Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Setting up the Carlile inquiry

Some very strange correspondence has come into my hands. I have forwarded it to the Abbot, his solicitor Tony Nelson and his press officer Barry Hudd,, along with some questions. But they (as usual) are rendered entirely mute when the issue of communicating with me comes up.
From: Barry Hudd
Sent: 25 July 2010 22:09
To: Jan Musker
Cc: Martin Shipperlee
Subject: For Tony Nelson

Dear Tony,

I was unable to find out any additional information about John Maestri so I am asking Peter Turner the Westminster Diocese Safeguarding Coordinator to see if he can get info from the police.

We ran out of time before we could really discuss the scurrilous blog re Fr Gregory.   I would like a warning shot fired across Mr West’s bow.  He and his supporters are assuming that his claims are correct as there has been no reaction from the Abbey or F r Gregory – most recently as yesterday at 17:26– Since Father Gregory has not taken legal action, I can only assume that he was indeed arrested as Mr West claims.

I think he should be required to remove his Fr Gregory posting entirely and to publish a retraction and apology..... that's my take on it but you are the lawyer so I leave it to you and Fr Martin to decide!

I am meeting with Kevin McCoy tomorrow.

We can update on Thursday.

Best wishes as always,



From: Lord Carlile Q.C.
Sent: 26 July 2010 07:52
To: Jan Musker; Tracey Young
Subject: Ealing

From: Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.
9-12 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR
Tel 02074001800

This email is intended for the named recipient only. If you receive it in error, please delete immediately. Use of this email without permission of the sender may constitute a criminal offence, or an actionable civil wrong.

Dear Tony

If it would help, I could go to the Abbey at about 4pm next Monday, or any time on Tuesday. I know that Wednesday onwards is hopeless for you because of your operation.

Otherwise I can manage in chambers this Thursday at 3pm or Friday at 1030am.

Hope all is well
As ever



From: Brenda Hudson To: Lord Carlile Q.C.
Sent: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 9:12
Subject: Re: Ealing


Dear Lord Carlile,

Many thanks for your email of this morning. I spoke personally on Friday to the Independent School Inspectorate and attach Curriculum Vitae for Dr. Kevin McCoy CBE. It is suggested at this stage by the lay person advising the Abbey that an independent report, chaired by yourself in conjunction with Dr. McCoy's particular skills, would be advantageous to the Abbey. I await your comments on this. In the meantime I am going to prepare some further instructions for you today with enclosures including a Charity Commission Report and some lengthy details concerning the school and will send this by document exchange to your Chambers.

With kind regards

Yours sincerely

A J Nelson


From: Lord Carlile Q.C.
Sent: 26 July 2010 09:26
To: Brenda Hudson
Subject: Re: Ealing

From: Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C.
9-12 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR
Tel 02074001800

This email is intended for the named recipient only. If you receive it in error, please delete immediately. Use of this email without permission of the sender may constitute a criminal offence, or an actionable civil wrong.

Dear Mr Nelson

Thank you for your email. I am aware of Dr McCoy and his excellent reputation, and would happily produce a report with Dr McCoy as expert adviser, if that is what you have in mind.

My only caveat is that working with an expert might add to the length of the Inquiry and the work involved: plainly that is a matter for the Abbey. Realistically we may be looking at the equivalent of up to 20 days work, including the writing.

Please let me know when you have dispatched the further instructions, and I shall collect them from chambers.

Kind regards

Alex Carlile


From: Brenda Hudson
Sent: 26 July 2010 09:31
To: Barry Hudd
Subject: Re: Ealing

Dear Mr. Hudd,

I thank you for email of the 25th July. I have spoken to Christine Ryan of the ISA on Friday and await hearing from her with an appointment for a meeting. As we discussed last Thursday she thought it was an excellent idea and she is going to speak to the Department of Education to see if they would like a representative in attendance.

Yours sincerely

A J Nelson
 There are some important questions that arise from this.

