The Tip Of The Iceberg

As I write, the St Ambrose College in Altrincham’s abuse allegations are multipling as fast as Jimmy Savile’s did a few weeks ago.  The allegations began a couple of weeks ago against a former teacher at the school, a 63 year old Christian Brother, by an ex-pupil.  Greater Manchester police arrested him and bailed him to appear in court on March 12th next year.  Since then former pupils by the van load are now coming forward talking of further abuses in the school by this man and other members of the staff of the school.  The police force have now widened the scope of their investigation and are now looking at allegations of abuse from the early 1960s to the present day.

It reminds me so much of St Bede’s College in Whalley Range in Manchester, a close neighbour of St Ambrose’s and as I said in my blog posting regarding St William’s School in York about 18 months ago, you can take any school anywhere run by an independent Catholic order, like Ambrose’s is, or priests of a Catholic Diocese, like St Bede’s was and you start digging, incidents of sexual abuse will immediately rise to the surface, as though sexual abuse and clerics are hand in hand, synonymous even.  As an American priest of world renown in this field, Fr Tom Doyle, said to me over a year ago when I started down this legal path of exposing St Bede’s history of sexual abuse of pupils, “Paul, what you are talking about is massive but it is only the tip of the iceberg.  A lot more will come out” and how right he was and so he should be, he has suffered 35 years of this climate in the USA.

At St Bede’s, we now have evidence to prove sexual abuse by any number of clerics over more than 50 years.  Our earliest allegation is in 1951 and it went on continually for more than 50 years to my knowledge, probably longer.  A television film maker specialising in worldwide pupil sexual abuse told me recently that once abuse starts in an educational establishment, it is almost impossible to wipe out.  It is like a cancer, the longer it lies insitu, the more malignant it does become.

I started off nearly three years ago naively thinking that only one boy had been abused at Bede’s, a friend of mine Michael, by only one man, Monsignor Thomas Duggan, with as it happens tragic results.  I now know that dozens and dozens of boys were molested by several clerics over all this period.  As one died or got too old another took up the cudgel, with at any one time two, three, four and more staff were sexually assaulting pupils at the school.  And what makes me laugh is that the Diocese of Salford and their insurance companies are denying it ever happened even after the Bishop of Salford, Terence Brain, admitted abuse happened to the Manchester Evening News on 15th March 2011.

Why they and their insurance people keep throwing money at these type of stupid defences of the indefensible is anybody’s guess.  Obviously the insurance companies have money to burn and the Catholic Church has a name and position to lose, which it seems it does not mind doing as it will not scatter many of the sheep that follow it.  Certainly the Church has no heed for the victims of all this abuse, it has no heed at all on the thousands of wasted lives caused by this harm done.

Their sin, this sin of disregard for victims of their abuse will be the biggest corporate cock-up in the world’s history and eventually could and certainly has the propensity to destroy the physical entity known as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Nothing will give me greater pleasure than to see these harlequins of clerics perish.  The good for not standing up to the evil in their midst and the bad for being that evil.

PS.  I wrote this piece over 18 months ago and a journalist  working on the case since then has just contacted me.  His name is David Nolan and as he says he has a vested interest in the case as he was at Ambrose’s from 1972-1981 and was taught by Morris.  He is asking anybody with information on Morris and St Ambrose to contact him on . Here is what he sent me:

“Lads. No nicknames or pseudonyms for me… My name is David Nolan and I was at Ambrose from the prep in 72 to leaving in the 5th year in 81. I’ve also been a journalist for 33 years and have put a great deal of time into looking into the school. I have been in court most days. If you’ve been to court, you might have seen me. The achingly handsome man in a tee shirt and waistcoat. Well, you needed a sense of humour to survive at Ambrose….
I have two requests: anyone who can help me with something I am preparing, who can add their voice to mine, please contact me at  ASAP.
Secondly, we are at a crucial time. Please reign in the posts, even the stuff you believe to be in the public domain, reign it in.The cumulative effect of the chatter is attracting attention. For all our sakes, stay low for a little longer. Cheers. We are nearly there.”



452 thoughts on “The Tip Of The Iceberg

  1. Paul, can you tell us the actual number of priests at St Bede’s for whom you have reasonably solid evidence (i.e. not just vague suspicion) that they were involved in serious abuse (i.e. not just trivial matters or mildly inappropriate behaviour)? Your phrase “any number of” is not very enlightening. I’m not asking for names, just a number.

    1. Linda, I would love to blurt it out over the airwaves or whatever this media is called but I am afraid it is all sub judice.

  2. St Ambrose should face up to its grubby past. There appears to be no references at all on their website about this major investigation. Even more concerning, Holy Angels Church website, where Deacon Alan Morris was a preacher, even has a photo large as life introducing him, and dig even deeper into their website, photos of him with children.


  3. Interesting stuff. I went to St Philips next to Birmingham Oratory, one of the ‘holy of holies’ of English Catholicism. When Friends Re-United started up, it was crazy, but I guess most of those lads were either paid off or shut up by libel notices. As Manchester, so Birmingham. I wanted to drop a hydrogen bomb on the Oratory about this in 2010 when a Pope Gregory issued the ultimate provocation by daring to parade around my old skook playground. But I was nixed by ‘dark forces’. Doubt that story will ever now be told, but it’s still ‘out there’ in fragments, hidden under ‘oldest comments’. I guess the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad were just too crazy and ruthless, unlike the kittens in Manchester. Brum Catholic coppers didn’t pussyfoot around if anyone tried to get ‘justice’. I’ve heard terrible tales, bet the same happened to folk in Manchester. Great website, Paul.

    1. Andrew,
      Your story could still be told if you and a few like minded people got together, I did it on my own and it was a long old hard emotional slog but at least now it is nearing fruition. If you have stories to talk about regarding abuse contact me and I might be able to help. At least I have walked the walk. My e-mail is at least that will keep it all private and anonymous for the time being.

  4. Just a minor point of detail. The person arrested and bailed isn’t a Christian brother. He is now the Deacon (at Holy Angels), which isn’t the same thing as a Christian Brother. More a lay preacher and able to fill in duties for dwindling number of Catholic priests. He wasn’t even that when he was employed by St Ambrose, or at least not in the early 80s.

    1. Thanks Bill for setting the facts straight, I got my information I am certain from the main stream media who sometimes get their facts right but not all the time.

  5. Hi Paul. I was just wondering where you have heard of present day allegations? and if by this you mean abuse of current pupils? The school have, apparently delibrately, misled the public in claiming any links Morris has with them are purely historical. He still had strong links to the school, and access to its pupils, through his role with Holy Angels church. A cursory google search shows he spoke at an event hosted by the prep school as recently as Autumn 2011. Doesn’t sound like they’re exactly tackling this head on. To my absolute bewilderment, my nephew is still being sent to this school later in the year; I wouldn’t be in anyway shocked or surprised if evidence of contemporary abuse exists. Are you hearing clear and reliable reports?

    1. Rob,
      This piece was written three months ago and was stuff I read in the media. my beef is not against St Ambrose, I have never seen the school but against all schools that do not have correct safeguarding and in particular St Bede’s College which I know a fair bit about. Any school, especially single sex schools with a religious bent are suspect. Take your pick and with a little questioning the secrets start tumbling out.

  6. Hi,

    I was at St Ambrose for a long time and I have already said my piece to the police. Lets just say they culprit (s) will be punished accordingly albiet they will start with one and then go after the rest of them. May God forgive them for what they have done albeit I doubt the other prisoners will.

    You may find that the same people from different schools were all involved and grew within their own circles as groups messing around with kids.

  7. As regards St Ambrose, I find it worrying that a clear pattern of denial by the Church seems to pervade this and other cases. Now the police (no doubt soon to be followed by the lawyers) are getting involved, someone higher up has clearly made the decision to attempt to call the victims’ bluff (an unfortunate choice of words),stand the ground and deny everything.

    I suspect the Catholic Church in the UK has the one worry that it will go the way of the one in the US. The main fear is not one of being found complicit in abuse – these people have never had, nor ever will have, any conscience as to the terrible pain inflicted on the victims, or their responsibility for it.

    It’s more simple than that. The greatest fear is the danger that punitive damages will be awarded against them, resulting in the financial bankruptcy of the Church. Someone in the legal system should make it clear to them that if they continue to deny in a case of obvious abuse, then lose it, the level of damages should be set at a much higher level to reflect this.

    Perhaps someone in the Church may have what was once called A Christian Conscience. I’m not holding my breath…..

  8. I know Alan Morris personally and believe all of the allegations against him to be without any foundation. The sad thing is that sites like yours act as judge and jury and hide behind repeating unethical media reporting to disguise the fact that you are treating someone as guilty before any proof has been offered. The police are also plainly at fault for cosying up to the press and divulging information that ought to remain confidential until a prosecution takes place. Remember that poor chap, the landlord, who was accused by the Daily Mail and others of murder when he was completely innocent. Dozens of his former pupils came along and claimed he was ‘creepy’ etc etc.
    The newspapers subsequently had to pay up for libel. What will you do if this case is dropped for lack of evidence?

    1. Mr Shelley,
      All I have done is reported what I have read in the newspapers about St Ambrose. I have not mentioned Morris or in fact the man alleged to have committed said crime, so calm down. Now if you want to talk about St Bede’s that is a different matter, I have a list of witnesses as long as your arm and eventually this case will go to court.

    2. Well that aged well. Has the penny dropped yet? Or do you still believe this ‘holy’ man to be innocent? The Catholic Church is a vile, twisted cult.

  9. Mr Shelley, I was a pupil at St Ambrose between 1983 and 1988 and I can wholeheartedly believe the accusations against Mr Morris. He used to take a great deal of care and delight in handing out his over the top ritualistic physical punishments to us and was without a doubt a very sick individual and a bully. In fact he is one of the most obnoxious people I have ever met in my life.

  10. Mr Shelley
    I am an ex St Ambrose pupil, who suffered at the hands of Morris. Even with the passage of 25 years a memory of this mans ritualistic violence towards young children is as vivid were it yesterday.
    Justice will pevail.
    Enough said.

  11. I was a pupil at st ambrose 87-94. It wasn’t just Alan Morris. John Chadwick, Sam wilkinson, to name just 2 others. All well dodgy. But to be frank, I thought it was normal. Parents of friends from other schools used to hear me recounting tales of the above mentioned and would tell me to stop telling lies!

    Glad it’s all being taken seriously at last.

    Any news on Alan Morris? I notice holy angels website has edited him out completely

  12. During the time these “offenses” occurred, corporal punishment was a legal standard practice at many schools. However, there was absolutely nothing which would constitute sexual abuse. How can teachers now be retrospectively punished for what was a legal form of punishment at the time?

    1. I do not know what went on at St Ambrose but at Bede’s I am not talking about corporal punishment but sexual abuse and that was never legal standard practice. To make it clear I am talking about oral and anal rape of 11 and 12 year old boys.

  13. So if you do not know what went on at St Ambrose, why start a blog post about it and then allow ex teachers to be named, even after moderation? As an ex Ambrose student, I am completely unaware of anything other than corporal punishment, which was legal in private schools until 1999.

  14. St Ambrose was not a private school, despite its attempts to appear as one.
    I like many others attended it as per any other state school on passing the Eleven Plus exam as well as the entrance exam.

  15. I don’t believe in the posters here ‘naming’ other members of staff without foundation, let us stick to the facts, Alan Morris has been charged with 47 offences and a trial has been deemed necessary because of his denials. Now st ambrose has expressed shock, I sincerely doubt this to be true, the locals have known of this for months. In the meanwhile deacon Morris has continued to work at holy angels, look at their website, still exclaiming his position in the church which plays a daily part of st ambrose curriculum. I particularly draw your attention to the ambrose disclaimer ’20 years since Alan has worked at the college’, pardon me but Alan has continued his everyday activity at holy angels in those 20years, holy angels being the church at the main entrance to the college which hosts many of their religious activities. I speak from experience, they are interconnected, to say otherwise is a complete lie. I would suggest that st ambrose has employed Alan morris for the 20 yr duration indirectly and to suggest otherwise is a blatant lie on the colleges behalf, I do not believe that this would stand up with any locals who have had boys at the school over this period. Now let’s be honest, the college is trying to distance themselves from him because it’s going public, I personally would have expected more from ambrose, more sweeping under the carpet from the establishment, I say heads should roll if the charges are found to be true. Somebody got rid of him from the college 20 years ago but decided he was still ok to have everyday contact with the boys. I want to know why.

  16. Finally I would say that the trial will deem Morris innocent or guilty and this decision should be respected, however the public should be made aware of the circumstances surrounding his departure from his teaching post full time, the use of him in a teaching capacity part-time and the use of him in religious teaching activities through the church in the 20yr period. Also the circumstances surrounding his continued post at the church up to 2013. Quite simply, since the accusations became known, why was he continued in his position at holy angels for the duration. Most public figures would have been on leave.

  17. His photo was on the holy angels website last time I looked which was about two months ago , its gone now and the press reported he had been suspended from december last year

  18. By reading the link above, it is wholly inappropriate for St Ambrose to distance itself from all of this by suggesting Morris has had nothing to do with the school in 20 years.

  19. Alan Morris has not been present at Holy Angels for months. I go to St Vincent’s, usually, but occasionally to Holy Angels and he hasn’t been there for a long while. Whether he was suspended from his duties or took a less formal leave of absence, I do not know.

    1. Sprout’s comment has been editorily censored so has not to alarm the good people of Trafford and the Shrewsbury Diocese.

