According to the police, the circumstances of John Maestri's departure from the school in 1984 were as follows: A parent made a complaint to Fr Francis Rossiter, who was Abbot at the time, concerning alleged sexual abuse by John Maestri. Rossiter arranged for John Maestri to leave the school "on health grounds".
This is a classic case of what is known as a "covert departure". The parents are not informed of the true reason for the departure, there's no investigation to find out whether there are any other victims. The authorities are not informed - even in 1984, it was against the law to make an arrangement like this and not report the circumstances of the departure to the Teacher Misconduct Section of the Department of Education.
And worse still, we know from his own evidence in court that John Maestri went on to teach elsewhere, at a school in Berkshire. I find it hard to believe that he was not given a reference by St. Benedict's. I sincerely hope that Maestri did not abuse at the school in Berkshire. If he did, then a large part of the responsibility would lie squarely on Rossiter's shoulders.
Had the Teacher Misconduct Section of the DoE been informed, it would have been their duty to decide whether Maestri should have been placed on List 99, the list of those considered unfit to work with children. It is reasonable to think that Maestri almost certainly would have been placed on List 99 had the proper report been made. In that case, reference or no reference, Maestri would have been unable to obtain another teaching post anywhere in the UK.
Fr Francis Rossiter remained Abbot until 1991. He has remained a Trustee of Ealing Abbey (and therefore of the school) until his retirement from that post earlier this year. I have no doubt that even in old age he continues to wield considerable influence within Ealing Abbey.
I understand from Lord Carlile that his report will be published "very soon". It will be interesting to find out whether any mention is made of this incident, and if so, the circumstances under which Lord Carlile was made aware of it.
The ISI Supplementary Report's Recommendation 1 is as follows.
Ensure that any staff or members of the religious community live away from the school, if they are subject to allegations of misconduct related to safeguarding or convicted of wrongdoing..I think that arranging the covert departure of an abusive teacher counts as "misconduct related to safeguarding". It is for Abbot Martin Shipperlee to decide the proper course of action.