Friday, 8 July 2011

Pearce and Maestri trial - day 2

As a precaution, this article was removed after reference was made to it by the defence at the trial. I decided that although the judge took no action, I didn't want there to be be any possibility of a mistrial being caused by the blog, even though the jurors had been specifically enjoined not to look for details of the case on the Internet. It is now being restored in its original form.

The jury were told that they would be shown a video of the victim telling police officers about the offences that Pearce and Maestri had allegedly committed against him. They were told that the victim would be appearing in court in person but would be shielded by partitioning.

The video equipment and the partitioning were set up and then the prosecution outlined the allegations that the victim would be making in the video.

The jury watched the video (it lasted for about an hour), after which Maestri's barrister was given the opportunity to question the victim.

Unsurprisingly he tried to find daylight in the evidence provided. Days, dates, differences in what was said. “Did you have friends at school?’ ‘Why did you not confide in them about the abuse?’. There were detailed questions about precisely when the abuse happened, the barrister seemed keen to get the victim to commit to certain months, but it was clear the victim could not remember specific dates.

Maestri's barrister asked whether the victim was motivated by a desire for financial compensation. The victim replied that although he was aware that others had been awarded compensation, he was not looking for money.

The barrister asked for details about the beatings that Maestri had given the victim:

  • How many times had he been beaten?
  • What clothing had he had to remove?
  • Was the door locked?
  • What was he beaten with?
  • What was the temperature in the room?
  • Was there central heating?
  • Was anyone else present in the room?
The victim answered all of the questions and said that he believed Maestri had been masturbating while he beat him.

There were questions about the tea parties to which the victim and other boys were invited by Maestri. It seems that on these occasions the victim and Maestri were never alone together.

The barrister noted that the victim now made a living as a lifestyle counsellor and asked him if he had ever studied psychology. The victim said that he had.

Repeated mention was made of this blog, emails to me, and the report of the Times in April 2010.

The victim said that in spite of achieving good O-level results he decided not to go into St. Benedict's sixth form. His form master was surprised that such a capable pupil didn't want to stay at the school and sent him to see Father Anthony Gee (the headmaster). When Father Anthony asked him why he was leaving, he told him about Pearce and Maestri. Father Anthony became very angry and said that his stories were untrue and malicious. He threatened to blacken the names of the boy's father and grandfather if he repeated his allegations. The interview had ended with the victim and the headmaster shouting at each other.

The victim said that he was very fond of his father and grandfather and so he never told them anything about it. His grandfather is now dead.

The case resumes at 10.15 on Friday.


  1. Will Anthony Gee be called?

  2. I hope that Anthony Gee is called to be questioned. It again highlights the cloak of deceit that covers anything to do with sexual abuse at the school. It is as if they already know the problem, but it is merely how it is managed so as to diminish the fallout.

  3. interesting.

    I am no fan of either of the accused. I was beaten by both. I know the buildings involved and find the suggestion of masturbation a little surprising. I think you would know or you wouldn't. Beatings didn't go on for ages in my experience.

    I am no barrister but it would also require one hand to beat and another to perform self-gratification. Sounds unlikely to me.

    Fr Anthony struck me as basically a good man (he later left the priesthood and married). Surprised that he would blatantly cover up (but of course it is possible).

    The previous post says that it highlights the cloak of deceit etc....agreed - if it is factually correct of course.

    Incidentally I was there around the time of the alleged incidents so have some knowledge. Of course I may just have been lucky.

  4. So 08:39 Anthony Gee was there to tell it as it is. What did you make of it?

  5. Wake up.....the trial is over