      1. Protect the diocese? The good name of the the diocese of Shrewsbury?
        I returned to England after thirty years as far away from my childhood as possible. I attended At. Ambrose from 1966 – 1971. I was raped by B. Ignatius Baylor, a culmination of sadomasochistic abuse over a number of years. I was 10 when he raped me. I was targeted repeatedly by prep staff at Ambrose. The kind of corporal and mental abuse meted out at that place was not a reflection of wider society at the time. With the exception of one woman teacher at the prep school, the rest were complicit in the abuse of young children. My parents took up the abuse perpetrated against me with senior staff at the time, including the headmaster, Gleeson, and were assured that Baylor would be retired that summer to Ireland. He was not. He was waiting for me along with other of his cohorts when I returned to school after the summer holidays.
        The school tried to expel me before he 11+. My father pushed back. I did not know how involved he had become in trying to counter targeted abuse against his son until the year of his death in 2016.
        I made the first attempt on my life aged 12.
        I responded to a request by the journalist quoted on this site to come forward and report my experiences to a female police officer at Altrincham police station. I went ahead, and against my better judgement, gave an entirely unplanned, on my side, video statement detailing the abuse I suffered at Ambrose, and the fact that Baylor had been brought to the attention of the school authorities. I was informed after the interview that most people in my situation “put things in a box and get on with their lives”. I had a serious breakdown a month later.
        People generally do not recover confidence in their name, their self, or mental health after years of abuse at a young age. When that abuse is compounded by systemic coverups by a diocese that should have been held to account but never has been, and a police interview in late life, the purpose of which in retrospect appears to be no more than a pre-retirement exercise in balancing the books, with not even a victim support ref. provided, the end effect is predictable. Panic made manifest.
        Baylor emphatically was not the only abuser at Ambrose in the years I was there. There was a PE instructor in the senior school who had a prediction for young boys backsides, and a drama teacher with a prediction for fondling young boys. The Diocese of Shrewsbury should have been the subject of legal action for putting their image and interests by protecting those under their auspices who perpetrated crimes against humanity. I am a human; one who has lived life in a state of anxiety, depression and chronic insecurity.

        1. Ewan, Thanks for your story of abuse but you are slightly behind the door with this case against the school. It all happened 10 years ago but I realise you were probably out of the country and missed out but your story does indicate that abuse was pandemic at the school. It was the same at Bede’s were I went because the case failed as the British legal system allows for the fact that sexual abuse on staff on pupils was kind of allowed but time is the obvious defence.

  20. I suspect B&Q will be selling a length of rope and wobbly chair to a resident of Hale very soon, I don’t think it will go to trial. Morris taught me from 77 to 80. Thankfully i was not on his radar.


    1. The police do not take these matters lightly. They must have plenty of evidence backed up by coroborating witness testimony. If I was a betting man……

  22. Hang on Margaret. I know the parish well and can tell you there were adults there, good honest true Christians who would not allow that man into their homes. I went to the school in questions and whilst Morris was certainly deeply deeply unpopular he also made children and adults extremely uncomfortable in his presence. Those are not crimes, though I have little doubt about the trial outcome, but the laughingly called ‘christian’ brothers are responsible and accountable for their lamentable control, management and administration of that school. They are liable, they must not be allowed to wring their hands in public and cry. They need to be held responsible in the face of the law.

    There are teachers names on here that I recall only too well. Does anybody recall the mass humiliation of boys ion the prep school by one brother who made an entire class line up in the playground for each boy to get a cricket bat smacked on the backside with the rest of the boys watching. The offence? Playing football with a tennis ball.

  23. we should let the jury decide that margaret, twenty nine former pupils and 47 offences are large numbers

  24. To Margaret and any doubters

    Then again, remember Jimmy Savile never interfered with minors, did he? And let’s also admit he, unlike, Mr Morris, appears to have been popular most of the time. Don’t confuse public and private personas – they’re often quite different – see above in this paragraph for confirmation. Also just because ‘Deacon’ Morris was unpopular doesn’t make him innocent either.

    No, Margaret, unlike Mr Savile, Mr Morris is not dead and can appear in court, August 15, according to last night’s MEN. Unfortunately there are at least 29 ex-pupils who will disagree with you, you were not present during these alleged offences and are therefore in no position to comment. Let’s see what the court case brings. I wonder if another Damascene conversion is on the cards, a la Stuart Hall, from pleading innocent to pleading guilty (currently the judges have played the Joker on his prison sentence, a la It’s a Knockout, and doubled his sentence to 2 1/2 years – I bet he’s not laughing now).

    A pattern emerges – the school in Ealing where one of the ‘Brothers’ on bail for offences left for Italy and hasn’t been seen since, St Bede’s (my Alma Mater), where, for around 50 years, pederasts were able to operate with impunity, only one of whom, Nonce Billy Green, was convicted years after leaving said place, only recently let out after serving part of his 6 year sentence for admitting offences.

    It would appear the Diocese of Shrewsbury is about as effective at rooting out child abusers as its neighbour in Salford i.e. not very good at all.

    P. S. No need to shout in capitals – we’re not all mutt, you know…..

  25. Happy to help:

    You make some valid points here.
    It still does not add up though that the Church parish of Holy angels gave Morris such power even though at the time plenty in the local area had a fair idea of what his tendencies may or may not have been whilst at St Ambrose.
    Morris will be judged by 12 people good and true, and for that reason we cannot judge until they have delivered a verdict. I do however find the side stepping of all of this by the Diocese of Shrewsbury, and St Ambrose more and more distasteful with every press release they make.

    Will they accept responsibility if Morris is found guilty……?

    1. On matters of abuse the Catholic Church do not confront the situation but sidestep it. The only person I know except for a couple of bishops in Australia and the superior of the Capuchin Order in America, is Archbishop Dermot Martin of Dublin.

  26. Citizens – We must let justice prevail. I remember this bloke crying on 5live pleading with them to leave poor jimmy saville alone, then calling him back after the trial, he was unavailable. Morris was c*** there is no 2 ways about it as a teacher, he made you learn, he seriously got off on hitting kids (in the 70’s/80’s) when it was legal to do so, so retrospectively that is no crime. There are old boys with a score to settle but 29 victims. The investigating offices who is a sister of one my mates told me that she has interviewed people spanning 15 years of age from Aberdeen to Brighton. This is not like the Kevin Webster story (30 offences on 1 child and the testimony of 1 extremely bitter ex wife. It would mean a collusion of so many people, let justice commence…

  27. To all

    See the undoubted (if to some people, unwelcome) effect of publicity. This is the result of an article tucked well inside the pages of last night’s MEN. Just wait till the trial gets going and it moves to the front page…..

    The MEN, for all its sins, has given great publicity to all the abuse cases – Stuart Hall, Michael Le Vell, William Roache, St Ambrose’s, St Bede’s. They don’t mess about, they give it both barrels of the shotgun. When my old Alma Mater Bede’s was in the papers in April when most of the Board of Governors at Bede’s resigned prior to the pending court case, it was the most checked out story on their web-site.

    Who says there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Are all 29 witnesses separate liars? In view of Stuart Hall’s Joker doubling of sentence, Mr Morris might best be advised to keep counsel and not slate his accusers by calling them liars, or, if he’s convicted, he may go down for a longer sentence.

    It would appear from the last posting by Mr Lines that a conspiracy up there with Watergate has been enacted, unless, of course, heaven forbid as he suggests, the allegations are true……

  28. I know personally one of the abused victims. And I have witnessed the man doing things not conducive with the Christian brother ways. It drives me mad that the passage of time seems to dilute these crimes. Lets await the trial. Frankly, I’d be amazed if he is found innocent, but so sure am I of his guilt, I am happy to say to the nay sayers, ok – innocent until proven guilty. I have turned my back on the church directly because of my experiences at st.ambrose. I would love one day to return to the fold, but, only when the figure heads fully accept the wrong doings of those they blindly seek to protect.

  29. Sorry but I never said there was a conspiracy, please take that back. for the abundance of clarity with 29 victims coming forward with a range of 15+ years the length and breadth of the UK this is no conspiracy. This is going to be a very interesting and sad trial.

  30. John

    I am an ex- Ambrosian who suffered violence and victimisation from Morris, however thankfully no sexual abuse. When I found out he was made a Deacon at Holy Angels, it made me feel sick. Like yourself, that was THE point I gave up on being a Roman Catholic.
    It was a disgrace, complete disgrace, on the part of the Church and St Ambrose.

  31. To John Barton

    If St Bede’s in the next Diocese is anything to go by, you’re going to have a very long wait. History dictates the Catholic Church admits nothing.

    The same type of problem in the USA has all but bankrupted the Church there, following so many court cases involving abuse, especially in ones where it was proved the Authorities knew about abuse, but did absolutely nothing. Compensation awarded to victims there has come at a heavy cost to the Church and their insurers.

    Personally, I’d suggest things are not looking good for Mr Morris. It beggars belief that so many ex-pupils would get together and concoct such stories, no doubt the police have conducted a thorough investigation and feel there is a case to be heard.

    I await the court case with interest, likewise when the authorities at Bede’s end up in the dock. So far, the careers of Stuart Hall and others not yet being brought to trial are in tatters, the reputation of Jimmy Savile utterly shredded and the baying hounds of the Press are anxious for more heads to roll.

    I predict a conveyor belt of cases over the next few years of leading showbiz and public figures, but the cases involving the Catholic Church are in danger of becoming a side-show as the more publicly well-known alleged offenders are prosecuted. We must be careful to guard against this, keeping the general public aware of the less newsworthy cases, which I fear will include the ones regarding clerical abuse.

  32. To: Phil Lines

    If there is any misunderstanding here, my suggestion of a conspiracy was very much tongue-in-cheek, I apologise for this. See my reply to John Barton, above. Things are not looking good for Mr Morris, I’d suggest the weight of evidence being brought against him, especially from such varied sources, will need some explaining when the case comes to court.

    The most recent case of a serial abuser with a similar number of accusers was a Mr Stuart Hall – and we all know what happened to him. My heart doesn’t exactly bleed for him, currently in a cell in Category B prison at Preston, having had his derisory sentence doubled.

    It will be interesting to see what the defence has to say about these charges, on paper the prosecution case looks pretty strong, but Mr Lines or I are not likely to be on the jury. We can only hope if the man is found guilty he gets a stiffer sentence than Stuart Hall received.

    On that point we can certainly agree, I suggest.

  33. Paul, Stuart Hall had 13 victims and mr morris has 29 alleged victims so the numbers arent that similar.Ott Corporal punishment and sawn off cricket bats and big books going over heads were fairly common place at ambrose in the early 8os.


  34. I champion our judicial system of innocent until proven guilty. If he’s innocent, he’ll be exonerated. As a betting man, I’ll hedge my bets he’s guilty. My interest lies in what else he might reveal if cornered. He certainly wasn’t the only abuser. Some are dead; some still alive. The passage of time is no dilutant to their crimes

  35. I’d forgotten about the sawn off cricket bats! The worst I saw was physical punishment, that crossed the line to abuse. When blood is drawn…that’s physical abuse, and I saw that happen at St. Ambrose. Shameful.

  36. On a general point raised earlier. What if the prosecution offer the defence lawyer a deal. “look mate, if found guilty it’s 5 years, if you plead guilty, spare us the cost of the trial AND spare the witnesses several days of dreadful cross examination. So tell your client to dob in another culprit then we’ll recommend 2 years jail. ” it’s uncomfortable on 1 level but I wonder if it has merits especially when you think of cases when victims are under 13…

    1. Fair point Phil but rather chilling but it does expose the legal profession to being a shower of hucksters happy in their hunting ground of the market place.

      1. It is uncomfortable BUT for me there are 5 reasons why it is a strategy at least worthy of consideration apart from allowing a minor victory for both sides.
        1) The prosecution secure a guilty verdict, which I am sure (like me in sales) are targeted on.
        2) The defence get a reduced sentence so their brief will point to a 60% reduction in sentence handed down (again a victory for them).
        [ Human nature being people are motivated for success, barristers are interested in verdicts not justice… ]
        3) The victims / witnesses are spared the ordeal of public examination of their awful circumstances. [For me this is the winner].
        4) We get another perpetrator brought to justice (as you say when someone is cornered they are at their most vulnerable and may dob in someone else). Less police work required to interview the person dobbed in and ANY discount sentence is contingent on a verdict, difficult to implement but again worthy of consideration.
        5) Minor point if its £10k per day costs in a Magistrate Court what is the cost of a crown court plus legal fees, Dale Cregan’s trial cost £26 million and he pleaded guilty to murder of 2 police officers.

        There (appears) to be unlimited funds set aside for the legal system but f*** all for the NHS and education system. Shows the preponderance of lawyers in government. Win, lose or draw they get paid.

  37. To all:

    Plea-bargaining rears its ugly head, I see. However, I’m not against it per se, it does have the additional benefit that if the defendant pleads guilty, by default the victims will be able more quickly to claim damages in the civil courts, the only issue will be the level of compensation.

    I don’t think the issue of civil damages will concern Mr Morris, right now he is trying to rescue his already suspect reputation. I don’t think the cost of legal fees will bother him either, I suspect the Diocese will be stumping up for those, or am I wrong in assuming this?

    A nice long Crown Court case would not doubt suit the lawyers on both sides, if there is deemed to be sufficient evidence for a trial, there is only one person who will determine whether or not it actually takes place – Mr Morris. I sincerely hope that whatever the outcome, justice is delivered to the victims.

    1. More likely the Christian Brothers are picking up the tag. While we wait for the court to begin read my posting of todays date regarding another clerical paedophile. There are lots of them about.

  38. As St Ambrose stands today, what liabilities will it have (if any) in the event of Deacon Alan being convicted?

  39. To openminded I say just this

    The Diocese of Shrewsbury will almost certainly do its level best to deny liability or wrongdoing in the event of a guilty verdict, history would dictate this to be the case.

    The school, on the other hand, may try to follow the Diocese down the path of denial, but the no-doubt ensuing avalanche of civil cases for damages will almost certainly be successful, by default if Deacon Alan is found guilty.

    Anybody got a more definitive legal opinion? I seem to remember in the case of Bede’s that they had to settle out of court when the not-so-Rev Nonce Boy Billy Green was convicted, I’m not sure if all those cases have been settled yet. I don’t know if the Salford Diocese got dragged into the courtroom as well, others more in the know than me may be able to answer that question.

    Any comments please?

    P. S. Please look at today’s posting as to the current situation regarding Green, a very sort tale indeed.

    1. Paul,
      Any civil cases arising out of this breach of vicarious liability, if one is proven, will be covered by the Christian Brothers order. The diocese do not really have much to worry about. See the recent case of he school in York, St Thomas’s I think, the Diocese of Middlesborough and the Salesian Order.

