Friday, 3 December 2010

Pearce and Maestri in court

There was an initial hearing for Pearce and Maestri this morning at West London Magistrates Court. Both were present. No plea was entered by either of them, and the matter has been adjourned to a further hearing to be held on 5th January.

The hearing as far as I can tell was entirely routine, but it was worth going to even so, because one extremely interesting fact emerged. David Pearce was represented by Tony Nelson. Yes, the same Tony Nelson who is the school's solicitor. (As it happens he also represented Maestri on an emergency basis just for this hearing because Maestri's solicitor had got caught up in the weather and hadn't been able to arrive in time.)

So let me just see if I can get this straight in my head. Pearce has allegedly committed abuses at St. Benedict's school. And Tony Nelson, the school's own solicitor, represents him. And the same solicitor has instructed Lord Carlile, providing the terms of reference for an inquiry into abuses at the school in which Pearce allegedly had some part. So he is commissioning an inquiry into abuses at the same time as he is acting on behalf of one of the alleged perpetrators of those same abuses.

For obvious reasons, Pearce's interests are best served by the Carlile inquiry discovering as little as possible - let sleeping dogs lie and all that. But the school's interests are supposedly served by the inquiry discovering as much as possible, so that the school can take the necessary actions to make sure it can't happen again. Otherwise there would be no point in holding the inquiry.

If the school feels that its interests and those of Pearce are not in conflict, the school would have to have interests which are not in conflict with those of an alleged abuser who was formerly a monk and teacher there, and that would in turn mean that the school is also looking for Lord Carlile to learn as little as possible. If true, that would explain why the publicity for the inquiry has been so inadequate.


  1. I see your on about the 'straight' and narrow again, Mr West. You write of trying to get things 'straight in my head'. It seems to me that your head has been working overtime trying to twist events to your own liking. Whatever, you head may get up to, David Pearce remains a member of the Ealing Community, he's committed by vow to that community, or at least to the Benedictine Order. In short that community is his family which like many families has its problems, even its problem children. But a family it remains.

  2. Mr West you confidently tell us -
    ‘…cover of course had to be arranged because of the departure of the teacher suspended last term over allegations of abuse. I think that departure and the reasons for it might conceivably have justified a small mention in the newsletter, unless the headmaster is again industriously engaged in sweeping dirt under the carpet.

    There may be some cause for embarrassment, as the departed teacher was a very long-serving member of staff. A friend has sent me a school photo dating from 1989 in which he appears. But the embarrassment is not going to go away by keeping quiet about it.’
    But, then, almost in the same breath you confess:
    ‘I don't know all the relevant facts, or even enough of the facts to feel justified in naming the teacher concerned’
    Can these statements be reconciled?

  3. Can we expect an answer, Mr West, to the above question?

  4. If I say I don't know everything on a subject, that doesn't stop me from saying the things I do know.

  5. Re:15:48

    Does West worry about family loyalty?

  6. To Mr West @18:03
    Mr West, what you do say in your above article is, already, extremely damning. Are you quite sure, given your admitted lack of knowledge, that you have the right to condemn someone, easily identifiable by dozens of people, in the way you have done? As you know, one contributor has already suggested you should be sued.

  7. People can suggest whatever they want to.

  8. .
    Stop it Now Helpline

    “Public, political and media attention to child sexual abuse seems to be concentrated more on questions about what to do with known offenders, than about what to do for children, their families and others directly or indirectly affected by the problem or, least of all it seems, about how to prevent sexual abuse from occurring in the first place.”

    This is an extract from Stephen Smallbone et al, Preventing Child Sexual abuse, 2008 and is a preface in the Stop it Now! Helpline report 2005–09.

    I attended the launch of the report and listened to some very interesting speakers. The most striking thing about Stop It Now is that they are the only source of assistance for adults who are concerned about their own feelings or behaviour towards children, or the behaviour of others.

    Convicted abusers can request assistance once in the Criminal Justice System, but there is no NHS assistance for an individual who may or may not have committed a crime and who wants help.

    The Stop It Now helpline is an anonymous service where adults with these concerns can discuss their situation safely. It is a charity and part of the highly respected Lucy Faithfull Foundation which is easily Googled. Some individuals who have sexually abused a child want help in managing their behaviour. Those committed to change can find significant assistance with Stop It Now.

    The range of callers making enquiries of the service ranges from family, friends, and adults concerned about the behaviour of another adult; adults concerned about their own behaviour; parents and carers concerned about a child or young person’s behaviour.

    So here are the contact details:

    Freephone: 0808 1000 900

    "Child sexual abuse is preventable not inevitable"

  9. You must see Mr West that it's not the suggestion that's being questioned. Rather the fact that people cannot suggest what they like.

  10. .
    Further information: provides free, anonymous self-help resources for people who are worried about downloading and using illegal images (also called "child pornography").

    This site is also accessible through the Stop it Now website or directly by clicking here.

  11. As a lengthy ad. comes between the above comment @18:22 and Mr West's earlier response, may I re-unite them? Mr West claims that he doesn't care what people say or suggest about him. Fine. But legally things aren't quite so simple. There are laws restricting what one person may say about another. Can Mr West explain what gives him the right wilfully and publicly to malign others?


  13. Freedom To Say Whatever One Wants

    Maybe Mr West would like to address the matter raised @18:36, having refrained to do so, thus far?

  14. It is very disappointing that when presented with relevant and hard to find information about the only service in Britain that assists adults concerned about their feelings and/or behaviour towards children is uploaded to this site, the poster at 19.05 feels the need to comment as he does.

  15. Really, 08:48? As I read it, the guy - @19.05 = would seem to be singing your praise.

  16. Silly comment 10.59, we have no need of such information as is perfectly obvious to anyone who reads wild West's blog.

  17. In his opening article, Mr West names no names but is clearly exercised by some individual. Has anyone tumbled to whom he might be referring? Personally, I’m baffled.

  18. Me too baffled but then I'm as fik as you 14.27.

  19. Come on 14:27, stop trying to wind up Mr West!

  20. Re 17:49> double irony? Or just a total lack of understanding for anything verging on that domain?