Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Pre-trial hearing

Yesterday Father David Pearce and John Maestri appeared in Isleworth Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing.

Each defendant was charged with 3 counts of indecent assault against a boy aged under 16. All the charges related to incidents over a period of some years up to 1979. All 6 charges involved the same alleged victim (who can't be named for legal reasons, though I would have no intention of naming him anyway). They both pleaded not guilty to all changes.

The trial has been set to start on 4th July, and is expected to run for 4 days.


  1. something to look forward to then...

  2. For whom 11.02?

  3. for all those who seem to delight in the vengance they seek through their bile and vitriol on this blog...
    justice should be done but here, it seems, all are guilty until/unless proved innocent...

  4. Yup, it’s the Law of the Wild West where, whenever possible, lynch mobs rule.

  5. But there - with those very comments you display all that you do not understand about this site and the subject.

    You are a lost cause. No amount of exchange would change your opinion - so it's best you leave here and find another site to irritate.

  6. you are right. i have done all i can for you and your kind and i leave you, no doubt holding the shield of virtue and the sword of truth........
    farewell and may your pious pomposity be a source of solace to you in your embitered and myopic world...............

  7. An angry and abusive man. Heyho.

  8. My dears, whoever he is, he has some very good points. Points you desperately need to learn. Pity he has gone. Hey nonny nonny. But have no fear, others are still here!

  9. How these guys can make anyone angry, I really don't know? What they have to say is generally so fatuous as to be laughable. That's why opposing the likes of 16:34 is such huge fun!

  10. Indeed 17.30 and one who sounded just like Jonathan Aitken

    No original lines either.

  11. Jonathan what an interesting aside.

    No one knows more about unoriginal lines than you of course.

  12. gone but not forgotten i see!
    "i'll be back!"

  13. Oh there you go again 18.28 - thinking someone is Jonathan because they know a bit of HTML.

    Wrong again.

    You've suggested I was JW in the past - encore une fois! Plus ca change.

  14. Why is so much vitriol being directed at a blog that is trying to bring to light decades of child abuse? Maybe I'm being naive but this just seems weird to me. I can't imagine why this should be controversial.

  15. What you say, 20:58, is strikingly similar to Mr West and, as you admit, your presentation represents the sincerest form of flattery.

    A blog 'directed at child abuse' should, as you rightly comment 21:04, not be cause for much controversy. However, if you look a little more carefully, you'll see that 'child abuse' is not the issue at stake. For instance, look at the sentiments expressed @ 1 February 2011 00:08 which, though perhaps a little extreme, are in no way unrepresentative of the kind of thing round which the blog’s actual ‘controversy’ revolves.

  16. The Abbeyvistas are all (1) very angry - anyone got any ideas why?

  17. But will they be praying their children will be left unabused by members of the St Benedict's staff 21.50?

    And will they be praying that the school starts operating a policy which commits to reporting, belatedly albeit, all allegations of abuse to the LADO in keeping with the protocols of the ESCB and LSCB?

    Will they be praying that future children at St Benedict's have a happy life and untroubled time at the setting, unlike so many former pupils?

    You've nothing to be proud of at that place.
    Yet you are so dependent upon it that all this criticism terrifies you. But still you woul never report an abusive colleague - would you?

  18. The church sex abuse scandal unravelling at Roman Catholic-run schools and institutions across Europe has reached Switzerland, where senior clergy admitted yesterday that 60 cases were under investigation.

    Abbot Martin Werlen, of the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln, said reports of abuse had been submitted to the Swiss church authorities in the wake of the disclosures in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Poland and Holland.

    I missed this report - but there we are.

    There are so many cases of sexual abuse from the Benedictines because its a well established paedophile network with the perpetrators increasingly being reported.

    Well done the victims.

  19. .
    Father Dermot Power steps down at St Mary's School - Ascot.

    The comments of the Headmistress are immediately prejudicing the reason for the decision. It was that long ago a discount applies to the allegation

    Well done Mary, aren't you the bright one.

  20. The teacher who was suspended recently is back working after a so- called full investigation. The parents have been told he has communication problems. So now speaking inappropriately to young vulnerable girls, winding them up and asking them what they get up to with their boyfriends and making rude sexual innuendos is the same as having communication problems. Well I hope the parents revolt. It is staggering that he can be allowed back.