  1. What is the involvement of the ISA, ISI and Department for Education in the inquiry?
  2. Was the inquiry set up as a result of pressure from, or at the request or suggestion of one or more of those bodies?
  3. What is the role of Dr. Kevin McCoy in the inquiry or any related matter?
  4. What was the reasoning behind the choice of Lord Carlile to conduct the inquiry?
  5. In what way was it anticipated that the inquiry "would be advantageous to the Abbey", as referred to in the email sent on Mr. Nelson's behalf to Lord Carlile on 26 July?
  6. What is Mr. Nelson's role in the setting up of the inquiry, and how is the conflict of interest being managed given that he also acts on behalf of alleged perpetrators of the abuse which Lord Carlile is inquiring into?


  1. Mr West, can you remind us who all the people referred to are. Also comment on any possible significance of the timing of these emails in relation to previous and subsequent events.

  2. 07:31 - certainly. These emails date from late July, when the highly critical ISI Supplementary Report had been provided to the school but not yet published.

    So, the discussions were in the light of the need to deal with the inevitable bad publicity that would follow publication of the report. Remember that the report listed six separate people against whom allegations or findings of abuse had been made. This is much worse that had previously been in the public domain.

    It also seems from the content of the emails that the school's record-keeping has been rather poor over the years - they they themselves don't have records of what had been going on in the past, so they were scrabbling around to find information that they ought to have had to hand.

    As for the people involved or mentioned in the correspondence, they are as follows.

    Barry Hudd - Communications Advisor to the Bishop of Portsmouth. As I understand it, he has been lent to the Abbot on a part time basis to help with the publicity arising out of the child protection problems.

    Martin Shipperlee - The Abbot

    Tony Nelson - Solicitor to the Trust. He is also representing David Pearce in the current criminal case, and also represented Father Stanislaus Hobbs when he was tried for indecent assault back in 2007.

    Lord Carlile QC - chosen by the trust to conduct the inquiry into child sex abuse. He and Tony Nelson have known each other a long time. They jointly defended Liverpool gangster John Haase in the 1990s, a case which became very messy and political.

    Dr Kevin McCoy - An expert in child abuse in Ireland - both in the north and the Republic. With Dr Elizabeth Healy he conducted an eight-year inquiry into abuse at the Brothers of Charity Order's "Holy Family School" in Galway, Ireland, and two other locations. Since there has been no public mention of him in the context of St Benedict's I can only conclude that they chose not to make use of his expertise as part of the inquiry.

    Christine Ryan - Chief Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), not to be confused with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), as they seem to have done.

  3. These emails from Nelson to Carlile starting with each referring to the other as Mr Nelson / Lord Carlile and within the snap to Tony and Alex, and I notice the email from Carlile to Nelson on the 26th concludes Hope all is well, As ever, Alex.

    Such an exchange suggests these two are well known to each other, perhaps even friends. There is in principle nothing wrong with that, but when Nelson has represented the interests of the school for sometime, is a fomer pupil of St Anselm's College in Liverpool as others are who work and are associated with St Benedict's, and is also acting for Pearce a former teacher at the school who is about to be put on trial for alleged abuse, it prompts one to ask more questions about the structure of this arrangement with Carlile.

  4. The law society feature the feature Haworth and Gallagher as specialising in :

    Business affairs
    Commercial property
    Conveyancing residential
    Criminal law
    Family law
    Personal injury

    There are three partners and the firm does not have a website that can readily be found.

    A brief scan of publically available information suggests that Mr Nelson might be the partner who specialises in criminal defence, business and property.

    From the Bell Yard website, and information in the public domain it seems as though Lord Carlile has a number of specialism’s including criminal defence.

    So it appears the St Benedict's commissioned review of child abuse has a surfeit of 'defence' thinking being applied to the exercise. It might be worth bearing this when the report is made available.

  5. I see Mr Hudd acted for the Salvatorians when one of their number was released from prison.

    " Father Alex declined to comment yesterday but referred calls to Salvatorian spokesman Barry Hudd, who said: “He is on a very, very short lead – not because of any risk but because that’s the way the Catholic Church does things these days.
    “He is not allowed to have contact with children or their
    families.” "


  6. So, what actually is the position with Chillman?

  7. .
    Barry Hudd

    "Father Alex declined to comment yesterday but referred calls to Salvatorian spokesman Barry Hudd, who said: “He (Father Patrick McDonagh) is on a very, very short lead – not because of any risk.............

