ST PETER’S SOUTHBOURNE – PHOTO BROTHER KEVIN

Some details from Southbourne below. 1973. I recognised Kevin and Leo instantly before checking the text.  And maybe Wilfred was at St Jo’s Ipswich previously. Curiously, Brother Kevin looks the least threatening.

A friend is trying to find out about the Jesuit era at Southbourne when her father was educated there. So any recollections would be gratefully received.

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.

DE LA SALLE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

First, a view from PETER, which I agree with. As I’ve written in the past, I witnessed extreme ad hoc violence which went far beyond the ‘normal’ violence of the times.

don’t see how the corporal punishment can be put in the context of it being legal then. It was much more force than necessary; random and there was no punishment book as required then by law. The beatings were not done with a regulation cane… they were performed with items illegal even then to use, plimsoles, sawn off chair legs and bare hands and fists, and of course the blackboard duster. Also much of what I’ve posted is accurate about Br Solomon, but seems to be contested. As no one seems to acknowledge any of my posts I may as well withdraw from the group.

I’m so sorry, Peter, if I missed some of your earlier comments that needed responding to. Do please send again. Your views are really important to me.

In particular, your views on Brother Solomon. If I get a moment, I’ll go back and see if I can find them. But I make a point of showing every perspective on the De La Salles.  Thus a week or so ago, there was a long comment from OPUS who thought this blog was a Witch Hunt. Of course it’s not. We all just want to get to the truth and have the De La Salles acknowledge what happened and apologise. Properly. Not the Suit written nonsense they offered a few weeks ago.

Secondly, the view of FIDDLER 73 which again says it all

Please consider this an acknowledgement of your post. As a boarder at St. Peter’s, Bournemouth, from Jan 1956 to July 1967, I was present when some of the sexual abuse discussed here was going on. I only know that now thanks to the efforts of Pat Mills and his growing team of corroborators. I and my close friends at St. Peter’s were utterly unaware of any sexual abuse. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t going on, but I can’t confirm it did. The corporal punishment that you refer to certainly did play a big part in daily school life. Rattan canes, fists and bare hands were routinely used. Blackboard dusters too. As to whether this was legal at the time, who knows? The legal status of things in those days was not often a topic of conversation, certainly not in my circles. Abuse certainly was widespread and few are the St. Peter’s boarders with no scars to show for it.

Next, some more information on Brother Solomon from CHRIS. I didn’t know he had applied for re-entry to the De La Salles and got turned down.

 Solomon definitely did not come to Beulah Hill in 1971 as a layman; might have landed up in Ipswich (St Joseph’s Birkfield) in the 1970’s.and I met the then Mercado in about 81’/82 in the dining room there; he was turned down for re entry into the Order in 1979 to 1980 school year,, to my certain knowledge, by the then District Council for the ‘London District (Province(

I was practically a member of the Brothers’ Community in 1971, after my O Levels that summer

Finally, some views from another IPSWICH OLD BOY. It was a really brutal school in the 1960s. Perhaps when Chris visited as a De La Salle brother in the early 80s they were more circumspect, and the violence went on behind closed doors. Like that account I previously posted about a1980s lay teacher who used a cat of nine tails whip on a boy.

I agree that it was an age of corporal punishment but that cannot be allowed to minimize the scope of the constant violence and abuse. Whatever the rules of society were then they did not cover what went on at St Joseph’s.Do not attempt to minimise what happened to some of us just because it didn’t happen to you. That is just going to create another problem of denial for the bastards so that they can get away with it.

I am not crying victim. I was a very scared kid, I was also quite disruptive but none of that measures up to the the amount of abuse , violence and the sexual abuse .

 In the chemistry class I was never allowed to participate AT ALL I had to be at the back of the class and watch the rest. In art( at which I had some potential), I was NOT allowed to take part.

I figured all this because I was not a Catholic. In athletics, I was not allowed to take part although I was potentially pretty good. Teachers’ pets were in charge of accessing if you were good or not. I remember trying out for the javelin with the rest of the no hopers. When I told the accessor students to stand back a couple of times and being mocked as being pre-judged hopeless I threw the spear and it went over their heads by a foot. Scared the hell out of them.

