Well, I have been doing some digging, and I have uncovered a few facts.
Maestri left the school somewhat abruptly. The commenter benet left this comment on another article last September.
Many will remember that in 1982 a Middle-School Master called John Maestri disappeared weeks before he was due to replace Dom Laurence Soper as Master of the Middle School.I have heard the same story from other sources. I think I now know who made the complaint, but I will not say. I make it an absolute rule here of not mentioning the names of any victims or of their families.
It emerged many years later that the parent of the victim had complained to Abbot Francis that she would report John Maestri to the Police if he were allowed to take up the post as Master of the Middle School. He then disappeared.
I have now learned some more. Maestri has been before Isleworth Crown Court on three occasions. All of them for sexual offences against boys under the age of 14, all of them pupils at St. Benedict's School, and all the offences relate to his time teaching at the school. In all three cases he pleaded guilty to the charges.
On the first occasion in 2003, he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison.
On the second occasion in 2005, he was given a Community Rehabilitation Order.
On the third occasion in 2008/9, he was given 2 years in prison, suspended for 2 years.
He has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.
I have learned that Maestri went on to teach at another school (I don't know where) after he left St. Benedict's. I have no knowledge of whether he abused children there.
The obvious inference is that Maestri was asked to leave quietly to avoid publicity, and that part of the deal involved giving him a good reference that made no mention of the real reason for his departure.
I wonder how many times something like this has happened at the school.
But the most ironic and even tragic thing is that Maestri's position as junior school headteacher subsequently went to - Father David Pearce.
I think that the Abbey has some questions to answer about this. It was a very strange failure of judgment that caused the Abbot to appoint two paedophile abusers in quick succession as junior school headteacher. Of course, Shipperlee wasn't Abbot then, Francis Rossiter was. Rossiter is still at the Abbey, according to the Abbey website he is now Prior. So the correct person to ask is available.