    Not only is Hudd a communications adviser, but he seems also to be a clinical psychologist specialising in the assessment of convicted paedophiles, and whether they continue to present a threat to children.

    We can all rest easy, Hudd has spoken.

  8. Barry Hudd,

    So this chubby muppet is handing "communicatons" for St Benedict's.

    Oh Good.

  9. Careful 19.45, Hudd will be sending wish letters to the Holy Ghost to have you struck down for daring to bait him.

    He has form on this front (adopt corpulent pompous projection)

    To Nelson - "I would like a warning shot fired across Mr West’s bow.

    Definately something of the fat boy in the playground about this email to Nelson. Bazza continues his whinge with this follow up:

    "I think he (West)should be required to remove his Fr Gregory posting entirely and to publish a retraction and apology....."

    Now to regular readers of this blog, does this sound strangely familiar of a poster? I think Bazza has been posting here bless him. Have you Bazza? Come on now, fess up?

    I'll huff and puff and I'll blow your house down!

    St Benedict's needs help, and that omnipresent in- depth management expertise which so defines the insttitution ends up with Hudd.

  10. Nelson clearly jumped!

  11. There's been lots in the Times about CEOPS and I note that Brian Moore has been venting about the lispy Home Secretary's profoundly dim and ill-considered "reasoning" for subsuming this specialist operation into an FBI style unit. Kiss goodbye to a world leader - May though just doesn't get it, she never will.

    If anyone wants to get an insight into an effect of sexual abuse in childhood I suggest you read Moore's book Beware of the Dog while we all of us await Carlile's considered defence document of St Benedict's.

    If he sees the light, and among other critical recommendations insists on changes to the current administration of the school and board structure, it will be worth wait for.

  12. Mr West,
    Can you also recap where we are with the '6' and what actions the school has taken to ISI's recommendations to date. When will Carlile publish and in what form?

  13. As there are ongoing criminal proceedings involving two of the six mentioned in the ISI report, I'm going to hold on that. The next court hearing is scheduled for 31st January, so I may be able to give you more news then.

    As for the actions the school has taken, in response to the ISI recommendations, there is no publicly available information.

    With regard to Carlile, it seems inconceivable that he will publish before the criminal proceedings are complete. How long they will take depends on what plea is entered. We will have to wait to find that out.

  14. dear oh dear, you all seem to be getting some purient pleasure from this. very odd.

  15. .
    10.01 is unable to recognise the difference between his assertion, and a collection of individuals holding St Benedict's to account for the systemic child sexual abuse which has been concealed for decades by the Trustees of this religious charity.

    He is clearly discomforted by the process and doesn't like it.

    One wonders why?

    Very odd.

  16. .
    Re: 10:51

    If 10:01 is 'odd' and of the 'odds', I ask myself what are you sir?

  17. Mr Hudd and Mr Nelson should worry less about 'scurrilous comments' which, as it happens, are fact, and more about bracing themselves for the revelations that, principally, the Monks of Ealing Abbey have been abusing boys at St Benedict's School for more than sixty consecutive years - Monks who were teachers, Monks who were Headmasters and Monks who were Abbots. JAJ.

  18. So what? well there are people like me who are currently involved in cases going back a long time. When, hopefully, we get the result we deserve......then that is the "what"...sleep easy won't you

  19. There is a thoroughly unpleasant wing of abbey supporters, identified by some as the Abbeyvistas, who seem unable to believe the facts that are now finally in the public domain.

    The trust is entirely dependent on the cash cow school for its existence and your collective comments damage this institution each day.

    It’s not the people on this site who alerted the authorities to the abuse who you need to be aiming your hostility towards, it’s the monks who abused children and the Trust that knowingly permitted it to continue unabated and then, when finally it could be ignored no longer, failed to report the crimes to the authorities in order to protect its reputation.

    To attempt to defend the indefensible is to demonstrate your displeasure at the discoveries and your deep loathing of the complainants.

  20. It would appear that Tony Nelson, the School's solicitor has commissioned his old pal Alex Carlile to carry out the inquiry.