There were at least a class full of boys like me who ended up in an EXTRA ENGLISH class being run by Bill Moss who was really a nice guy then because he was just new at the school. He simply read to us. He treated us with respect.  The first was “The BAFUT BEAGLES” by Gerrald Durrell. Then My Family and Other Animals. He then read Homer. This opened a new door for me with a lifelong interest in literature.He then became ambitious and got us to write essays and poetry which he published in a school magazine. We can’t have these boys doing anything like this, they are supposed to be un-educatable. So it was stopped, no explanation and so were his extra english classes. We were then taught english by a youngish brother ( name began with a C and it was an unusual name). This guy was the most constantly, reliably,sadistic. I was guaranteed at least one severe beating a week if not more from him for an entire year. He broke what was left of my spirit completely. It got a lot worse, I could not concentrate in any class and was incapable of doing any home work. I think that this is when my parents sent me to board there. Criminal.

I may have this in the wrong sequence but it all happened. Expensive education. The boarding didn’t last long, I nicked home to cook lunch for myself when I knew my parents would not be there.

I could see the house from the school.

The chapel incident( old hut). James was laying into one of the boys for a percieved crime during mass, usual fists and boots. The bell rang for the consecration of the host or whatever it is. James then goes to his knees genuflecting and then lays back into the boy and then picks him up and throws him through the door. That hut was a long way off the ground. 6 feet or so.

I remember you mentioning this last incident before. It bears repeating!  Thanks to you and everyone for these memories of DLS corporal punishment. We don’t want the Independent Investigator concluding ‘it was normal for the times’ and this and previous accounts demonstrate that it was far from normal. It was horrific and obscene.

DE LA SALLE COLLEGE JERSEY

De La Salle College in Jersey is a private independent Catholic all-boys school taking its name from St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651–1719), who founded the De La Salle Brothers in France.

This Jersey school has come up recently from recollections on this site.

I wonder if there are any Old Boys who went to that school – especially in the 1960s – who would like to share their memories, good or bad, with us?

For example, if they recall BROTHER SOLOMON and BROTHER KEVIN being there, albeit briefly. Maybe for a year or less.

My abiding memory, as an eleven year old boy at DLS St Joseph’s Ipswich, was that Brother Solomon was sent there briefly before he went on to DLS St Joseph’s Beulah Hill.

We school boys firmly believed the Jersey DLS college was a ‘reformatory’ for abuser brothers. How we knew that, heaven knows, but that was our widespread opinion and the subject of many playground conversations and jokes.

It left a strong impression on me. I somehow knew it was important to hold onto that memory for the future and it’s stayed with me all my life.

A few days ago, an Old Boy of  DLS St Peter’s Bournemouth related how in the early to mid 60s he had overheard a conversation between two Brothers describing how abusers would be sent from Bournemouth to Jersey and then to France in order to escape the police.

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

So Jersey was the hub of an organised DLS operation.

 In the 60s the ferry system between the three locations would be important.

 I’m sure it was an excellent school. Nevertheless it appears it was also  a jumping off point for Brothers to go to France until things calmed down.

That seems to be what happened in the case of Brother Kevin.

Any recollections anyone has of the school back then would be useful to gain a full understanding of what was going on in those days.

As always on this site, any views will be treated in strictest confidence and can be anonymous if preferred.

Many thanks

DE LA SALLE SAFEGUARDING: THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS TECHNIQUE

I was surprised by DLS Barry Hudd’s reaction to the newspaper report on DLS abuse.

Here’s what I said in an earlier post:

Barry Hudd, the Head of Safeguarding for the De La Salles, and the de-facto press officer, seemed surprised that most of the brothers’ crimes on this site had only just come to light.

They were ‘completely unheard of’.

                                                ……..

Now NW1 – survivor of Brother Kevin – has had a similar response.

