A leading Catholic school has been condemned for a "sadistic and predatory" atmosphere with a culture of excessive corporal punishment, according to a report published today. In many cases, physical abuse was used as a platform for sexual gratification and a means by which to instigate sexual abuse. He has damaged me for life and I am afraid that that damage will never go away. Prolific abusers like Soper and David Pearce were senior figures at the school and Abbey, making reporting more difficult for both victims and staff.
New reports of sexual abuse rock Benedictine abbey schools in England
Catholic school condemned for 'sadistic and predatory' sex abuse
Yeo, who stood down as president of the Benedictines in , told the inquiry he did not pass his notes on to the police because Pearce had already been jailed and that he did not know if they had any evidential value. Jonathan West , the father of a former pupil, who was instrumental in raising concerns, said repeated failure to investigate abuse at the school highlighted the need for mandatory reporting, which would require all staff working with children to report concerns about the welfare of a child to the local authority. And second, no head teacher is going to risk being prosecuted for suppressing a report of somebody else abusing. These two factors will make it extremely dangerous for abusers to operate in schools. Abuse will be prevented as a result. The inquiry has heard that there were numerous warning signs which should have triggered intervention. Ravenscroft told the inquiry in a statement now published on its website that there were also rumours about Abbot Laurence Soper — who was convicted in of 19 charges of rape and other sexual offences against 10 boys at the school.
Sexual abuse scandal in the English Benedictine Congregation
The leader of the Benedictines in England has again expressed regret over clerical sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. His remarks came just weeks after a report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse was severely critical of monks from two other Benedictine abbeys — Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire and Downside Abbey in Somerset — for the abuse of children and for failing to deal adequately with the perpetrators. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.
The sexual abuse scandal in the English Benedictine Congregation was a significant episode in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United Kingdom. In April , civil damages were awarded jointly against Dom David Pearce, a former head of the junior school at St Benedict's School, Ealing , and Ealing Abbey in the High Court in relation to an alleged assault by Dom Pearce on a pupil while teaching at the school in the s, although criminal charges were dropped. The counts related to incidents before and after , when the law was changed to create an offence of sexual touching. The conduct of the Ealing monastic community, as trustee of the St. Benedict's Trust, was examined by the Charity Commission , which found that it had failed to take adequate measures to protect beneficiaries of the charity from Dom Pearce.