    So much for the Abbot's promise of an "independent" investigation.

    Thank God I decided not to waste my time by submitting evidence.

  21. To 24th Jan 2011/8.39

    It's sad that you feel that way, but what else can you feel when there is such an obvious cozying up between the Church, School and Carlile?

    One day this'll all get out to the wider public and there will be an avalanche of negative publicity.

  22. Well if you did not submit evidence 16.11 you have made an error no matter what your interpretation of the emails above may suggest to you.

    To not submit evidence you have achieves zero.

    The outcome of Carlile's work will only be known when it is published. If you have not contributed you will not be able to judge how good or poor the report is because you did not contribute to it. In such circumstances you have no currency in the report and little ability to comment. And you also cannot blame Carlile for a poor production if you decided not to make a submission.

    Unfortunately your comment also suggests that all those who have contributed have 'wasted their time.' I am one of those you suggest is foolish. It would be easy to take offensive at your remark, but I don't.

    Carlile is the only game in town no matter how imperfect it is and no matter how poorly the ‘review’ was advertised by the trust. Those who have made the effort to contribute will be able to judge how good or otherwise his report is because of they know their own contribution. In the inevitable discussion that will happen afterwards all those who have contributed are in a position to comment from a strong position.

    I know my effort will contribute to any improvement in safeguarding and governance that emerges from Carlile's report. The welfare of future pupils should be massively improved and they will be blissfully unaware of the pain that brought the improvement about.

    How can such an achievement be a waste of time?

  23. Interesting points of view above re. "to submit" or "not to submit"... I'm kinda half-way between the two. I started of thinking along the lines of "Got to do what you can." And to that end wrote up a long submission detailing my experiences. I assume Carlile has it. I say "assume" as I have never received a word of acknowledgement or confirmation.

    Now I may not know the whys and wherefores of legal protocols, but to me a QC asking people to write up and submit evidence, some of which is painful to relate, might be afforded the small courtesy of a "Thank you", or even just a "Got it."

    As the good Lord rakes in the cash for this exercise, I hope he spares a thought for those of us who put our faith in him and supplied him with the data he allegedly required.

    Given the above, and what now transpires about the somewhat murky background to the enquiry itself (all good chums patting each other on the back) I actually now tend towards the other end of the spectrum, and wish I had not wasted my time and dignity by supporting this apparently empty exercise.

    I will be delighted if I am proved wrong and the enquiry does indeed shed light on the evil of St B's past and ensures safety for children there in the future. But the evidence of these emails, along with the total disregard for those who submit evidence, gives me very little hope indeed.

  24. While I appreciate your comments 08.10 - you at least are in a position to comment about the content of the report that is eventually produced, because you authored a submission.

    There is no other game in town – it’s this or nothing. Without Carlile no improvement will happen for the benefit of future children whose parents commit them to the place. With Carlile there is a chance of improvement, we will see.

    Personally I think this entire number was stitched together between the school the DfE and the ISI.

    The ISI look bloody incompetent. They are the "keystone cops" of the school inspection world monitored and quality assured by that paragon of ineptitude Ofsted. Their embarrassment is almost palpable because they’ve been caught with bow and stern doors open whilst at sea. The DfE in the past would normally have committed resources to turning over the school and producing a report following Mr West’s intelligence being received, but their safeguarding team is in abject fear of getting close to the odious subject for which they are responsible. The Trust has therefore volunteered to go the Carlile route. It might turn out to be useless or a compromise, but the DfE and of course former pupils are all watching closely as are members of the media.

    Not receiving an acknowledgement from Carlile for your submission is just plain bloody rude, so I would email him requesting an acknowledgement. If one does not come phone his chambers and speak to his clerk. Insist. Such a lack of courtesy is completely simpatico with his sun eclipsing ego.

    You have currency in this report; you are speaking from a position of knowing thge content of your submission. If Carlile is playing ‘patsy’ it will be evident in the report and there will be a mighty rumpus. This is the only chance to see significant change at the school, no matter how imperfect it is.

    If you’d not submitted then frankly no amount of yelling from the sidelines will do any good. It’s better to light one candle than yell at the darkness.