Here’s what he had to say:

One final thought: I have recently been contacted by the Safeguarding Officer for the DLS Brothers. My details were passed on to him by the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, with whom I got in touch after seeing your comments on this site.   The DLS Safeguarding Officer wrote: “If I understand correctly, you would like to speak with someone from the De La Salle Order. So I can help you, can you let me know if you would like to speak with a senior Brother or a lay member of the Order. If you are not sure, could you briefly describe what you want to talk about? This is just so that I can put you in contact with the right person.”   The email reads as if this person has no idea whatsoever about this whole story. It’s like the past few decades are a complete blank canvas to him. The CSSA must have told him something about me personally and the stories of abuse concerning Bro. Kevin.   And the merest cursory glance through official records – which he should have had direct access to as the DLS Order Safeguarding Officer – will throw up all the legal paperwork related to my case, at the very least, never mid everyone else’s.   Yet he seems completely innocent, as if he knows nothing about anything. Like someone living in a country where he doesn’t speak the language.   That’s not a credible position and it does very little for my mental state that he seems to be behaving like that.   It forces me to have to retell what happened to someone who should KNOW what happened.   It also gives me little confidence that the DLS are willing to go through the process of coming clean which they have pledged to do.

……………………………..

This is why I’m collating evidence for the DLS Investigator so there is no room for anymore of this current obfuscation or faux innocence.

This form of ‘Smoke and mirrors’ is a common defence technique I’ve seen used by dysfunctional people or organizations.  It delays or diverts attention.

‘Smoke and mirrors’ was part of the abuse techniques I experienced as a kid. Put more crudely – it’s the bullshit I had to put up with from Catholic abusers, including  DLS Brother James.

It’s unfortunate that the DLS today are still using a form of  ‘Smoke and mirrors’ on Survivors.

Fortunately, I know how to deal with it and cut through it to the truth.

BROTHER KEVIN – 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 Kevin Dillon. I’ve done the same for James. Still working on Solomon. If I’ve missed anything crucial, or made a major error, do let me know. Or if you have an additional testimony about Brother Kevin 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 Kevin is so overwhelming in most cases it should not be necessary.

Brother Kevin taught at St Joseph’s prep school Oak Hill Ipswich. St Joseph’s College Birkfield Ipswich. Went to France for one year approx 1968. Then returned to St Peter’s Bournemouth. Then back to Oak Hill again where he became Headmaster.

EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST JOSEPH’S IPSWICH

(OAK HILL FIRST TIME & BIRKFIELD)

1)

NW1’s account below. He was abused at Oak Hill and Birkfield.

… regarding St Joseph’s, Birkfield, and also Oak Hill, the prep school just down the road. I was a pupil at both between 1967 and 1974, when I was expelled mid-way through the year. As I was mid-way through my lower sixth, they allowed me to complete my studies at St Peter’s, in Bournemouth. Many of the Brothers’ names mentioned in other posts are familiar to me and other boys used to talk about them as “homos” at the time, but I have no proof of this.

In my case, I was sexually abused by Brother Kevin, a diminutive shit who was at OakHill when I started there before transferring to Birkfield later in that year. My abuse began while I was at the prep school. Kevin was in charge of the boarders and used to summon me, as well as other boys, to his bedroom after lights out.

After he moved to Birkfield, Kevin used to come down to Oak Hill on Sundays, seek me out and try to abuse me in the biology rooms.

The abuse continued when I moved to Birkfield myself and during my first year there, during which time I was a boarder in one of the dormitories in the so-called 55 Wing. Kevin, whose room looked out on one of the dormitories, continued in a similar vein as before, summoning me and others to his room after lights out.

(See footnote from NW1 below)

He was transferred to France at the end of that school year (1968) but returned to St Peter’s, where I re-encountered him after my expulsion from St Jo’s. Inexplicably, he was once again in charge of the junior boarders. By then, I was too old for him, so was left in peace. I have no doubt whatsoever that he continued to abuse kids there. Sickeningly, the young boarders’ section included kids who were six or seven years old.

About 20 years ago, I reported my abuser to the police in London and he was briefly detained, made a partial admission and was released on bail pending further inquiries. The next time he was interviewed he showed up with a solicitor and denied everything. He was never charged.

