Thursday, 25 November 2010

More charges

According to the Ealing Today website, Father David Pearce and John Maestri have both been charged with child abuse offences dating from the late 1970s. Although the report doesn't specifically say so, it would appear that the victim or victims of these alleged offences are pupils of St. Benedict's, since both were teachers at St. Benedict's at the time.

Mr. Cleugh and Mr. Simmons (the senior and junior school headmasters) have written to parents. Their letter has included the following. "We ask for your prayers for all affected by these latest allegations and for the School at this difficult time.''

Now that is a very odd thing to say. They asking for your prayers for those affected by the allegations. That means thay are asking for your prayers primarily for Pearce and Maestri themselves, as they are most affected by the allegations. And then they are asking for prayers for the school "at this difficult time". There is no suggestion that you should pray for the victims of the alleged crimes.


  1. As the Pharisee said...

    Good on you, Mr West. Nice people don't pray for nasty people.

  2. Ealing Gazette:

    The line that caught my eye:

    "The charges relate to the same victim but different incidents."

    So they worked together? Discussed possible victims together? Maestri was always immensely deferential to the priests at the school, more than he needed to be.

  3. I imagine it is like a politician saying "They are in our thoughts and prayers".

    I think commenters now need to be careful in what they say here so that both Fr Dave and Maestri can get a fair trial. I would hate to think that they might refer to this blog and try to argue that their chances of having a fair trial have been prejudiced by what was published here.

    How can Lord Carlile take evidence and publish a report now that Fr Dave is awaiting trial for this fresh offence? I imagine he will not wish to prejudice the outcome.

  4. Very good point flexis genibus, is it possible for a comment here to prejudice the trial(s)?

  5. What on earth is that guy @21:20 doing on his knees?

  6. He's on his knees, because he's having to criticise/warn Mr West.

  7. "It is customary where there has been publicity prejudicial to a defendant that may have been seen by members of the jury for the court to proceed on the presumption that a jury, if properly directed, will disregard such publicity . Only where the effect of the publicity has been so extreme that it is not possible to expect the jury to disregard it will it be appropriate to stay a trial on the ground of abuse of process." Para [78]

    per Sir Ivor Judge as he was then, now Lord Justice Judge LCJ.

    R v Hamza
    Neutral Citation Number: [2006] EWCA Crim 2918
    Case No: 2006/01143/C5


    The flex. genibus is a reference to the rubrics for the public chanting of the 7 Penitential Psalms that may or may not take place in Ealing Abbey every evening in reparation for the abuse of pupils at the School.

    This is not a criticism of Mr West.

    We all need to take care now that this pair have been charged - the matters are now sub-judice and potential jurors might read this site.

  8. No sense humour there, then.

    But, one tiny point of clarification: this rubric - flexis genibus - might indeed indicate the Penitential Psalms, but not necessarily so, it has wider application.

  9. No trace of humour there, then!

    But, a tiny point of clarification: this rubric - flexis genibus - might indeed indicate the Penitential Psalms, but not necessarily so, it has wider application.

  10. This warning may be a little late, for we have to remember it covers every comment posted on this blog.

  11. 11:14 Not at all. Past comments don't have to be hidden. It is only comments made when there is a pending trial where some extra care has to be taken. I've therefore turned on moderation for the time being.

  12. Surely any comment 'up-and-running' on this blog, no matter when it was posted, is making statements that directly concern the individuals involved?

  13. All past comments are potential evidence and could be cited by the defence but only comments made once proceedings have commenced could be in contempt of court.

  14. Okay, that makes sense. But, equally it leaves an awful lot of stuff that could be cited.