beating I have ever had, five or six times across the face with a clenched fist, because someone had been whistling in class and he decided it was me. The experience, which still haunts me more than sixty years later, was made all the worse by the fact that he began by removing my glasses. Years later I met another pupil who was present at the time and who uttered the chilling words “You obviously didn’t know what he was like”. I also discussed the incident, a year or two ago, with a retired teacher who told me that even in the 1950’s such behaviour was illegal. 

2)

Brother James (Ryan) was my history teacher for two years around ’77 and we all saw his temper but after reading the above and this harrowing account he was a lot, lot worse in his earlier days

3)

I was attacked by him in a school corridor, fists flailing in what can only be described as a bout of uncontrolled savagery and bloodlust. This was witnessed by two members of staff, neither of whom intervened. I received a black eye and a split lip. It was 1975. I was 13.

                                                ……………

EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMIC ABUSE  INVOLVING JAMES AT ST JOSEPH’S BIRKFIELD

1)

Cover up of James’ crime.

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

Note the key role of the Knights of St Columba in the cover-up.

I shall be documenting separately the importance of the Knights at St Joseph’s.

2)

Another cover up of James’ crime against me.

I envy 1)s photographic memory. By comparison, mine is patchy. Thus after Brother James assault on me at age 12, I remember exploding with anger to my mother and refusing to be silenced. Then suddenly I was presented with a brand new, top of the range bike. But how? We were poverty-stricken.  I have dim memories of the Knights providing this luxury gift and being told some nonsense about joining their ranks as a Squire when I was older. I lack 1)s  detail, but I remember that bike and how it shut me up.

3)

Brother James covering up Solomon’s abuse.

When Solomon left abruptly, James wrote a glowing farewell to him in the school magazine. Easy to check that. I remember, as a 11 or 12 year old, being  shocked because it was obvious to us all that Solomon was an abuser, so James, of course, knew, too. That’s systemic abuse.

4)

DLS cover ups.

The DLS obituary described James as a shy, timid man, yet they must have files which showed he was a psychopath. The obituary was taken down around the time I started blogging and I have the broken link.

The DLS and St J’s must have known about my blog and Beulah Hill allegations for years yet did nothing until the media pressure became too great.

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH SUMMARY. MAY 26 2021

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

James Hammett

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.

BROTHER LAWRENCE HUGHES – NEW THOUGHTS & NAZIR AFZAL

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.

Regards’

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.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/14149/nazir-afzal-pledges-hostile-church-for-abusers

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.

DE LA SALLE COVER-UPS

I think all of us are aware that there were cover-ups amongst the De La Salle Brothers. I remember how Brother Solomon suddenly – according to the playground grapevine at the time – went to Jersey, then onto Beulah Hill which he was thrown out from, subsequently possibly spending some time at Homan’s Boy Town (a disturbing location for this ‘Jimmy Savile of the De La Salle Order’) before returning to St Joseph’s as lay teacher Mike Mercado and then being thrown out again for sexual abuse.

I recall, as a boy, Brother James writing in the school magazine what a great asset Solomon was to the college and what a spiritual person he was. He clearly knew otherwise. It never rang true to me at the time.

Later, James himself got moved to Beulah Hill where his behavior was equally criminal. His obituary described him as a shy and timid man, not the violent rapist he really was. Once again, whoever wrote that obituary – almost certainly a DLS brother – must have known the truth and was lying through his teeth.

Similarly, when a startled Knight of St Columba (the Eminence Gris of St J’s) discovered the shocking evidence of violent abuse by James, he proclaimed ‘Oxford shall hear of this!’ I understand Oxford was and is the DLS centre of operations.

All these and many other references on this blog and elsewhere indicate a high level of collusion and cover-ups within the De La Salle Order. But it’s never been as clear cut and revealing a central control as the account below just in from Guy Lavender, an Old Boy of DLS school St Peter’s.

He refers to “an administrative organization” being responsible.

It could therefore be valuable in the days to come. Many thanks to Guy for this account and for allowing me to use his name.

                                       …………………………………

FROM GUY LAVENDER

Just read your latest post regarding the abuse at St J’s. It is a reminder to me and a stark jolt to put pen to paper and add my account. As you quite rightly quote “If you are able to speak up, but remain silent then we are implicitly condoning the wrongdoing of others” something along those lines.

As I mentioned before, I did not attend St Joseph’s school. I was a boarder at St Peter’s school, Bournemouth (1975-1982) This was also a Catholic School run by the De La Salle teaching order as you know. After reading all the blogs, accounts i draw striking similarities to what happened at St Peter’s during my time as a border there.

But there is more than that. Before I attended St. Peter’s, I had 2 older brothers who attended another school, St John’s college, Southsea, also run by the De La Salle order. They were borders from 1970 to 1977. Their accounts of going’s on and wrongful abuse of boys during that time is equally harrowing.

Now then. Because of my brothers accounts of the behaviour of certain individuals at St John’s (namely Br Cyril) my experiences at St Peter’s (at the hands of Brother Kevin literally) together with reading all the stories, posts and blogs on your website, I am in a unique position to add an interesting perspective on all this scandalous abuse. This is what I have pieced together.

Let’s start with Brother Kevin. After reading the accounts by borders at St Joseph’s there was quite obviously some woeful wrongdoings involving Brother Kevin during the mid to late 1960’s. Then he was suddenly moved overseas and conveniently out of the way to France for 1 to 2 years. Long enough for the scandal to blow away and all be forgotten about no doubt. After which he was again re-appointed in a position of ultimate trust over young boys as junior housemaster at St Peter’s School, Bournemouth at around 1969-1970. There he was given a free hand to recommence his sinister and evil operations ie the abuse of young boys under the pious illusion and disguise of a religious white dog collar. I, as a border at St Peter’s from September 1975, was witness to much of his immoral behaviour.

Then there was the case of Brother Cyril. The notorious, weird and known homosexual housemaster at St John’s college, Southsea. According to my brothers there were several incidents involving improper conduct involving young boys at the hands of Brother Cyril during his time as housemaster of junior division there at St John’s. This was approximately from 1972 up until his untimely and abrupt transfer to St Peter’s school at around 1978. Now then, I do recall remarking to him that I had 2 brothers who were, at the time, still boarders at St John’s college.  I strongly remember the frosty and uncomfortable response that I received on even mentioning this. With hindsight, it was probably because I had been privy to his previous behaviour at St John’s that he then wanted and thought he could bury.

So it seems like we have a clear pattern of similar events here in just two accounts. Whenever the bubble is about to burst and some unsavoury individual is about to be exposed and held account for his actions, then he is conveniently moved or re assigned somewhere else.

What is abundantly clear to me is that it was not just one individual who was responsible for moving these monsters around to avoid detection, but an administrative organisation. Someone somewhere knew exactly what kind of person Brother Kevin was/is and actively appointed him in a position of trust and authority over young boys, some as young as 6 or 7 years old. Even as 11 year old boys we were very aware of the pedophile nature of Brother Kevin. Indeed, the jokes and sniggering comments transcended through every corridor and classroom in the school. Yet not one teacher knew anything about his despicable tendencies?? Impossible. Of course they knew and were fully aware. Every single one of them. But this was the 1970’s and pedophilia behaviour and activities were a taboo subject. It simply did not exist. Sadly it did.

I hope that my account and perspective on events helps to explain things at the time. Ie coverups. I will later on send you my account at the hands of Brother Kevin. I’m working on it. I’m not shy. I will be in touch again soon