Simultaneously, I sued the Order in 1996 and after six years they settled out of court in return for me signing a confidentiality agreement which I suppose I’m breaking today. The settlement just about paid for seven years of therapy. However, the Order refused to offer an apology because to do so would imply that they were culpable. Even today, 15 years later, that refusal to admit what happened and apologise for it – despite paying me compensation – makes me feel incredibly angry.

I remember I went up to Oxford in the mid-90s to confront the order at its “Mother House”: they didn’t seem remotely surprised that Kevin was in the frame as a sex abuser. I mentioned another brother, (AKA Squealer) who I was fairly certain had abused children, although I did not have 100% definitive proof. They effectively admitted he too had been an abuser and it was suggested to me that I should consider whether giving his name to the police would be worthwhile as he now had dementia. I did name him to police but nothing happened to him either.

While I was at St Peter’s, there was another Brother – Cyril – who was in charge of the middle year boarders (3rd and 4th year). He, too, was talked of as an abuser by some pupils, although I did not have any personal knowledge of this. Cyril became head teacher at another school in Southsea, was subsequently charged and cleared of sex abuse.

(See GL’s account of Cyril later)

Three years ago I was contacted by police in Dorset who had received another complaint of abuse at the hands of Brother Kevin by a pupil at St Peter’s. Dorset police managed to track down my name and other details from the 90s and I went through the another set of interviews, filmed this time, and waited several months before the CPS decided not to go ahead with a prosecution, again. My evidence and that of the other person were not considered credible enough.

I’m aware of several other kids who were abused during my time there, also by Brother Kevin. I once met up with one of them many years later. He and another lad were abused a year or so before me and I still remember him telling me that when Kevin started on me he felt jealous a being supplanted by someone else. There was also talk about several other Brothers being abusers while I was at Birkfield, including Squealer, but I have no personal evidence of that. It does make me wonder whether they had their own little circles and agreed not to poach kids from each other.

Almost 50 years later, the abuse still affects me. My entire personality has been affected by the experience and I know I will never be free of what happened. But I’m glad others are talking about it publicly here and in one or two other corners of the Web. It’s about time the Order was forced to face up to what so many of its members were doing. It should make a public apology. I would also like to see all the abusers brought to trial. I’d be happy to work with anyone here to make sure that happen

NW1 added recently:

Kevin Dillon was sexually abusing me at St Joseph’s in 1969 up until May or June of that year. He moved that summer – he wasn’t there when we came back in September 1969. The reason I recall is that my mother died in the late spring of that year and Bro. Kevin was the man tasked with telling me, as a boarder, what had happened to her.

3)

Another testimony

My name is Peter, I was a border at st. josephs preparatory school oak hill Ipswich, a de la salle school, from 1967 to 1970. I’m sure its the same school. Nwi would have been there at the same time as me, and my experiences were unfortunately similar. He might remember me because I am Australian (and still am), I’m sure my brother Robert and I were the only colonials there at the time. I also contacted the police and made a complaint but as I live in Australia haven’t been able to do anything else. I would really like to contact NWI, really, I really would. “Holy Innocents” was the name of the first dormitory I was in, I was 7. bro kevin told me he only did this to me because my mum asked him to, sound familiar?

EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT ST PETER’S BOURNEMOUTH

1)

NW1’s account cites a St Peter’s pupil reporting Kevin to the police for sexual abuse.

And other boys  at St Peter’s NW1 was aware of who were abused by Kevin and who acknowledged this in conversation with him.

2)

I spoke at length by skype to ‘R’, an American survivor of Brother Kevin’s abuse at St Peter’s. He was there 1976 – 80. R was preparing to ‘take things forward’ when we learnt about Kevin’s dementia. See later. It’s possible R may talk to an investigator, although I’d say the case was proved already.

R tells me ‘Kevin was responsible for the care of about 100 boys aged 9-12; I’m sure the school must have known something.’

3)

GL’s account of Kevin abusing boys at St Peter’s

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1171

EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AT OAK HILL SECOND TIME WHEN KEVIN WAS HEADMASTER

“Bro Kevin took over as Headmaster at Oak Hill from the academic year beginning September 1979 He appears in the official history book of Oak Hill, some photos including with the very few boarders left at the end. The book says that he left in 1989.”