  40. The Sale and Altrincham messenger has a report on today – Morris denied the charges, but here is the bit that intrigues me “…no objection to bail but he was ordered to stay away from prosecution witnesses”. I know next to nothing about the law but isn’t that just normal standard part of the process. Did the judge feel the necessity to a make specific mention of this?

  41. In response to the above:

    Not sure on how bail terms impact on going to a place of worship, however it could be argued that he has every right to continue going to Holy Angels as an innocent man. However, bearing in mind some of his fellow parishioners could well be witnesses, I guess the courts wanted to just clear that one up.

  42. The Shrewsbury Diocese said in a statement: “Such (alleged) offences are unrelated to his ministry as a deacon. In accordance with statutory safeguarding procedures, Deacon Morris remains withdrawn from active ministry at this time. We pray for all those involved in this matter.”

    Unbefuckinglievable. Why won’t the church ever condemn the misdemeanours of it’s flock? Yeah, yeah- I know he’s currently innocent. I cannot wait their response if he’s found guilty. Doubt a prayer is gonna do much

  43. Thats why the an RC priest goes no where near my kids. I am now a
    non catholic but a good Christian. RC stands for teflon cassocks, no responsibility, they bury their heads in their hoods, wash their hands, give safe havens for errant priests, lets move father / brother x to another parish or 3 years of prayer. I can see a class action law suit against the diocese, cb, sac. Why have all the present governors of Bede’s been advised to resign ?

  44. To John Barton

    Here we go again, the Church more worried about the alleged sinner than those he may have sinned against.

    If the man is convicted, let’s see what hollow words they can come up with to placate the victims. The only remedy, should he be convicted, is the courts and the civil cases for damages.

    Let’s see the Church pray its way out of that one, should the need arise. I’d argue in the meantime Mr Morris should keep well away from the church and school, for fear he may come into contact with prosecution witnesses. Also there may be a possibility someone might take the law into their own hands, so making oneself scarce would be the best option.

    Not long to go now for the next court appearance…..

  45. Very interesting my brother attended st ambrose he tragically died in 2000 but Alan Morris came up a lot in conversation he attended the school until the early 80s it all leaves me shell shocked the Catholic Church has been corrupt for years . My 4 other brothers went to Xaverian and I have to say there were some dodgy brothers and teachers there according to them

  46. It was either ambrose if you lived in alty area in the 80s and were catholic or failing secondary modern bth, wouldn’t have that problem now as bth is an outstanding school apparently

  47. Mr Morris was a good Chem teacher, whilst he was teaching. he will be found Guilty of his extra curriculum activities. SICK Bastard.

  48. He was due in court yesterday 15/8 in Central M/cr Crown Court, however I thought this was Day of Trial Not just a PI unless I read it wrong. I think he can thank his lucky stars that despite being August and normally slow news period we have the tragedy of Cairo, Athletics and the DLT arrest took up the news coverage so his case will be restricted to the Sale & Alty Messenger.

    1. Well Roy, I live in the west of Ireland and am not in instant contact. The people round Manchester should be able to find out but as you say it has gone suspiciously quiet.

  49. I remember Maynard from Ambrose.
    A nice guy from memory, and like myself quite possibly had a tough time in that shameful place.
    I was not aware he had Cerebral Palsy, and full respect to him for becoming what he is today (irrespective of your political allegiance).

  50. I would take issue with Scruffy on the assertion AM was a good chemistry teacher. I thought he was dreadful. To be fair, the standard of teaching was comically bad when I was there, so he might have seemed competent by comparison, but I think that’s being generous. My main memory of Ambrose teaching was doing dictation. I.e. Teach would read from a text book and kids would copy it all down in exercise books. Waste of a childhood, at best!! There were some nice people (Rory D and Barry the economics bloke), but the teaching ranged from average to criminally bad. True or false histroy exams, Christian brothers sent to Stoke for mysterious reasons, hit on backside with mini cricket bats…and that was just in the mornings!

  51. I don’t recall any dictation, it was generally a good school academically but some of the teachers were only interested in you if you were on a sports team or you came from the prep

  52. And I thought St Bede’s was somewhat dysfunctional! It seems the lunatics had definitely took over the asylum in the case of St Ambrose’s.

    I’d argue the main reason is because, by their very nature, Catholic schools seem to be far less open to their failings than the Church of England. Currently in the news today is our Catholic Cardinal in Scotland, being accused of suppressing instances of sexual abuse.

    Now there’s a surprise……not

  53. Well it’s a game of opinions, and possibly “methods” were different in your day Roy, but when I was there, Ambrose was a grammar school that had the pick of kids from wealthy families, whose parents were generally highly motivated for them to do well academically. But despite that fact, the O and A Level results, in my year at least, were diabolical. Given the social make up of the school, that the results were so bad was actually a remarkable achievement. By all accounts Loreto was no better in terms of teaching though there was a lot less abuse.

  54. Just been looking for an update and according to

    Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court 3 – T20130755
    Details: For Preliminary Hearing – Case Started – 10:03
    For Preliminary Hearing – Case to be listed for Trial on 19-May-2014 – 10:16

    So it might be a while before he gets the justice he deserves.

    In the ironic words of St Ambrose himself (if you believe all that claptrap), “In some causes silence is dangerous”. Hypocrites.

  55. I’ve just looked on the CourtServe list for Manchester today and he did indeed make an appearance at Minshull Street in Manchester this morning. If I’ve read it correctly then it was for a preliminary hearing and early guilty plea hearing.

  56. At Ambrose is not a school in Altrincham but in Hale Barns nearby. I went there before moving to De La Salle in Salford where there was much abuse, none of it AFAIK sexual. Alan Morris was a deacon at the Holy Angels church which is on the school grounds.

    I knew him when we were kids and he was a good lad.

  57. AM case management adjourned to next month when he will be asked to plea guilty or not. Trial date May 2014. Could we find out who is funding his defence, himself, holy angels, the diocese ? A retired teacher ex deacon could not afford a £50k defence and while he owns a house and a pension I doubt he qualifies for legal aid.

  58. Paul Taylor… and your point begs the questions 1) What were the school governors doing in the 70s / 80s? 2) What proff do we have NOW that all catholic schools are operating in a fully open manner?

  59. Sorry to everybody for not posting the recent comments quickly but I have been in Manchester this last week and I have only just returned but we are now up to date.

  60. To Happy to Help, answers as follows:-:-

    Question (1) – From the 50s onwards, ignoring, lying, obfuscating and downright denying that any abuse whatever had taken place. Then nonce Boy Fr Bill Green got 6 years recently (he’s out on parole now) once he admitted his offences at Bede’s and other locations, the case re Tommy Duggan and Bede’s is due in court shortly (he can’t appear, as he died in 1968).

    Question (2) – Since the status quo currently seems to be trying to be maintained by the Catholic Dioceses of Salford and Shrewsbury, absolutely no confidence whatever that any current (or more likely historic) cases of abuse will come to light via anything the Catholic Church does. Whistleblowers, step forward please.

    Please note as per last posting from Roy, delay is a tactic which seems to be used consistently in these cases, if they ever come to court.

  61. I was at St Ambrose until about 1980 and I’m not sure that I remember Alan Morris. I was taught by a chemistry teacher who liked a liquid lunch but I think he would have been older than Morris. There was quite a bit of physical punishment that would be considered assault now and there were a few teachers that we joked about them being interested in boys but in retrospect I wonder how much we were joking and how much was a bizarre acceptance that this was going on? I saw nor experienced nothing directly myself though.

  62. Just witnessed a valid point on that documentary educating yorkshire from the headmaster that school life was a rehersal for the real world , not sure that was the case for ambrose in the seventies and eightiesit was hardly full of thughs in fact far from it but the punishment rarely fitted the crime and was often ott

  63. Morris was at Ambrose when you were there Peter, but you were presumably “taught” by other members of the esteemed chemistry dept. Sounds like you’re describing Benny O’Regan, but maybe somebody else. I remember Morris being scathing about his colleagues’ abilities, which I found ironic, even then.

    You say you didn’t experience any abuse, but surely you must have seen the teacher getting children to bend over and whacking them with his “bottom slayer”??? Not to mention the peculiar practice of banning boys from wearing underpants on rugby field and gym….Presumably to get a deeper red when boys whacked on buttocks with pumps.

    1. I meant sexual abuse. Physical and mental abuse was such an everyday event it seemed normal. Was bottomslayer Sam Wilkinsons little cricket bat? I loved Biology so I was spared that delight. I remember the chemistry teacher I was talking about had a heavy strap that he loved to beat us across the palm with. I also remember Hallas and Knight loving slipering you on the arse at the drop of a hat. And I’m sure we all remember the teacher who seemed to like to watch us take showers?

  64. The chem teacher who enjoyed liquid lunches was Tommy O’Kane and the only experiment he knew was to notice the effect alcohol had on slurring his speech. The whisky nosed soak died recently. I remember asking Brother Rynne what was the Brother Gleeson trophy for and he said it was Victor Lodorum (overall champion) on sports day. Me being a cheeky tw@t (who knew Gleeson was released of his vows to marry Mrs Wildman whom he’d been secretly poking for a good few years) I suggested to Johnny Rynne that the Brother Gleeson trophy was awarded to the master who could be the fastest to chase the secretary around the running track. I can still see and hear the crack as the strap came down on my hand 3 times. I recall the s**t eating grin on his face showing his crooked brown teeth.

    We really need to find out who is paying for Morris’s defence, if it is the church or the diocese I’m putting flyers out on the pews to let them know their cash is funding his legal fees. If Kevin Websters legal bill as £200k then this trial with 29 witnesses is going to be double that and as a retired teacher on a deacons salary, he ain’t got that kind of dough.

    That would be the only reason to step foot inside the disgraceful poisonous church of rome.

  65. Not sure how what the odds of a jury finding him not guilty are but I can’t see him getting him anot guilty verdict with so many alleged offences and alleged victims

  66. To all seekers of justice:

    We won’t be told who is funding his defence, certainly not if it is either the Catholic Church or the order to which Morris belonged at the time of the offence. That’s the way they work.

    I know very little of this case, save what has been reported. However, the sheer number of
    witnesses appearing for the prosecution, unlike Michael le Vell’s recent case (only one alleged abuse victim), would seem to make the defence’s chances slim, to put it mildly. If the case does actually go to a full trial (it doesn’t exactly seem clear when this will be), I’d put Mr Morris’s chances of acquittal at considerably less than 50%.

    Perhaps the said expensive lawyer might engage in a guilty plea-bargain in order to get a reduced sentence, a la Stuart Hall. Otherwise, if found guilty, I predict a long stretch in jug,
    at least 5 years plus. This case is similar to Billy Green at St Bede’s (he got 6 years, now out on parole, and he pleaded guilty, remember)

  67. wibble 42 – I was loathe to mention names ‘just in case’ but yeah those two Knight and Hallas were grim with a habit of whacking boys at the drop of a hat just as you say. It was Hallas I saw on at least two occasions draw blood (see my post on July 28th) when he whacked naked thighs with his palm whilst holding a set of keys. I don’t think it was sexual, I believe it was because he was a socially inadequate bully.

    1. You have to remember that some people get sexual gratification from violent acts, they get their kicks from the admission of pain.

  68. Much as I think Ambrose was a disgrace as far as its approach to children is concerned, Dave Hallas was in my experience a fairly decent bloke, just thick as pig muck which is not a crime…

  69. I would agree hallas was ok generally , I found it funny how he pretended to be one of those rugby tpes that hated football but went to watch altrincham on a regular basis

  70. Hallas watched Alty footy team? You sure? Well that really is a revelation. I remember Dave H “teaching” us about cavemen in history. We had to write a story about a caveman…Impressively he wasn’t even in the Top 3 Atrocious Ambrose history teachers. Yes, Dave H was generally okay, but obviously had a filthy temper and was thus prone to random acts of violence. He was presumably also the author of the “no underpants” policy.

    For all that, I much preferred him to Billy K, who I thought was just a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

  71. Wasn’t a m meant to be making a plea in october ? Anyone know if thi has taken place ? I’m guessing it was not guilty if it has ?

    1. Roy, indeed he was up for mention at Crown Court where I think he appeared or was represented. At the time the ALLEGED victim count was 29, a WPC on the case (whom I know personally) indicated to me its now >50. The case has been kicked across town to Minshull St and pencilled in for May 2014.

  72. Also insider – who is paying for his defence..?
    1) Pro Bono from the QC’s chambers (possibly).
    2) The parish of the Holy Angels (wealthy parishners, the Halebarns demographic is definitely ABC1 and therefore loaded).
    3) The diocese of Shrewsbury (the opulent catholic church is stinking rich with cash and lots of it, see the bishop of bling last week).
    4) St Ambrose College (they need to avoid the stink of questions being raised during the trial of WHO let him leave the school and take a job at the church and not say a word about alleged activities on school grounds while employed by them, whoever let him go unquestioned will be having a few rough nights sleep at the moment, IF IF proven).
    5) Trafford Education Authority (doubtful, but you never know).
    6) Himself (doubtful a deacon’s salary is tuppence a week).

    The plot sickens….

  73. Ex 5m ( ex a stream? ) Sounds like there is a possibility of more charges then ? I notice that ex bbc bloke , souter, got twenty two years yesterday for similar charges by the sounds of things , one hell of a sentence !

  74. My brother went to St Ambrose in the 70s and had no issues with Mr Morris (then a Science teacher, I believe), although he had a reputation for sometimes heavy-handed corporal punishment.
    Fyi, at the time corporal punishment was banned in State schools (mid-80s), St Ambrose WAS private – it was HMC from mid-80s to early 90s.

    Through my brother and his friends, I have been aware of historical problems at the Prep, where a Brother is alleged to have raped several young boys (8-9yr-olds) in the 60s (sadly, the Bro. involved has died so his victims can’t get justice), but they never had any complaint about the College itself and I felt comfortable sending my own son there in the late 90s.