  25. Oh dear, some very nasty people are trying to legislate against unnecessary and malicious gossip with regard to teachers accused but not found guilty by any court or serious investigation of any crime! Shame on them! 90% of this blog would have to be removed and putting it together is such huge fun! No more yelling in the dark? What would we do with our lives? Or would it mean, perhaps, that we might actually re-discover them?

  26. 25 Jan 8:10 poster here again...

    Hi 12:43 - I don't doubt your sincerity at all, and partially agree with you. However I don't quite go for the "Carlile is the only option, so even if imperfect we should support it" 100%. It *might* be true, I just don't know. On the one hand I think you may be right, but now the other hand tells me that the Carlile exercise has the potential to make things worse, if it's just a very expensive white-wash. In other words, there's the risk that the Trust stumps up a bag of cash, gets a load of impressive words and can now "prove" to the world that everything is fine and dandy. Basically, they get to buy themselves a clean reputation.

    But I, and the rest of us, simply don't know. Either view may be right!! While I don't regret contributing to Carlile as such, I'm not sure I'd bother given the chance again... And as before, if Carlile can give the school/monastery the kicking (for the past) and the shake out (for the future) it truly deserves, I'll be very happy. But I'm not holding my breath...


  27. 07.57 remains stuck in his delusional world. He seems unable to recognise the landscape in which he is standing despite convictions. And on Monday two former teachers are in court to answer charges.

    In the teeth of this he sees nothing - and does not want to because it is just too inconvenient.

    More whataboutery. It’s pathetic.

    With such attitudes, the scale of the task at St Benedict's is apparent. Even if Carlile's report does cut to the quick and he seeks major changes as he surely needs to do, the culture at the place has to be changed and this will be hugely challenging as we can all see.

    I would like to see the management and operation of the school separated from the Trust. Management fee to the operators of the school, profits to the Trust.

    No culture problems then, and we can all have a reasonable expectation that the management of the school, free of the morally wayward influence of the Trustees, can get on and run an honest institution.

  28. Moderator or Censor?

    Something has disappeared from this thread since I last looked! What are you up to Mr West?

  29. I delete anything which might even remotely be considered prejudicial to the forthcoming trial. Mostly I do that by simply not allowing comments past moderation. In this case, I allowed a comment to be published and then a short time after decided that it did relate in some fashion to the trial, so I deleted it.

    I will continue to do so until a verdict is reached in the trial. After that I will relax things again, unless and until there is another trial concerning abuse at the school or the Abbey, at which point I will apply the same restrictions.

    I'm sure you will agree with me that nothing should be done that would impede the ability of Pearce and Maestri to receive a fair trial, and be acquitted should the evidence point that way.

    If you have written a comment which has either not appeared or which has been deleted, and you want to have a more detailed explanation as to why, then you are welcome to email me, and I will explain the reason for deleting the comment. Your name will not be published, and you will then have an opportunity to make the comment again in a way that will not be deleted.

  30. are you a lawyer mr west? you decide what might prejudice a trial?

  31. '
    Are you quite sure Mr West that what you describe as 'possibly prejudicial to the forthcoming trial' isn't simply material that is prejudicial to the line you take on this blog? It seems to me that your censorship is entirely in your own favour.

  32. 12:36, no I'm not a lawyer. Therefore I'm going to err on the side of caution.

    12:39, you can see plenty of comments critical of me here, not least the comment you have just made. I don't treat criticism of me as being reason to delete a comment. And as it happens, I delete comments supportive of me if I think there is the faintest possibility of them being prejudicial to the trial. But you wouldn't know about that.

  33. .
    Nothing to do with comments about you, Mr West, be they for or against you. We're talking about comments pertaining to the nature of the many monochrome accusations mounted on this blog against St Benedict's and the Abbey. Any counter arguments seem to be regularly dismissed out of hand.

  34. That is because any 'counter arguments' to child sexual abuse on this site or any other are rarely coherent and often offensive. What 'counter argument' can be applied to decades of concealed child sexual abuse by the administration of this trust?

    The concealment has still not been admitted to despite it having been reported by the ISI.