By which time the DLS must surely have been aware of his crimes, especially if he had spent a year in France possibly lying low? And yet, decades later, the DLS made him Headmaster – in charge of the YOUNGER BOYS he seemed to have preferred.

1)  

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1129

This is the link to a post covering Brother Kevin abusing a boy at Oak Hill in this era. See Item ONE in the post.

The matron he refers to passionately defended Kevin to me, but has since written to me reversing her position, saying she didn’t know what was going on.

2)

Another testimony from a Survivor. This also involves Brother Kevin after he had returned to Oak Hill.

FROM ZACH i first went to oak hill in 1984 and was abused by brother kevin, a vile little rat. used to take me to his room after lights out. would be nice to find where the rat is now??

EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMIC ABUSE  INVOLVING KEVIN AND THE DE LA SALLES.

My understanding of ‘systemic’ includes where there is an organised cover-up, a silencing (e.g. through an NDA), or an investigation is thwarted by being ignored by an organization, obscured or not reported to the police.

1)

The way Kevin was moved around from Ipswich to France (1 – 2 years, ‘long enough for the scandal to blow away’ – GL) to Bournemouth. That suggests a typical Catholic abuse cover-up. 

See also BROTHER SOLOMON – THE EVIDENCE (posting shortly) which indicates THE EXISTENCE OF A DE LA SALLE ‘RAT LINE’ FOR BROTHERS TO ESCAPE THE POLICE. From Bournemouth. To Jersey. To France.

We know Kevin went to France and it would seem likely he used this escape route.

But if Kevin had been arrested after whatever happened at St J’s Ipswich, instead of running away to France with the help of the DLS, none of those boys at Bournemouth and later at Oakhill would have been abused.

I find that so sad, upsetting and important, it needs repeating:

none of those boys at Bournemouth and later at Oakhill would have been abused.

GL’s damning conclusion of systemic abuse at St Peter’s is worth quoting in full here:

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.

https://wordpress.com/post/patmills.wordpress.com/1171

2)

DLS at HQ’s Oxford’s tacit acknowledgement Kevin was an abuser. See NW1’s testimony. And suggesting NW1 not report another abuser because of infirmity.

Catholic Safeguarding told me personally that all abuse allegations MUST be reported to the police, regardless of mitigating factors, including death. The DLS were thus in violation of that rule.

3)

NW1’s financial settlement with an NDA and no apology.

4)

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

The DLS also knew about NW1. 

And, judging by a further testimony below, Kevin’s abuse was known by the DLS for up to 20  years.

Yet the DLS press officer reacts by commenting that the evidence on my blog  is ‘completely unheard of”.  Like it’s unusual, new and even questionable!

But see this testimony :

Bro Kevin (or just plain Kevin Dillon) was suffering in an advanced state of dementia in an Ipswich nursing home the last time I heard of him (2017). There was video on the nursing home website of him singing (trying) Christmas carols but the shell of a human being was hard to recognise as the Bro Kevin of our youth. He was a broken man before the dementia set in. Over the last 20 years he lost everything. When the first rumours about allegations of perversion reached the village in Suffolk in which he lived it brought with it abuse and intimidation from the local youths. His house was attacked and windows broken occasionally and after a couple of years he was compelled to sell up and move to Ipswich. The DLS and other powers-that-be distanced themselves from him and this pushed him over the edge.  

5)The DLS should have reported Kevin to the police, probably at several stages in his life.  

Especially as they knew the truth before he became ill, judging by their response to NW1. But it is NOT for the DLS to excuse his behaviour, whatever his state of health. That is for the police to decide. Distancing themselves from Kevin is also not enough.

Now it’s too late, but if the DLS – knowing what they did about Kevin – had reported him to the police a decade or more ago, he could have stood trial.

6) I’m sure the DLS will have a file on Kevin.

If there is evidence in the file, then a question an Investigator must ask is why wasn’t the file acted upon before as I’ve described.

7) Why the DLS appointed Brother Kevin as a Headmaster of Oak Hill, in charge of younger boys, is a matter of especial concern.

They knew he was a paedophile – using the De La Salle ratline to France earlier in his career – but they still put temptation his way, which he took full advantage of.

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