    1. Sorcha,
      Tell those lads in the prep to consider vicarious liability, get a solicitor- a proper one and go down that road.

  75. Clarity here please: Ambrose Prep was & still is Private and fee paying. Ambrose (secondary) was for all its pretences a state catholic grammar school and therefore maintained (overseen) by the LEA (Trafford). So this idea of corporal punishment being OK as it was private is nonsense. My teacher friend (at Ambrose) took his son out of SAC in the 90s and put him in AGSB as it was that bad a school for teaching standards. He quit the profession. For balance the school is now well run, the pastoral care is second to none and the facilities are excellent and the head rules with a sensible head and wants to turn out decent human beings, how i wish he had been around when I was there, instead of being run by those alcoholic retards the christian brothers.

  76. I agree 5m. Although in the HMC Ambrose was not fee paying in the 1980s, it was state funded if you passed the 11 plus. Violence no matter how heavy handed was never acceptable to children. Separate cases regarding this could well follow.

    1. Hi Openminded, Agree on the violence point. BUT I don’t know what you mean by HMC Ambrose. I dont think it was ever a private school where everyone paid. It was an LEA school, it WAS selective ie you had to pass 11+ or laterley the school entrance exam but not private. Maybe some kids (parents) paid to go there if they didnt get the passing grade but that doesnt make the school private. AND so trying to use the school as a Private School doesn’t give it a defence. Is that what your stating because it was “Private” then corporal punishment was allowed as the banning only applied to State schools. Is that the defence of the ise of the strap ? ah well m’lud this was a private school so not guilty (despite being reprehensible)…However I will check the records to see if you are right if it was private for a number of year.

  77. St Ambrose was, and presumably still is, an independent school, which is a very different beast to a private school. And I’m not exactly sure what this meant in practice anyway, because it was largely state funded. I.e. Fees were minimal, just the odd boy who failed the 11-plus and whose parents were deluded into thinking a St Ambrose education was something worth paying for (a bizarre phenomenon in itself!). And the Catholic Church had no need to pay when the state would fund the school and still allow them to present the Catholic “faith” as fact.

    Of course, with the practice of putting boys into “houses”, making them play rugby union, a game for toffs (in England at least) it aped, pathetically it has to be said, English public schools, but Ambrose was never private in any meaningful sense of the word.

  78. Regardless of its status the school was an absolute disgrace when I had the misfortune to attend. Bill Smith – nice point about the rugby union, always wondered why in the very heart of English footy we were forced to play flippin’ rugby…and union at that! Pretentions of grandeur.

  79. Altough I didn’t like the regime that was in place in the 80s,,ie physical and alleged sexual assaults the teaching was generally of a good standard , some of the secondary moderns at the time didn’t even have qualified teachers I’m told

  80. Yeah, “not quite as bad as BTH” might have been a decent tag line for Ambrose. I’m pretty sure a lot of the bods masquerading as teachers at Ambrose had never seen the inside of a teacher training college. My understanding at the time was that the “independent” tag meant they had more freedom to appoint buffoons that run of the mill LEA schools.

    To be fair, I have very fond memories of Rory Delargy. He was brilliant and highly entertaining when he was arguing with well-off right wing boys about the Tory govt, our privileged upbringing etc. And I had a decent history teacher in 6th form. The maths teacher meant well and was good for the half dozen or so kids who followed his blackboard scrawls, but he never marked a book and most boys lost his lessons after 5 mins. And the rest was dictation with the occasional bit of lacklustre chat thrown in. It wouldn’t serve a purpose to name the bad teachers but I’m sure if you think about it you can think of paedogogic abominations in all subjects; physics (one so lifeless you wondered if he was actually alive), French (the chap who pronounced everything in a deliberate English accent), Chemistry (3 or 4 shockers), history (chap who resented being brought back from Canada and gave us exams featuring only true or false questions worst of a dreadful bunch), biology (one of the abusers), Geog (take your pick of PE men), RE (“lie on the desk and chant Aba, Father” etc). Come on Roy, you’re in the Egyptian river on this one!

  81. You must have liked it to a degree bill if you went to the sixth form ? I went to loreto six form in hulme as I made sure I didn’t get the four o levels needed to go to ambrose sixth form , loreto was a return to normality after ambrose luckily I also went to a normal primary school, feel sorry for the poor sods who were at ambrose from 5 to 18!

  82. Yes, good point. It didn’t occur to me to go anywhere else in 6th Form. Not sure why. My friends were there and I taught myself what I needed to know get decent grades (revision books etc). It didn’t occur to me that there might be a better place…And hey, there was a smoking room! What more could you want from a school?

    Don’t mention primary schools though! The sort of psychological and physial abuse I got there made Ambrose seem like a picnic lunch with the Quakers! I was never actually hit at Ambrose (by a teacher at least!), which must put me in a select group of about one. Plenty of verbal abuse, memorably by AM, but that was all.

  83. No girls and no football did help with the decision although it wasn’t an option to go to the six form as I only got two o levels ambrose and some people got less than that .

  84. Stan: 1 in the middle and 2 on eithe side. Spread out, but stay together. You 5, one in each corner of the room. Dave Hallas is legend!

  85. Nothing would have made me stay at that place for sixth year. Nothing, I left on the last day, and never ever returned. I pass the place from time-to-time and flick it the Vs. It’s not quite the same feeling now they have built the new buildings but I promise I’ll never grow out of that habit!

  86. A WPC friend of mine assigned to the case has indicated that the number of witnesses is now over 30 and the charges are mounting. The witnesses (alleged victims) are from Lands End to John O’Groats with huge age spans and investigated to having no links with each other (except attended the school during AM’s tenure). Unlike the “Kevin Webster” trial where it was 1 womans word againsts the defendant. This case appears to have a HUGE volume of evidence (growing) and will no doubt have days of verbal testimony. On the morning of the Stuart Hall trial the prosecution said, are you ready for 15 witnesses to take the stand at which point he changed his plea. So in fairness to “openminded” is AM is found not guilty (gets off is a little inappropriate turn of phrase in this context) then it will require a huge conspiracy of witnesses..We shall see. Does anyone know the law firm representing him ?

  87. A big if that openminded , happy to help ,dont look back in anger from oasis often comes in to my head when I drive past.

  88. Morris was an unpleasant man, the court case will determine whether he is guilty or not.

    I know the person who made the initial allegation that started the ball rolling, it transpires that what happened to him was not even illegal enough for it to be on the charge sheet. Having spoken to him many times over the years (and tried to get him to say something regularly) I know it was fairly horrific and SHOULD have been illegal.

    As such the people who will be giving evidence must have had dreadful experiences and I hope they have the strength to gove evidence.

    Morris will deny and use his own strength of character to aid him. I know he has been text/emailing people asking for character witnesses, I did hear someone say they could write “Mr Morris never buggered me at St Ambrose but I still refused to go to Quarr abbey with him” but it wouldn’t exactly help.

    As to the appointment as a deacon, I was appalled. Lived elsewhere for a number of years, but now back in the area and children at St Vinvents school, go to St Vincents for mass as and when required, would not consider walking two minutes and going to Holy Angels. When my Mum died we had our “own” priest for the funeral and he told Morris he was not welcome (parish priest had just been moved elsewhere to deal with a “problem”).

    I was at Ambrose with Susan’s brother Rick and working out in Australia when he died. A good man.

    On the subject of other teachers, I saw Sam hit several desks with his cricket bat but I never saw him hit a child. He was OK. I also did the stage stuff and went to parties at his house, including being accused of spiking the punch (it was a girl wot did it!). I also survived prep school with Br Mullen for catechism – what fun!

    I await the court case with interest.

  89. Thankfully Never had sexual abuse off Morris but did have physical and (arguably mental abuse as well) Certainly was very creepy beyond any other “normal” teacher that you got a rollicking off as a young lad and on many occasions made me very scared.

  90. @Mike – Exactly this. Nothing to report directly to myself but being made to feel uncomfortable way beyond what is acceptable. This wasn’t confined to just one teacher. Long-standing main lay teacher also particularly bad for barely-concealed psychopathy. The school experience was very much split – some marvellous, inspirational teaching and some mad OTT punishment and incompetence. Geography particularly inept if you got the cassocked one in the mid 70s.

    Purely as a chemistry teacher, Morris himself was pretty good *to us* on balance. Knew the subject extremely well and got it across to those lucky enough to land in the ‘A’ stream. ‘A’ level chemistry too, can’t really complain. First thoughts when finding out of the arrest were a lack of surprise, sadness for the pupils involved and strangely some sadness the man had let a potential talent for chemistry teaching evaporate. The school as a whole though had an air of brutish punishment where you could be arbitrarily assaulted on a whim, leading to a total distrust and lack of respect for authority. Sadly Ambrose wasn’t alone in that in those days.

  91. Does anyone remember Richard Almond, the Geography teacher? This was in the early-70s. Sadistic as hell. I saw him throw a classmate across a desk and pin him down while threatening him with even worse treatment. Happy days!

  92. Sorry for the late reply. AM trial to commence May 2014 and due to last 8 weeks at Manchester Minshall Street Crown Court. Top QC representing AM (for free) is a former pupil at St. Ambrose.

  93. @ Mike S. – Richard Almond – Couldn’t remember hist first name. Incredibly accurate with pieces of chalk, didn’t need to take aim but could hit anyone talking from the board to the back of the class.

  94. @ Insider – is that ethical, being represented by someone with close connections to both the school and (possibly) the defendant? On a freebie too?

  95. Ex Ambrosian, Re “Sam”, I certainly saw him hit children with his cricket bat. I was witness to him hitting circa 15 11 year olds in the first term of First Year, for getting less than half marks in his test to see whether we’d understood any of his third rate teaching. We mostly hadn’t. Welcome to Secondary school, boys!! It was pretty horrible, what with the terror and crying of boys queuing, the pain and crying of the boys who had been hit. Appalling stuff.

    Not surprised that held parties for kids at his house giving them alcohol either. I don’t expect he was the only Ambrose teacher to do that…

  96. I was a pupil at AGS a year behind AM. Maybe he picked up his predilections there. AGS through the sixties was staffed by the excellent, thoroughly superb alongside the unnecessarily violent and those with a desire for boys. For me as a pupil there was so much I enjoyed but equally much that is still as vivid and unwanted as it was then.

  97. On speaking with someone with considerable legal knowledge, it has become clear that with the sheer number of witnesses and allegations, collusion is virtually impossible. Unless Morris has taken leave of his senses he will take advantage of the deal that the Manchester Courts offer for a reduced sentence and do a Stuart Hall.

  98. I have only just found out about this scandal and will now follow with interest. I was at St Ambrose in the 70s-80s and saw a great deal of abuse. Boys were humiliated and bullied daily and I saw corporal punishment every week with rulers, books, the slipper, the strap (which drew blood) and bottom slayer (I have never forgotten DNA.) I’ll let the Courts judge whether these things were crimes. Alan Morris was one of my teachers for 7 years and I did visit his house along with numerous other boys. I’ll say nothing more now given the pending Court case but I’ll follow with interest.

  99. You should perhaps contact the police ExAmbrose Boy if you saw any abuse going on when you went to his house or were told about it afterwards. You can’t have too many witness accounts in a case like this.

  100. Any confirmed dates for the trail, or next hearing? It seems to have been rumbling on for far too long.

    1. I have been in Manchester for the last week and have been told by a legal that the trial has been fixed for 23rd July but I have not had that confirmed. But I was told of some intriguing information about Alan Morris and his early life before taking up the cloth of the Christian Brothers and I am now certain that the man is as guilty as hell of the abuse at Ambrose. I would relate it here but am just waiting a little confirmation of certain facts. I am hoping to reveal all in a podcast within the next 30 days.

  101. Hello Paul and thank you for the update. As a former pupil of Alan Morris I’d just point out he was not one of the Christian Brothers at the school, he was a lay teacher as were most.

  102. As the trial is set for the end of June I wonder if any revelations would best be held back until mid July when the case is finished for better or worse. If it’s known to you then it is also known to the CPS and would presumably be aired in court. Morris as far as I know was never a member of the Christian Brothers but a Deacon employed directly by the Catholic church via the Diocese of Shrewsbury and employed as a bog standard teacher prior to that. I’ve yet to find out who the defending QC is and would appreciate any info on that. Cheers to all

    1. To outofplace and Zebedee,
      I might have taken my contact up wrong about Christian Brotherhood and Morris, I am contacting him tomorrow. However I doubt if the facts as related to me about an incident at Ambrose is known about by CPS because it was smoothed over with plenty of cash and confidentiality agreement.

  103. If the school or church were involved in such a deal then it would be fairly damning evidence. As far as I’m aware confidentiality agreements carry no weight with the courts if they serve to obscure criminal activity and such a thing would be a big blow to the defence. Hope you can pass the info to the CPS if you believe it to be valid. Cheers

    1. I believe my contact is telling the truth but I am in the process of getting it validated. The school and Church were not involved but a certain very rich business man was, a man connected to high levels in the Catholic Church.

  104. Paul, I think you need to be careful about airing prejudicial info about the case, whether you’re certain it’s true or not. You can get in all manner of bother writing (or podding) things on the internet before or during a trial. I’d maybe save your podcast until after the trial, much as I’d like to hear it!! Go to the police if it’s info you that they and cps don’t have.

  105. I did hear that the trial will be split into two parts. I don’t know if the separate trials relate to individual victims by name (Pt 1 = surnames A to L and Pt 2 = M to Z) or date of alleged offence(s) or by severity of charges brought…I did hear it was an ex pupil conducting the defence (pro bono) but nothing confirmed. I shall be there Day 1 in the public gallery. No doubt some law firms will be there sniffing out potential plaintiffs to take action against the diocese, school, trafford and and and.

  106. When is the first day in court, and which court building as am considering going to watch. Anybody know?


  107. Friend of mine said he saw a letter pinned up in the local post office that AM trial starts Monday 23rd June 2014. Guessing Minshull St but will confirm.

  108. I got this from the listings clerk at Minshull St.

    Read into this what you will. Does that mean there will be no public gallery or just no reporting permitted ?