  21. Quixote is still battling with windmills, we see!
    Anger? Terror? Where on earth do you perceive these things? Corrections can be made, errors pointed out not because of anger or terror. The above postings contain a mass of assumptions, all of them wrong. Has anyone on this blog, actually praised St Benedict's? Has anyone said that things are fine there and nothing needs to be done to improve the situation? Has anyone offered a word of criticism against those, and they seem to imagine they’re some kind of special group, who uphold the rights and dignity of children? Has anyone in any way, no matter how timorously, denounced proposals, nearly all from Mr West, for tightening up the safeguarding policy of St Benedict's? The answer to each of these questions is a resounding NO. So where is all this support for the status quo? Where is all this fear that St Benedict’s might be attacked? Where are all those supposed cries of outrage that two or three men are up in court? Where, in short, are these voices that are trying to stifle legitimate and constructive criticism? Please, grow up and address real issues rather than the constructs of your own fantasies.

  22. It would seem to this blogger that what is being sought here is vengance, not justice. The level of anger precludes rational debate. There is no "too and fro" of argument, just a digging-in on both sides.
    Surely we can all agree that those who have done wrong should be held to account and the institution in question should show viable workable policies that ensure that abuse will not happen again now, nor in the future.
    Otherwise this "discussion" is turning into a lynch mob on one side and a sneering match on the other.
    I would bet that none of the annonymous people here would all sit in a room with each other and have a rational debate. It is far easier to vent one's spleen in the dark of a room in front of a PC/laptop.

  23. Jonathan, thank you for providing this update. And thank you for the work you do in trying to make St Benedict's apply current Child Protection standards in their own policy. I can't think of one good reason why they continually resist doing so. But perhaps the flaw is that I'm looking for any *good* in their reasons.

    But I digress. Thank you for the work you do in trying to ensure any further paedophile activity at St Benedict's can no longer be actively ignored, as their previous and current policies allow.

    And re: the troll at 11.18

    here, it seems, all are guilty until/unless proved innocent...

    Dear Abbey Troll: Re-read Jonathan's original post; it is clear there is zero substantiation for your comment. Once again, the bile, vitriol and false accusation is your own.

    for all those who seem to delight in the vengance they seek through their bile and vitriol on this blog..

  24. I'd venture to say that allowing oneself to feel some old-fashioned righteous anger after years of being in denial and bottling up the unpleasant memories, or trying to see the abuse one suffered as something that really didn't do much harm, is understandable and quite justified.

    I would also say, as someone with plenty of reason to feel rage, that the fact that the abbey hasn't been burned down around its denizens indicates a certain degree of self-control on our collective parts.

    In response to the Troll and his absolutist nonsense, I remember several teachers and one or two monks who were very good men indeed. One of the monks in question tried to protect boys from the terrible bullying that went on, often carried out by the coteries of boys around a particular monk and a particular senior lay teacher. It didn't do his career much good, of course.

  25. Teachers speaking out, or acting morally in such settings normally do not last and therein lies the big problem.

    When evil in these settings exists, it usually triumphs.

  26. Thank you for the work you do in trying to make St Benedict's apply current Child Protection standards in their own policy. I can't think of one good reason why they continually resist doing so. But perhaps the flaw is that I'm looking for any *good* in their reasons.

    2 February 2011 10:44

    The flaw is to look only to St Benedict's for the answer. The awful truth is much bigger. Letters have been surfacing of late to reveal that truth: The feigning of reform is institutionalised.

    Child-abuse activists in Ireland said the 1997 letter demonstrates that the protection of pedophile priests from criminal investigation was not only sanctioned by Vatican leaders but ordered by them.

    "The letter is of huge international significance, because it shows that the Vatican's intention is to prevent reporting of abuse to criminal authorities. And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere" said Colm O'Gorman, director of the Irish chapter of human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

    Today, the Vatican's child-protection policies remain in legal limbo.

    The Vatican does advise bishops worldwide to report crimes to police – in a legally nonbinding guide on its website. This recourse is omitted from the official legal advice provided by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and updated last summer. That powerful policymaking body continues to stress the secrecy of canon law.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


    More here:


  27. Given that the last 2 comments I tried to post here were rejected I see little point to continuing any contributions as it appears a waste of effort. Shame as it was this blog that lead me to cintacting the police in regards to my experiances.

  28. I'm being extremely careful to ensure that no comments are published which could possibly prejudice the forthcoming trial of Pearce and Maestri.

    Obviously I can't publicly provide details of why this or that comment is rejected, since that would involve in essence saying what the comment contained.

    If you would like to email me and say which comments you made, then I would be happy to explain what it was about them which prevented me from being able to publish. Then you could comment again with the problematical bits removed or amended. My email address is jonathanwest22@googlemail.com.