    We can only comment on what is before us, reported by an inspectorate appointed by the Department of Education. The ISI only discovered it as a result of Mr West reporting his discoveries to the DfE.

  35. What a lot of nonsense! No one on this site is pro-child abuse. That this idea can be seriously trailed really does say something about the likes of anonymous above. I can't shake off the feeling that many of these anonymous presentations/refutations bear the hallmark of just one contributor. Mr West, himself perhaps?

  36. 14.10 did not assert what you allege. You repeatedly rewrite posts and history for your own ends, and you post here regularly as we can all see from your compositions.

  37. But, 09:58, he/she did clearly assert that counter arguments - i.e. arguments that challenge the basic tenor and tone of this site – are arguments in favour of child abuse! I quote: “any 'counter arguments' to child sexual abuse on this site or any other are rarely coherent and often offensive.” The fact is that though much criticism has been directed at this site none of it, to my knowledge, has ever been in favour of child sexual abuse. The very notion is absurd! It seems that some people's capacity for clear, logical thought is decidedly limited. Even the phrase quoted is, of course, ambiguous! A good beginning would be to read what is there without reading into it one's own personal obsessions!

  38. What is this called love?

    How many meanings?

    You need some mental health assistance because what you think you see does not exist and neither can you evidence what you claim.

  39. What in God's name is 14:27 twittering on about?

  40. i don't twitter, i post...

  41. Precisely - you've see nothing and understand less, other than what you think you have seen and what you think you understand. And you have now clearly demonstrated this to us.

    The West London Mental Health Trust is on 020 8354 8354 - but you need a referral from your doctor.

    Don't delay.

  42. a good question 16:08. schadenfreude is something we all know about. but it’s strange to elevate it to the guiding principle of one's life.

  43. What is this thing called love?


  44. 16.43. thanks for this. sadly out of my geographic area. it must be wonderful to know everything and i doff my cap to you......

  45. .
    What can we do about this poor 17:05’s mental health phobias?

    His (her) obsessive postings, with their constant refrain, would indicate that 17:05 is feeling rather lonely and bereft in the care of the West London Mental Health Trust!

    Don't be so fretful, 17:05, you're in good hands and you’re not alone - millions of people are in your situation – so, no need for shame and certainly no need to fear you’re somehow in a position of ridicule. Remember those who seek to belittle folks like you represent the most primitive element in any society. Bon courage mon ami!

  46. it may have passed you by but there is a world beyond ealing/west london. you won't fall off the edge of the world if you venture forth! boldy go bravely on and see what marvels the Lord has made.....

  47. You are unwell 09.02 - please seek help and stop posting here for your our welfare,

  48. not unwell, just amused by all the pious preaching on this blog. the finger pointing and judgements made here, speak volumes about those seeking vengance for things that (possibly/probably) didn't happen to them or anyone they knew. a kangaroo court run by barrack room lawyers. off to work in the real world now. enjoy the trial...

  49. Well said 09:08. Sadly your message is beyond those who need it most.

  50. No contribution on anything relevant form the Abbeyvistas as usual - just accusations, distractions, noises off and whataboutery.

    Not once has an Abbeyvista commented on what should be done to stop the school going down this hole again.


    Because they do not recognise they are in a hole.

  51. No 'hole' here, just a little wholesomeness. However, as usual, 16:55, you choose to either misunderstand or misrepresent the case against you. No one is in favour of poor safeguarding, child abuse, etc. Can’t you see that? What is challenged, thank God, is your vengeful, crude and often totally ill-informed mode of attack!

  52. Cardinal Hume was involved in all this directly and during Pope John Paul II s visit was doing all kinds of cover ups at a political level. fact
    Father kevin and father lawrence soper very much enjoyed their visit to Einsideln in 1981.
    lots of shower watching to be had there. My personal experience of switzerland is that it is utterly lawless, but then again I would have had a very different experience of the place to most travellers there courtesy of the OSB

  53. utterly lawless? you must have missed the history lessons then. the third reich based their whole philosophy on sweizedutch. oh you sad sad little people... come to terms with your inherent homosexuality and set yourselves free......