    Good Afternoon _________

    Mr ____ is for Trail on 23/6/2014, there has been a section 39 order (reporting restrictions) made by HHJ Mort at the last hearing.

  109. I’m not a lawyer but a quick google says that a section 39 reporting restriction order is to protect children, and can’t be made to give anonymity to an adult.

  110. Apologies, I see a previous poster has the username Paul. The comment about googling section 39 reporting restrictions was mine not his. Paul Malpas, please delete as necessary.

  111. From the Listings Clerk:
    Good Afternoon Mr _____

    Yes there will be a public Gallery at the Trial, the reporting restrictions are in place until case concluded, or the Trial Judge removes them.

  112. Yes Roy, its a very reasonable situation I think no reporting till after the verdict / sentencing / aquittal. But yes public gallery is available. What I did hear and this is TBC if there are 2 consecutive trials as they may have split the indictments into 2 parts; serious & very serious and I’m not sure which one will be 1st.

  113. Sam its only a guess I’m not a lawyer. In a legal sense manslaughter is serious, murder is very serious. And similarly sexual assault is serious and rape is very serious. They could be splitting the trial by dates of alleged incident, alphabetical order, who knows. It does dilute the evidence and quantity of witnesses for each case and is a good ploy by the defence. If I was on trial I’d expect nothing less from my brief.

  114. Wonder what the chances of am pleading guilty to some of the charges at the start of the trial in return for a potentially lenient sentence ?

  115. roy – He is leaving it late to ‘fess up, if that is what he intends to do. Credit for pleading guilty is greater the earlier on in the legal proceedings you do so. From memory I think a guilty plea at the start of a trial gets about 10% off any sentence, whereas it can be up to 40%. I am not truly sure of the numbers, but that is the principle.

  116. For 2/3 separate trials the mountain of evidence must be overwhelming. In the stuart hall case the prosecutor must have said to the defence lawyer are you really ready for a dozen testimonies one after another going on record in open court ? Hall copped a plea and although for some people getting a reduced sentence does not sit well the relief for the victims not to relive their ordeals and endure cross examination must be rewarded even if it cuts a % reduction in time doing porridge. If I was wrongly accused of a sexual offence I would want my lawyer to absolutely barbecue the accuser on the witness stand for several days ceaselessly and without relief. It took me ages to realise that its the judge, jury and the public that want justice the 2 lawyers only want victory….

  117. Just pinged the Altrincham Messenger to make them aware when the trial starts and hopefully get some column inches. He was a strange man who lived with his mother and brother, who in his words (was more intelligent than him (both Oxbridge)but couldn’t cope in society and teach like he did) ironic. That said there were some very good teachers there at the time and to them I say thank you. Apart from the vertically challenged Geography teacher with the ‘tash he was just a bully, I’d love to meet him now!

  118. I am sure there were some good teachers there bob, but in five years none of them taught me. Dreadful to a man, and in Mrs. “look at the boys who don’t know” Handford’s case, woman.

  119. Although a bit of a pain in the backside, ‘Granny’ Handford could never be classed in the same category of shamefulness of some of her counterparts..

  120. Bob, I think your ping to the local paper will fall on deaf ears as there is a Section 39 reporting restrictions imposed until the end of the final trial so as not to prejudice the preceding cases.

  121. To all:

    Please note, the court case against Alan Morris began today, Monday 23 June 2014, at Court 9, Minshull Street, Manchester.

    Watch this space fro more news

  122. sam – agree with you about Granny H. In other schools she’d have been ranked well towards the bottom in terms of ability to teach, understanding and ability to communicate. It is a sign of how damn poor that school was when I was there that she wasn’t.

    Looking forward to news on the AM trial.

  123. I had a very unhappy time at St. Ambrose. Morris joined the teaching staff during my second year and I took an instant dislike to him: he frightened me. He was employed to teach us chemistry. I remember his brown shoes, one of which had a built up sole. I think he walked with a slight limp. He once took great delight in demonstrating to us ‘badly behaved boys’ the painful and discomforting effect of the build up of lactic acid within our arms and shoulders whilst we were made to hold our arms out horizontally with heavy books within our hands until we could bear it no more. Just a small example of a school that ruled and ‘taught’ by fear. Yes, there were other teachers who thought this ‘teaching’ style was acceptable too as it undoubtedly suited and satisfied their perverse nature. And of course there was much corporal punishment, far too much. I can only hope for the best outcome for everybody that has suffered as a result of this man’s behaviour.

  124. To Sam:

    Google Minshull Street Court Manchester

    Law Pages comes up. Go to the particular date you want.

    It lists the day’s hearings – Morris is in Court 9. If you go to the box to the left of the listing and click, it gives details of how the trial is progressing, detailing adjournments, re-commencements, adjournments for the day etc

    Strangely it was working yesterday afternoon when the court was sitting, but not now (9.30 am Tuesday 24 June). Try to log on during court hours and see what happens.

    All the best

  125. To Sam:

    Just re-checked web site, listings don’t come on till court commences at 10 am. Just check listing for today after 10 am, you’ll find Morris about 2/3rds of the way down the list.

    I certainly found it yesterday, for most of the time the court was adjourned.

  126. To Sam:

    Try Court Serve Information

    Go to Minshull St Manchester

    Scroll down list from Court 1 to Court 9

    You will find above Mr Morris, someone else is due for sentencing today.

    Then it’s his case to be heard.

    Judge hearing the case is His Honour Judge Mort

  127. To all:

    At today’s court hearings at Minshull Street Manchester re Alan Morris

    According to Court Listing, the first three witnesses gave evidence for the Prosecution today. Many more to follow, no doubt.

    Watch this space….

  128. To all once more:

    Today, 25 June, Witnesses 4, 5 , 6 & 7 gave evidence against Alan Morris.

    No doubt many more to come.

  129. Suggestion – we embargo discussing the case, respect the judges views of reporting restrictions. We need a fair trial this is England not China. The last thing we need is the verdict coming in and the defence (or prosecution) launching an appeal saying this case was reported in the media (albeit social media) and therefore we demand a re-trial.

  130. Probably agree with Ex 5m. But that would also mean removing all posts beyond those that are detailing the progress of the trial as listed on the likes of and already in the public domain?

  131. Latest update Thursday 26 June 2014 re Alan Morris case:-

    Witnesses 8, 10, 11 & 12 appeared for the Prosecution

    No mention of what happened to Witness 9.

    The current going rate seems to be an average of 4 witnesses per day, the exception being the first day, where there only 3. Plenty more to come though.

    Keep watching…..

  132. SO far as I am aware there is no bar on discussing any case – down the pub, in the office or online…but that doesn’t stop the sneaking suspicion that it’s best not to.

    The have a bit of detail on witnesses too.

  133. To all:

    Law pages don’t identify witness names, only numbers and length of evidence. In the case of Alan Morris in Court 9, witnesses 13 & 14 gave evidence today.

    Incidentally also making a fleeting appearance at Court 9 today, according to the list, was none other than the erstwhile (but never to be seen presenting again) Granada Weather man – step forward the one and only Fred Talbot.

    Also another person appeared in the dock in court 9 today, unrelated to the St Ambrose case.

    Very puzzling, as up to today, the only case being heard Tuesday to Thursday in Court 9 this week was Alan Morris.

    Anybody know why the change of routine?

  134. Lads. No nicknames or pseudonyms for me… My name is David Nolan and I was at Ambrose from the prep in 72 to leaving in the 5th year in 81. I’ve also been a journalist for 33 years and have put a great deal of time into looking into the school. I have been in court most days. If you’ve been to court, you might have seen me. The achingly handsome man in a tee shirt and waistcoat. Well, you needed a sense of humour to survive at Ambrose….
    I have two requests: anyone who can help me with something I am preparing, who can add their voice to mine, please contact me at
    Secondly, we are at a crucial time. Please reign in the posts, even the stuff you believe to be in the public domain, reign it in.The cumulative effect of the chatter is attracting attention. For all our sakes, stay low for a little longer. Cheers. We are nearly there.

  135. Just remember the CPS are only interested in a long sentence. The defence are only interested in aquittal it’s their reputation and careers that are at stake. We (public, Judge, victims) all want justice but the 2 briefs only want victory as this is an adversarial process. Best keep schtum otherwise they may use it to their advantage to launch an appeal, now as for down the pub that’s different, that’s also a good idea – which pub you thinking ? It’s the Section 39 bit that worries me, don’t like secret trials, this isn’t North Korea.

  136. Down the pub or in the office is pretty much okay it think, depending on who you’re talking to… But legally, posting online is treated in the same way as writing an article a published newspaper. A lot of people get caught out by that, thinking that posting on a barely-sed internet site, are doing the virtual equivalent of shouting into an empty bucket. But anything here that breaches reporting restrictions will, legally, be contempt of court and potentially earn whoever posts it, a conviction.

    Not sure whether offering an opinion about defendants’ guilt or otherwise could breach reporting restrictions, but I’d guess it probably would.

  137. Update for all:

    Monday 30 June 2014

    Today witnesses 15 & 18 appeared for the prosecution, rather like witness 9 form a previous day, witnesses 16 & 17 have not yet given evidence today

  138. Any updates?

    I’m waiting to see if Manchester Airport Chaplaincy respond to email I’ve sent them:-

    I’m currently preparing an article for publication regarding the ongoing court case involving the Reverend Alan Richard Morris at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court. From publicly held records, I understand Reverend Morris was appointed a Director of the Manchester Airport Chaplaincy in February this year so I’d like to offer you the chance to provide comment on his appointment, e.g. the timeliness and appropriateness of the decision to appoint him in light of the offences alleged to have been committed (

    It’s likely that the article being prepared will not be published until after the trial so if you’d prefer to wait until then, then please let me know. Either way, I do believe it is right to allow you the opportunity to comment and I really don’t believe your silence on the matter would be looked on as favourable.

  139. ^ my bad – date of appointment was actually 2004. still, nice to know they’d squirm even a little bit.

  140. Jul 1 2014

    To all:

    As at 2 pm, prosecution witnesses giving evidence at Court 9 were Nos. 21 & 22. Missed checking after this, the lists are deleted at the end of the day. I’d suggest the next witness for the prosecution would have given evidence by the end of the day, probably No.23.

    I’ll be checking up late afternoon today, so as to not miss any info.

    This is certainly going to be a long trial (Part One) at least anyway.

  141. To all:

    Please note from last posting that we jumped from witness 18 on Monday to witness 21 on Tuesday. What happened to 19 & 20?

    This is becoming ever-confusing by the minute.

    I’ll endeavour to check around 4 pm every day to ensure no info is missed.

  142. 3-45 pm 2 July 2014

    Witnesses 24, 25 & 23, in that order, gave evidence for the prosecution today.

    Clearly any attempt at getting the witnesses to appear in order number has long since been abandoned.

    Watch this space, 8 days of trial and counting…..

  143. Apologies for the bad maths, this is seven days and counting, as the trial started on Tuesday 24 June….

  144. A journalist David Nolan has contacted me. He is currently researching the Alan Morris case. He was a pupil at Ambrose’s 1972-1981 and as he says he has a vested interest in the case as Morrios taught him. He is asking anybody with information about Morris to contact him by e-mail on

  145. Day 8 of trial of Alan Morris:

    Witnesses for the prosecution numbers 26, 27, 28 & 23 (in that order) gave evidence today.

  146. July 4 Day 9 of trial:

    Another case in Court 9 took up most of the morning

    Later in the day witness 23 appeared for the prosecution

    Case to resume

  147. Ex 5m and Bill Smith have summed it up, it’s time to go quiet and let things work themselves through.

  148. Tuesday July 8 , day 11

    It would appear legal submissions only today, no prosecution witness called

  149. Wednesday, July 9, day 12 of the trial

    The defendant is now due to give evidence for the first time, as of this morning

  150. Wednesday July 9

    It would appear the defendant gave evidence for the rest of the day, if the legalese is to be believed.

  151. Thursday July 10

    Day 13 of trial

    Listed for today, as of 3 pm no information on court listing as regards hearing.

    Very strange.

  152. Friday July 11 – Day 14 of the trial

    Defence closing speech today, adjourned, presumably till Monday 14 July

  153. I only found out about the trial happening on Friday 11th July, don’t think I would have wanted to be there when prosecution witness’s were finding the courage to speak. Events taking place at this school were our only frame of reference as to what is considered normal, I didn’t realize I was depressed until I left and went to South Trafford college which was a wonderful place. The whole ethos of a catholic grammar school is focused towards turning out strong individuals achieving their full potential. However we now find out daily evidence of systematic abuse. Hardly surprising you end up underachieving if your trust can be so badly betrayed when at your most vulnerable. The only positive I can take forwards is a determination that those who come after me will be treated more fairly.

  154. Gents… The jury in the Morris trial has retired to consider its verdict. Regardless of the outcome, there are still two trials potentially in the offing and the Section 39 Order banning reporting of the case will stay in place. In the meantime, I am preparing a piece on the case and would urge anyone who can help to contact me ASAP on
    I’m particularly interested in people who went to the school … As I did … Who can talk abut the general regime of the place. Many thanks.

  155. Did we ever find out if it was Brendan Kelly QC is the defence counsel as he was 2 years below me and Mr Nolan was only 1 year below me…I’ll have some stuff for you David but after the trial(s).

  156. By going off Lawpages, the Jury seem to be taking a long time to deliberate.
    Clearly not a unanimous verdict??

  157. In relation to the 2 trials possibly “in the offing” are these other accused
    Teachers or the current “accused in the dock”?

    I never enjoyed Ambrose until 6th form, but made some good friends. There
    were one or two teachers (actually lots!) who were incredibly odd, most notably a music teacher who left very suddenly. There were also some excellent caring teachers, who somehow gave me enough education to get to Uni and beyond.

    I feel for anyone who was abused, thankfully I only ever saw physical in my time which we thought was normal.

  158. Please NO ONE report on the case verdict or otherwise..
    You don’t want to be arrested for perverting the course of justice and nor do you want to be responsible for handing either legal team to ask for mis trial, re-trial, aquittal etc.. We need justice and we need to respect the wishes of the judge….

  159. Case to be listed for Sentence on 29-Aug-2014. Source: the Law Pages.

    Read into that what you will.

  160. I may have jumped the gun a bit as a closer read of the law pages says:

    Trial (Part Heard) – Hearing finished for SHAFIKAT HUSSAIN – 14:18
    Trial (Part Heard) – Case to be listed for Sentence on 29-Aug-2014 – 14:34

    but all that is listed under the Morris case. Hussains case is also in court nine so there is a possibility that there’s an error on the Law Pages, or my understanding.

  161. Again echoing Ex 5m, this thread shouldn’t have aspects reported here that aren’t allowed into newspapers at this time.

  162. I rang the court 3 times .
    One clerk said the jury was still out , 2 said a guilty verdict and stated the judge was Judge Mort .
    So am confused .
    Its closed now and cannot get more info
    Any ideas ?

  163. Paul, any chance of making this comment thread into a forum requiring registration? Would that make it private enough to discuss things freely?

    1. Dunno, I’m just an Old Bedian of many years standing. I’ll have to ask my internet masters, I’ll come back to you.

  164. A private forum would be good. I would also be happy to disclose my name etc as I am sure many of us know each other…. Do we have any way of determining what can and cannot be spoken about? I gave evidence in the trial, however as yet have only discussed with my wife/close family. Any lawyers in our midst??

  165. Someone from here ex ambrose should set up a separate forum probably more ex ambrose on the forum than ex bedes

  166. To all:

    Yes, the jury was out, considering its verdict today, after the case lasted three weeks, according to the Court Listings today.

    I was under the impression that this was Part One of a two part case, so the verdict of the jury will be withheld for legal reasons i.e. so as not to prejudice the outcome of the second trial.

    I agree with ex-5M here. Let’s be very careful what we say here, let’s be patient, contempt of court and all that legal stuff, hopefully the second trial will get under way shortly. Once that is complete and a verdict reached, watch for the splash all over the MEN front page…..

  167. To all:

    Read into this what you will. The sentence listed for 29 August may well not refer to said defendant, but to another person appearing in court 9 in an unrelated case today (18 July).

    However, on Monday 21 July, Judge Mort (the trial judge) is not listed to appear in any of the courts, which may or may not mean the jury has reached a verdict, or the judge may simply be going on holiday, interpret this in any way you feel.

    But, I repeat, be very careful with your comments, as trial number two may be coming up shortly…..

  168. You really should not be commenting on the trial like this- you could be prosecuted for contempt of court. You also jeopardise the other trials.
    He will get off on further matters if you don’t respect the reporting ban.

  169. The reporting restrictions are going to be in place for another couple of weeks I believe. Until then let’s just do the right thing and relax and I’m sure in time we can then have an open forum and maybe then rediscover some lost friendships and share stories.

  170. ** Not for posting to the thread **

    Hi Paul, can the thread be archived and taken offline for the duration of any subsequent trials? Maybe just a pointer to, courtserve etc for people to get live updates? Causelist was sufficient yesterday to see that the next part of the process was the sentencing hearing. It’s not just the latter posts, quite a few of the earlier ones are easily prejudicial and in my limited understanding now they could also be contempt?

    Thanks for the discussion so far, floodgates open later no doubt.

  171. Agree completely with the above. To that end, can Paul (Malpas) suspend any further posts being added to this forum until it is appropriate to comment openly ?

  172. As a general comment, if I wanted to maintain secrecy about a case I wouldn’t put the defendants name, court name and number up on a respected legal website (The Law Pages). Nor would I add a very clear guide to the outcome of the case by using the phrase “Case to be listed for Sentence”.

    I would have have a series of ******** against the defendants name as soon as the ban is imposed.

    As I say this is a general comment.

  173. @Happy to Help
    Yep, bit of an oddity. As outsiders in the legal processes it would seem to defy logic. Problem is, the game belongs to those same legal processes. Causelist is the same, refresh often enough and you see things that are only just emerging, fleetingly, into the open.

    All said as general points, of course.

  174. Paul M, without wishing to come across as a total arse, I think this thread could do with a bit of “moderation”. I think you may be erring on the side of contempt of court in publishing some of this stuff. I wholly agree with sentiments of AB100 and Ex5m.

  175. Thank you very much to all the lads – and the odd lass – who have contacted me. I am looking for one more person for the programme we are planning. I need an ex pupil who can describe the regime/the Brothers/the corporal punishment on camera. Take about 20 minutes,this week/early next week. There are no legal issues as nothing will be broadcast until restrictions are lifted. Not an alleged victim, just a regular pupil who had a tough time of it. Like we all did. PLEASE help me –

  176. Guys
    Please can we halt all of this. As a witness in the trial i would be devastated to have to go through it all again as a result of loose/uninformed talk in the (social) media. It goes without saying that authorities and legal teams on both sides will be following pages such as this for a whole host of reasons. Let this sorry situation reach its final conclusion without hinderance.
    Rant over. x

    1. As far as I can see nobody is saying anything alarming. I am editing out what I can see is unfair play

  177. To all:

    Let’s all calm down here, the more important, non-controversial question I’d like to ask is:-

    Any idea when the next trial, if there is going to be one, will be? I shouldn’t have thought I’d be in contempt of court for asking that simple question.

    As regards Trial Part One and Openminded’s plea, let’s bear in mind we would not wish to subvert the legal process in any way, we can be patient….

  178. I can confirm that Paul M was appropriately conservative in his moderation of what I might have said. I can also well understand the sensitivities of those who have been most closely involved in this. Speaking as a lawyer (although not a criminal one), I do not think that anyone has over-stepped in anything that I have read. That is an opinion – with the usual lawyer’s disclaimer.

  179. I’m first to comment after the court verdict, this, despite being an ex-Bedian, not ex-Ambrosian.

    To his Morris’s victims, I say this, at least he has received a modicum of justice, that is all. He has ruined the lives of many of his victims, the damage caused in most cases will be impossible to repair. Let us hear from you now, no much of a fear of contempt of court now.

    To Morris’s supporters, let’s hear from you, have the decency to apologise, and go back to the hole from where you crawled out of. When in excess of 50 people tell the same story of abuse, it would need to be a conspiracy on a monumental scale to enact, the obvious conclusion to be drawn was that it was all true. Admit you got it totally wrong.

    Those seeking recompense for Morris’s misdeeds should be very careful which lawyers they employ. Certain ones are of the quick settle out of court variety, achieving only moderate amounts. Better to employ an outfit, one employed to play the longer game. The Diocese of Shrewsbury or whoever is deemed liable under law should be made to pay, and pay handsomely for this man’s misdeeds. Justice demands nothing less.

    In all this, let us remember the victims of St Ambrose. Spare a thought also for the victims of abuse at my old Alma Mater, St Bede’s, whose day in court has yet to come.

  180. Having given evidence in the first trial I was glad to see him receive a verdict of guilty on all charges but completely mystified as to the verdict of the second trial. Commiserations to any who gave evidence in that trial and hope you take the school and church to the courts,regardless of the verdict The old school may have been demolished but the new one seems to be not dissimilar in ethos and attitude. As many know Morris retained an influence and presence via his deaconship at Holy Angels despite the allegations that were made in 2001 and the widespread knowledge of his nature amongst staff, students and former students.

    Whilst the school can and should be forced into substantial compensation payments I think that the history of this place needs to be written and made available. Hopefully the trial tapes can be transcribed and provided for anyone taking legal action.
    Slater and Gordon are in my opinion ambulance chasers of the worst kind who will rake in the fees and slice a chunk off the awards without any concern as to the clients welfare. lawyers for both sides will get fat on this.
    Anyone know who the other two staff mentioned by the Police are. Sam Wilkinson I guess as one and too many candidates to be sure of the other.

  181. Would like to see the now dead teachers who would probably face charges named and shamed, wont happen though.Morris still has some dwindling support not much but some.

  182. To all:

    In view of my last posting, I believe in naming names, so step forward the following people:-

    Chris Shelley 25 April 2013
    Martin 22 May 2013
    Margaret 26 July 2013

    To all of you, hang you heads in shame, you were the ones who were completely convinced Alan Morris was innocent. Have the guts to apologise and admit you were totally wrong. Then just go away and never come back…

  183. Amazed how the second trial ended up with a hung jury and surprised there will be no retrial.the prosecution witnesses from the second trial mist be disappoined to say the least.i wonder if more ex pupils will now come forward.

  184. To Roy:

    The good old MEN made it far from clear that the second trial resulted in a hung jury, I don’t remember them making a point of this, I didn’t realise this was the case.

    For those of us, such as myself, in ignorance, can you briefly summarise what each of the two trials were about, what the charges were in each case and subsequent verdicts.

    I’d be grateful if you would and I suspect so would others.

    As you say, there may be a case, a la Stewart Hall, for bringing yet more charges to bear against Mr Morris while he’s in clink…

  185. Pretty sure that both trials have involved ten ex pupils and 20 charges for each trial all guilty on first .Im of the impression some charges possibly 2 or involving 2 ex pupils on the second trialwere dropped and the rest resulted in a hung jury but i dont have the full details

  186. Thinking of the victims here and all those who suffered in one way or another at that diabolical school.

    I think I know the name of the 3rd person involved, on the basis that we believe Nonce Morris was involved along with Wilkinson. Initials, inappropriately being JC.

  187. There was 3 trials scheduled. Trial 1, we know he was found guilty on all charges. Trial 2 the jury were unable to reach verdicts in relation to the majority of offences alleged. a decision had to be made as wether to proceed with a re trial. ( this would have taken months and complainants asked to give evidence a second time) After trial 2 he was sentenced on Trial 1 for 9 years. Given the sentence from trial one and a subsequent retrial of trial two, plus a third trial CPS concluded they would not have significantly affected the original sentence passed. The decisions were made after consultation with complainants and also took into account the judges comments from trials 1 and 2.

    as for the other allegations against teachers now deceased, they would have been trailed on very serious sexual offences. I am convinced there are still more victims who are yet to tell there stories. Some may be unaware of what has happened, some may not want to say anything, and i’m sure there will be some who are no longer able to tell their stories.

  188. Anyone hit with bunsen burner cords or sawnoff cricket bats may have been sexually abused ?one of the dead two was a brother according to the press.

  189. Even after the trial etc the lack of remorse shown by Morris is despicable. I was a Loreto girl and even we knew the rumours regarding him. The most disgusting part of this is that those in power within the school knew exactly what was going on & did nothing.

  190. Ann – quite right. Just what the hell did the school governors think they were doing? They are supposed to challenge the head teacher and whilst times have thankfully changed, there is absolutely no excuse for the lip service the governors paid to the roles they were appointed to. I suspect they were mostly in it for the social side and couldn’t give a tuppenny damn about the boys or the school.

  191. Given the character Morris obviously is I’m not sure a display of remorse would have meant an awful lot anyway.

    Did JC leave before mid-70s? Strugglng with that one. In the early 80s a history-teaching Christian brother left Ambrose suddenly and I was told by classmates that he’d been moved to another Christian Brothers school in Stoke because of complaints of sexual abuse. Maybe a wind-up or daft rumour mongering, but if true it’s appalling though not an untypical response by the Catholic Church to accusations of sexual abuse against children.

    What gets me is that Ambrose have the gall to release statements saying Morris’s crimes “all along time ago blah blah”, and that they have rigorous child safeguarding measures in place. Well they can’t be that rigorous when they were allowing Ambrose children to become altar boys in the neighbouring Church and fall directly under the “management” of Alan Morris (and the “rumours” about Morris will certainly have been know to the senior management team). Safeguarding children my fat arse!! I’m told the managing of altar boys was taken off him in the last year or three due to several complaints that he was (verbally) abusive to the boys.

    Ambrose is still a total disgrace and I wouldn’t let my kids near the place.

  192. To Roy

    You’ve clearly been reading the lamentable report by the MEN or someone who’d cribbed off it. What, in Heaven’s name, do they mean by a Bunsen burner cord?

    I think you’d find the phrase they were looking for is rubber tubing, since said burner works on gas. But, let’s remember, this is the MEN…

  193. Bill sums it up pretty well, the school allowed the man to remain in a place that provided access to kids and didn’t care. the statement about many, many years ago can be disproved fairly quickly in a civil court as Morris was giving lectures in the prep school as late as 2011. That they wish to allow the prep school to accept children from the age of five years needs to be opposed.
    I gave my evidence in the first trial and found the jury alert and attentive, some taking notes. Heard the second trial jury were different and seemed weird to many in the court.
    Bill, I’m assuming you are ‘Smithy’ of the 79 – 84 vintage.

  194. Sorry outofplace, not I’m not that Smithy. Bill Smith is a pseudonym. Similar era, but different year. Given the abuse doled out to contributors who haven’t provided the information that the website author has demanded, I’ll be remaining anonymous too.

    Somebody asked about the reasons for the separate trials. This was a decision take by the judge for logistical reasons. I.e. The judge considered that there were too many witnesses for the court to cope with (no idea why size comes into it), so split it into different sections. I think there may have been an option to move to a bigger court, further away, but that makes it more difficult as some witnesses don’t want (or are unable) to travel a long way.

    Obviously this all seems totally ridiculous and the CPS can’t be happy about it as it weakens the overall case to some extent. On the other hand maybe it helped in this case. I.e. The more trials you have, the more chance there is of getting a decent jury! So, purely hypothetically speaking, if there had only been one trial, heard by the jury in the second trial, there may have been a non-guilty verdict (or hung jury) overall. So splitting the trial into 3 effectivly gives the CPS a second and third crack of the whip, so to speak.

    Anyway, in case it’s not obvious, the split trials was the reason for the reporting restrictions. I.e. The idea is that the accused won’t have a fair second trial if the jury knows that he’s already been found guilty in another trial. So the verdict had to remain secret…and thus also not reported on websites…

  195. I understand the whole “hung jury” of the 2nd trial but why not still go ahead with the 3rd trial. This man has still got away with a hell of a lot of crimes against innocent children.

  196. To Roy:

    No complaints from me about you, I think you’d picked up the Bunsen Cord expression from the MEN report. Obviously the scribe has a bad memory or has never set foot inside a Chemistry lab in his life.

    With such a howler in his article, it makes wonder what else he got wrong…

  197. I seem to have upset most Ambrosians with my quest for the truth about Alan Morris and his actions and how the only way to make people aware of what physical sexual abuse of children really is, is to tell it as it was. In my blog posting on Tuesday 9th September under the title Here’s A Question I asked Ambrosians to tell all. It was met with scorn particularly from David Nolan. Well read it again and play attention to the comments and get onto my posting of 9th February 2014 entitled The Reality of St Bede’s In The 1950s And 1960s

  198. There is something to be said for raising awareness through exposing one’s crimes. However, I think people are fairly wise to these paedophilic crimes nowadays. Plus, the victims’ anonymity in sexual abuse cases is sacrosanct. Posting details of individual abuses, the year and month that it took place, where in the school etc, could allow victims to be identified. So, even seemingly insignificant details can land one in very deep water if it allows a friend/family member/ friend of the family to identify the victim using that piece of information.

    I know it doesn’t sound likely, but people should tread very carefully when exposing the details of abuses which they know about, or have been told about, as anonymity lasts for life, not just the duration of the case.

    1. James,
      That is the first sensible text I have seen you make. I am not after names, I am after types of abuse and most Ambrosians speak anonymously anyway. So it doesn’t matter a toss. All I want them to do is come into 21st century talk on the matter, instead of hiding behind anoydyne phrases which mean fuck all. It really is Cheshire Against Lancashire. Spade against shovel.

  199. It’s not my first sensible message, but no matter.

    I know people tend to stay anonymous, but it’s worth being as cautious as possible.

  200. I can’t comment on sexual abuse as i didnt experience it .there was however plenty of ott corporal punishment and violence from some teachers at ambrose in the 80s.

  201. I was part of the 2nd trial and indeed mystified not only that my decision was hung, but also that Morris was laughably found not guilty on 3 offences. I agree with the comment on the jury seeming to be ‘not to bothered’
    I was also in court for sentencing his dispicable lack of remorse is beyond comprehension. He didn’t even have the guts to look me in the eye.
    I and all my friends, who suffered the same abuse, but did not come forward, wish him nothing but the very finest in house punishment that HM inmates can offer

  202. I also have to say that never ever had an issue with Sam Wilkinson, or any other teachers for that matter, they were on the whole ok,
    Mr Cross liked beating people up who were smaller than him, (which in itself was a joke) pathetic little man

  203. To Jinky Jimmy:

    Here you go again, getting hold of the wrong end of the stick. It seems to have passed you by that someone here my also have issues of self-interest other than Paul M, if you can’t see that, you’re naive in the extreme. Just think journalists.

    Your own anonymity seems certainly to be intended to last for life, I thought we’d heard the last of you, but sadly, no.

    If you take a minute or two to actually read and absorb what Paul M actually has said, and not what you think he has said, like yourself, the Ambrosian victim’s anonymity can be easily preserved, since I would suspect the only people actually present during the abuse were the victim and the perpetrator, in most cases Alan Morris. Thus they are the only people who would probably know the true details.

    You seem to be paranoid about your own anonymity, I would argue to a point of obsession. Paul M and I are not and since you never even venture to give a reason why, this is why anything you ever say can never be taken at face value. You wouldn’t be much use as a witness in a trial, would you? If you were a victim, your obsession with anonymity would have trumped your duty to give evidence, for fear of being ‘outed’.

    What a sad way to be, anonymous by name, anonymous by nature. Stand up and be counted – you’re havin’ a laff!

  204. To Insider:

    You do surprise me, I’d never have guessed that. Read my posting above, then perhaps you can explain in words of one syllable to Jinky Jimmy what is meant by the phrase ‘vested interest’. I’m not sure he has the ability to figure out exactly what has been going on here.

    Perhaps he’s from Cheshire, like a few other people who seem to be less than keen that more details as to the Ambrosian abuse are aired in public.

    A simple answer to a simple question was required, it would appear that a bit of straight-talking Mancunian inquisition has upset certain folk. But omelettes and eggs, boys, if you draw attention to what happened, don’t complain when people ask for more information.

    Anonymity will be preserved, if it can be for JJ, I’m sure sure it can be for the victims of abuse.

  205. To all:

    A week on, a deafening silence from Chris Shelley, Martin and Margaret, the stout defenders of Alan Morris from 2013.

    Man (and woman) up, let’s hear the apology.

    Perhaps they have already crawled back into the hole from which they appeared and can’t hear us…..

  206. Oh dear Paul Taylor. It was just a friendly note of caution to people. Just because only a victim and perpetrator were present during abuse, doesn’t necessarily mean that details can’t get out and the victim’s identity be revealed accidentally.

    Just once, take the comment in the spirit it was meant.

  207. I was a victim of Physical and psycological abuse from Morris. I gave evidence in the trial, and I hope he gets all he deserves in Strangeways. Made me smile that he played the ‘walking stick ‘ card during his trial. Didn’t have a walking stick when he was sleazing around alter boys on the alter a Holy Angels…..
    On that subject, the governers, elders, call them what you will, from Holy Angels and St Ambrose should be in the dock. No apology from holy angels, and patronising response from Ambrose – are they going to get away with this? Plenty knew Morris was a nonce at Holy Angels, so WHY was he allowed to preach. As for Ambrose saying he was there a long time ago etc, well google “Alan Morris Alf Keeling” ……you will see he was in St Ambrose in 2011 lecturing!!!!! Just wrong, so wrong. As a sub note, I like the note about Andy Cross – he was a vile little shit, who also enjoyed giving out violent punishment. Time will tell if we ever see the likes of him in the dock also.

  208. To Jinky Jimmy

    Oh really? So where does that leave people who testify in court? The next thing you’ll tell me is the identity of this person will sometimes get out. I’m shocked, but I think I knew that already.

    A certain Sheffield United footballer called Ched Evans was jailed recently for rape. The name of his victim was blasted all over the Internet for all to see.

    What do you then suggest, he shouldn’t have been tried because this might have happened? It should be even possible with your clearly naive thinking to make the the posting suitably vague. Here’s an example:

    I was abused by X during the 1980s during my time at Y. The abuse included… and….

    Signed Anonymous

    If no precise details of names of victims and dates are given, you’d need to be clairvoyant to know the identity of the victim.

    By your definition, no-one would ever be brought to trial for sexual abuse. Precisely what David Nolan must think of your attitude, I shudder to think.

    Just think what would have happened if all Tommy Duggan’s and Billy Green’s victims had kept quiet, for fear to being identified you’d think what a wonderful place St Bede’s was. Oh, I forgot you still do, you stupid boy. That’s why the revelation of the abuse only came out years later, for that very reason.

    As usual, you completely miss the point, in that you are inevitably and anonymously consistent. Also a coward for repeatedly hiding being your anoymity, to make points so stupid as to defy belief.

    Please go away and don’t come back, you contribute absolutely nothing to the pursuit of truth, I’m convinced you’re nothing more than a barrack-room lawyer.

  209. To Openminded and other victims of abuse at the hands and other appendages of Mr Morris:-

    Thank you for all your postings, giving us an insight as to the abuse carried out over 20 years by not only Mr Morris, but others not yet named. Also for Mr David Nolan, on his bravery in acting as a fulcrum for this case, in spite of being one of the victims himself.

    On behalf of St Bede’s College, I sincerely apologise for the inane posting above by Jinky Jimmy (aka James J). By his definition, there would never have been any sort of court case, for fear of the identity of any of the victims coming out.

    I didn’t realise that being a moral coward was any thing to be proud of, making stupid observations and then hiding behind a cloak of anonymity as JJ has done. Whereas I might have had a disagreement or two with David Nolan, or, indeed Paul Malpas, you at least know who I am, I’m not a pseudonym.

    This sad individual seems to think that what happened at Bede’s is water under the bridge and can all be forgot about. Sorry, but the Sins of the Fathers will have to be paid for by Their Sons when the matter comes to court.

    No doubt you victims at St Ambrose will feel the same way about another rotten and corrupt institution that stood by for 20 years plus and did nothing to stop the abuse. Someone must be made to pay for what happened there, the buck has to stop somewhere.

    Jinky Jimmy’s impression of Pontius Pilate does no-one any favours, least of all to himself. He should simply go away and hang his head in shame.

  210. Need to root out those who hid AM from the authorities, who gave him safe passage to be edged out of Ambrose and into the Holy Angels vestry (was that Sanctuary ?). Who allowed him back to give a talk on 2011. Why was the 1st complaint in 2001 dropped like a hot spud, who persuaded the complainant to drop the case against AM all those years ago as it would “damage the catholic church”…Someone helped him, Who & When We need answers, they aided and abetted his crimes, accessory after the fact, joint enterprise, call it what you will, same crime same sentence.

  211. To ex 5m

    I agree with you 100%, someone here has been covering up Morris’s and others’ misdeeds, that much is fairly obvious from several of the postings.

    I’d suspect the legal route may be the only way to get any answers, I can’t see the Catholic authorities coming clean and telling the truth voluntarily.

    1. Paul,
      I started to write about this as a reply to ex 5m comment and I went to publish it naming chapter and verse when my blog was attacked and I lost it for 7 or 8 hours until my defence system went on the attack. I have had a busy day and I am just settling down to a tumbler of vodka, lime juice and sparkling water and fuck the world. It has been a busy and tiring day but tomorrow I will have another go and since this morning I have also found out some extremely interesting new details.

  212. I could not have put it better myself ex5-m. There is something very smelly about the whole Ambrose/Holy Angels situation. We really do need answers here. David Nolan in my opinion is one of the best people to help us all here. For the record, David deserves full credit for all he has done. Take it from me that doing what he did for commercial or career reasons could not be further from the truth. He has been a voice for us all, and I for one am very keen to buy him a pint!

  213. I’m with Ghandi on this – “I like your Jesus Christ he seems a good soul, but sadly most christians I meet are NOTHING like Jesus Christ”…

    Many use it as a unearned badge of superiority or a veil of deceit to hide their ill doings or as a band aid of forgiveness of their dreadful acts…I remember the pro IRA chanting at school by some of the plastic Irish (Stockport born with an Eire passport) lads in my class. Then the terrorists would of course go to confession get the slate clean and then be OK to build another bomb. More than just sex abuse the church has hidden and excused.

    I have a name but not going to post it as if I am wrong I could be sued.

    1. Well ex5m if you will not post it I will, some things need to get out into the open if only for discussion and this is more serious than that. I will be publishing my new posting on this subject in 15 minutes it is entitled Charity Begins At Home

  214. Shut up Taylor you vacuous windbag. You entirely missed the point of what I was saying because you are so blinded by your dislike of anybody who happens to disagree with you.

  215. All very interesting.I remember the Catenians from when I was a boy and eavesdropped some odd conversations at the Sunday shindigs they had from time to time. Time to dig into who got the building contracts on this taxpayer funded new school and I expect to see some familiar names. As for the description of Morris’ crimes the papers did highlight some of it, ie caning of bare arses etc, personally, fighting off a man with a hardon who’s groping my arse was enough to get me firmly in the rebel camp at a young age, after dealing with morris you knew they were all complicit. I had expected Sean Flemings name to come up as I viewed him as Morris’ main protector, though he may be dead by now. Those of a less feisty disposition who didn’t fight back at the time deserve sympathy and respect for giving evidence as it is not easy and to do that without a conviction at the end is kick in the guts. They can and should pursue legal action and use the trials evidence as much as possible. Who in their right mind would send a child to that place is beyond me as the current headmaster is either terminally stupid to have allowed Morris anywhere near the place or not fussed about paedophiles.

    The legal avenues of no win no fee seem designed to mightily enrich the lawyers acting for both parties without much regard for the actual compensation payment to the victim. better to get this in the courts where it belongs and see what can be found lurking under the rocks.

    Paul Malpas – Don’t be fooled by the leafy lanes of Hale Barns, the intake was fairly divided into fee payers and 11 plussers. At my time there it was a virtual class war with posh boys in the top stream and rest in the bottom streams. they had two bottom streams which showed how they intended to fail the majority. Took the entrance exam to Bede’s myself and passed but was absolutey not going there , felt like a Victorian prison and the priests in black were fiendish looking fuckers. Not going to have a contest as to which school was worse but would expect the true number of victims and offenders to be something we will never know and wish a plague on both of them.

  216. draconian measures from evil christian brothers. Leather straps made by nuns for beating kids, sawn off cricket bats “The bottom slayer”, board compass, rubber tubing, being pulled up off your chair by your sideburns, pushed against the classroom wall and thumped in the chest by adult teachers were just some of the beatings I took along with my Morris abuse.
    When a child hits a child, we call it aggression.
    When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility.
    When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault.
    When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline. St Ambrose discipline completely ruined my school years and was the sole reason I failed my o levels and left after 5th form. An evil place. If there is such a thing as divine retribution I hope all those sadistic teachers and christian brothers still alive are living in fear. The net is closing in.

  217. I would suggest all readers go to the following which gives an Altrincham man’s view on events at Ambrose. dated 17th September 2014 and read Rusty’s Skewed News Views

  218. Re Openminded, were there that many fee payers? I thought the vast majority were boys who passed the 11 plus. Given the middle classes tended to get the best training to pass the exam, I wouldn’t have thought there was that much of a need for many parents to pay. I know there was the odd fee payer, which I found peculiar even at the time, given how desperately much of the teaching was, but I thought there were in a very small minority.

    Didn’t most LEAs have grammar school systems in those days, so the middle classes mostly didn’t have to pay to keep their offspring away from the proletriat?

    I agree that the system of streaming was a handy way of knocking out whatever confidence a working class boy might have gained by passing the 11 plus. And I also recognise the element of class war that this engendered by splitting boys in this way. You couldn’t make it up!!

    But there weren’t 2 bottom streams were there? It was A, B and C in my day. Or maybe your year was 4 form entry? Mine only 3 forms.

    Good point about the building contracts for the new school. No doubt their “modern” standard financial instructions are as rigorously applied as their child safeguarding policies…

  219. Bill Smith; In the early eighties there were four forms with two C streams. Self referred to as the C stream thickies. I remember a lot of fee payers and they came from as far afield as Warrington, Cheadle and Stockport. As for the contractors I’ve already found a couple of ‘old boys’ sub-contracting on the build.
    I think the christian brothers wanted a small cadre of high achievers in places of influence. as was the case in Ireland. Pliable fiends to the Order if you like. Currently there are three MP’s from that era who have remained publicly silent. Hope David Nolan asks them for a comment.

    Ex-pupil; You’re description sums it up for many of us. Noticed the last old boys dinner was a bit under populated and I’m looking forward to this years photo album if there is one.

  220. Agreed with ex pupils comments, and the various others about the class streaming. there were 4 in my time,
    Have to reiterate, aparte from ‘mozzer’ I never really suffered at the hands of anyone else, saw Cross really (way over the top) picking on the small kids, mainly 1st & 2nd years, as they were usually too big for him by 3rd year and he never bothered me.

    Mr Handy used to try and belittle/humiliate me in front of the class, which I guess you could call abuse of sorts, but I just never bothered with him and say yes sir, no sir
    Sam was always good as gold with me and I had a great relationship with most of the others, my favourite being Geoff Chilcott

    Out of place…Have to say I never thought Mr Fleming was aware of any misdoings, I saw him a few times and he alwyas seemed genuinely sorry he was having to give detention/lines or on the odd occassion, the strap.

  221. To still Anonymous JJ:

    You’re the one completely missing the point here. You state that people could be identified if they give details. By your logical reckoning, no-one would ever have given evidence against the unctuous Morris for fear of being outed. There is no flaw whatosever in the logic of that statement.

    I repeat, now go and apologise to all his victims, especially David Nolan, for being the spineless, moral coward and still anonymous person you really are. It’s what you say that annoys most people, not the fact that people disagree with you.

    But then, you’re so up your own backside with your anonymous postings, you haven’t figured that out yet. Have you ever wondered why so few people seem to agree with you?

  222. To Outofplace and ex-pupil:

    Thanks for the postings, most ex-Bedians of my vintage and older will confirm that St Ambrose’s and Bede’s were of a similar kind, fortunately for the Bedians of my age, I may be wrong, but I suspect we got a bit of a break from the abuse after Tommy Duggan departed.

    However, less than a decade later, good old nonce Billy Green (yes, he’s still on parole for his offences) took up the cudgels and continued the abuse for over a decade.

    The similarities are striking and I would argue are not coincidental. It would appear the Catholic Church has yet again got its fingerprints all over this one, as it had at Bede’s.

    All the best in your fight to get justice.

    Roll on the court cases……(although maybe not using ambulance-chasing lawyers, hopefully)

  223. I have a 1984 school photo with morris and fleming either side of acting headmaster bro sheehan.sums up the regime at the time

  224. Out of place-not seen anything on the old boys website to say sean fleming has died so i presume he’s still alive.he wasnt someone you wanted to mess with and definitely appeared to dislike c streamers.

  225. No, Taylor, you have still completely and utterly missed the point. A remedial course in basic logical theory would do you some good.

    I was talking about identifying the victims of sexual abuse. I mentioned nothing about giving evidence. Indeed, you complete halfwit, victims are guaranteed anonymity in any such case, so that is not an issue. The issue – I hope you’re still keeping up – is when ill-advised shit stirrers accidentally identify someone on…oh I don’t know… Let’s say a blog!

    Come on Paul, keep up.

    Your suggestion that I personally apologise to all of Morris’ victims is the best ever example of you missing the mark.

  226. Roy, I remember the photo being taken in the yard with a panoramic camera.Someone in the stair window giving the bird and several ran round the back to beat the cameras’ pan and appear twice. Fleming clobbered them, open handed slap across the chops. Thought he was a deeply disturbed man and reading his puerile history of the school has to be the most turgid experience of recent years. Might be nice to write an alternative and shorter version. Many in the C streams were in open rebellion by that time and Fleming was treated with contempt. Sheehan was mad and rarely sober.
    This paedophile plague from the past keeps on throwing up old faces for me as the headmaster of my primary school now faces 9 charges of indecent assault on children of both sexes, the youngest being six years old.

  227. I was very quiet until the last two years in the c stream , we got treated like idiots by some of the teachers so behaved like idiots.

  228. Discussion on the shitty streaming reminds me of…
    I wad C stream all the way and in the 5th year our classroom was a mess. The huge blackboard was hanging off the wall, there were bare electrical wires visible through the holes in the plaster and the desks were ancient. One or two had been set on fire (the burn marks were obvious). The A stream had the converted music room…with a nice carpet on the floor. It wasn’t just the teachers who were shite, it was the fabric of the building. There was of course Jacko with his cart to sort it out… The place was a farce from start to finish.

  229. I appeared as a witness, and appeared in the documentary aired on Granada reports. I would firstly like applaud David Nolan and all the work by the child protection team and the work of the CPS.

    However the school and the way Ambrose was run during my time between 83-89 was appalling, many teachers knew exactly what was going on and yet did nothing to stop it. As for naming names I am more than happy to do this.

    Mr Cross, despite having a short fuse, I don’t believe he was that bad.

    Mr O’Reagan was an absolute pig of a man who would feed pupils to Morris because he couldn’t control people himself. I have met him several horse racing tracks around the country since and have approached him even before the case came out and he never could give me a straight answer, instead he ran to his nephew who he was with at Ascot and Goodwood. Cowardly man.

    Brother Coleman, he is the most vile person I have ever come across who portrays he is a man of the cloth. I remember seeing him drag my friend out in front of assembler knee him in his knackers and kick him on th ground, what was the crime, not having his face in a prayer book in assembley. Other teachers stood and watched Mr Mulrennan and other stood by and watched looking shocked but none interfered the school was run by fear.

    What happened to me was I was taken to Mr Morris chemistry lab and made to hit each of my friends who were also taken there for misdemeanours. He positioned us over a chemistry stool and place a Caine in our hands and we were made to hit each of our friends whilst he stood watching our backsides and taking photos!! Quite odd I thought.

    The place stinks.

  230. I posted this on Here’s a question and though it should go here as well …

    I was told a few stories, from the same person, about a different teacher, not Morris that went a little like this:

    ‘He took me to his house in walking distance of the school. This was during school time as I was having a private lesson with him in an area of the school that was quite isolated from the rest of the school. When we arrived, he told me to take my shirt off because it would get creased when I sat on his sofa, being young I did. I had a vest on underneath, one of those cotton ones children aged thirteen or so wear, he asked me to take it off which I did. He then put Full Metal Jacket on the video player, and 18 film, when I was 13, I was quite excited to see this, so started to watch it. He then went to the kitchen and got a short mixed with coke each; I think it was either vodka or gin. He then went upstairs and returned in a dressing gown and sat next to me on the sofa where he proceeded to lean over and stick his tongue in my mouth his erect penis through the gap in his dressing gown. When I recoiled away, he told me this was all normal and went onto kiss me again. He then stopped and told me how his favourite was here yesterday and they had full sex on the stairs so this is nothing. He then pressed his penis against my hand and touched my groin area. He knew I was uncomfortable and decided we should go back to school. He walked around finishing his drink with his dressing gown open. He had run a bath for us.’

    I know this guy and he went to the police in the early 90s!
    Is that what you need to hear Paul?

    I was caned by Morris, X marks the spot etc… and made to cane other boys, but knowing what else was going on with other teachers thought it was normal for such a messed up school where I witnessed a Christian Brother punch a 14 year old in the face, smash board rubbers into peoples faces and slap a 13 year old until he was crying so much he was sick.

  231. I hope those who gave evidence & others who were abused can take some comfort from the verdict.
    I attended Ambrose from prep school through to early 90s.
    Morris brought me to his office once for larking about but I was lucky to be told to write out the school rules as punishment.
    Everyone knew he was dodgy & I recall in 90 or 91 a rumour that one of the pupils in the year above (lower 6th) had reported him or had a compromising photo of his punishment style, but nothing more was heard.
    You have to wonder what the long serving teachers such as Fleming knew.
    As for the other teachers I’m guessing they were both involved in the Arts.
    One of the other teachers turned up to a 6th form leavers party with a member of 5th form as his guest, who was wearing one of the teacher’s distinctive sports jackets & cravats.
    Such brazen behaviour would lead one to the conclusion if there were any child protection controls they were not being applied.

  232. I haven’t seen direct mention on here of the name of the Christian Brother abusers at St Ambrose … one or two qurstions earlier but as far as I can see unresponded.

    Certainly one of the principal abusers, involved in sexual assault (as opposed to more ‘normal’ infliction of corporal punishment) was Brother I. Baylor, who is now dead and beyond justice.

    He had the protection of the Christian Brothers and the Catholic Church. His actions at Scotus Academy in Edinburgh (now closed) can still be found on the Scotus forum … but in case they go ‘missing’ at some point, I paste a section here:

    “In the early 1960’s Brother I. Baylor became the new Rector of Scotus & over the years he was lauded as being the schools savior, but in reality I believe that he was responsible for its eventual demise.

    He was a paedophile preying on vulnerable young Scotus boys. One boy told his parents what was happening & they informed Archbishop Grey (later Cardinal) who organized a covert investigation – it was the result of this that other boys came forward. Baylor was promptly removed from the school & it was explained to one of his victims (that I know of) that Baylor was a sick man in need of psychiatric treatment which the church would provide & a promise was made that he would never be allowed contact with children again. Despite the serious nature of this monsters heinous sexual assaults on young boys none were given counseling nor were the police informed. … Baylor was seen within a Christian Brother school two years after his removal from Scotus.”

    When he was removed from Scotus he had a cooling off period arranged by the Christian Brothers but then … yes you’ve guessed it, he was assigned to St Ambrose, in a sham teaching role in the prep school and was put in charge of the PE department. He wasted no time in taking the opportunity to install a mattress into the showers and continue with his perversions.

    There were a number of assaults on prep school boys at St Ambrose in the early 70s. There were subsequently complaints by devout Catholic parents who were assured by the school (at that time, run by the Christian Brothers) that the matter was in hand. Baylor was (once again) shunted from the school for psychiatric treatment and placed on ‘retreat’ in Ireland.

    As far as I’m aware, Baylor survived until 1989 with the support (and protection) of the Catholic Church.

    Coupled with the Alan Morris debacle, the school, the Diocese and the Catholic Church should accept their role in the supression on these actions.

  233. Hello everybody!

    I am also one from the first trial and I’m interested to hear what people are going to do regarding compensation. Having retracted from Pannone, I’ve got to make a decision on what to do next. Frankly, I didn’t enter this situation to receive compo but I didn’t enter the Chem Lab to have my arse groped. It seems clear that I’m going to need legal representation but so far I’ve only seen AO recommended. The other option is to do it myself but I’d then have to follow due process etc and this would or could prove costly to myself. Any ideas?

  234. Spartacus, why retreat from Pannone ? I thought Richard Scorah was the main man for this case…? The stark choice is of paying the fees and collecting the compensation (should you win) but paying the fees, win, lose or draw OR go down the no win no fee route with a less reputable firm who will hit you for 40% on any award… I don’t think legal aid is available for civil cases. Although based on a 9 year sentence the odds of winning are high as the burden of proof is much less in civil matters.

    1. Richard Scorer seems not a nice man to me. Take the first offer on the table, get out of the case as quick as possible is the mantra of Slater and Gordon. He will not pursue a case along the same lines as AO which is a longer and more complicated way, Read my many blog postings on the old Pannone firm who only bet on favourites.

  235. Ex 5M It seems as though Slater and Gordon/Pannone like a quick fix that benefits all parties, which is the correct thing to do. However, they don’t seem to want to take things to court. I don’t want someone to negotiate a crap deal for me on the basis that its easier all round. I’m prepared for someone to gamble a little and play the long game as I’m in no hurry for compensation. The amounts S&G have quoted seem low in comparison to what I think should be aimed for but I’ve never been in this situation before and maybe I’m being unrealistic. If an office worker is sexually harrassed there seems to be huge payout which can be a lifechanger. However,I’ve been sexually abused by a teacher and that has impacted my life from that point to this but the potential payout appears meagre in comparison. As Morris was renowned for this over a great number of years and continued to be employed within arse touching proximity of boys should have solicitors aiming much higher in my opinion.

    Paul – I’ve read some of the Pannone blogs which ultimately made me change my mind. That and a gut feeling.

  236. Thanks Paul – I’m awaiting a response from AO amongst others I’ve enquired with but if I don’t hear back I’d appreciate the introduction.

  237. Does anyone know what happened to Mr Chadwick? I know plenty of stories about him… and as for Brother Coleman, what a psycho… Very pleased to see Alan Morris get some time; he had a crack at me once, advised me to have a good wank and then next time I saw him asked me if I’d been following his advice… no ta pal…

  238. Joe

    I think Deacon Morris was in Strangeways post the guilty verdict but I’m not sure where he is serving his sentence.

  239. I hope it is somewhere that makes him feel as fearful as many of us did at Ambrose, and not some wooly open prison with sky tv etc…

  240. they were all fuckers. I was in R (the lowest of the low as I remember being told). Once out of 1st year (cos he hated them), Sam Wilkinson was just an old queen and used to let me drink alcohol in his lessons so fair play. Mr Cross was an awful man (small man syndrome) – took a few leatherings off that fucker. Morris scared the bejesus out of me and when given the choice, (thankfully with hindsight) I would always choose to write the school rules out 10 times for the equivalent of one paddywack. The brothers were all fucked – at least the big fire of 82 (83?) took a few of them down. Mr (Les) Bian and his handy fists. That weird PE teacher (isn’t the gay, young (or at least he was young in ’84) still there?

  241. Serious nonces and sexual offenders often go to Wakefield (Monster Mansion!) where they have specialists to work with them. However is Nonce Morris “dangerous” enough to society to warrant a place there?

    He’d be amongst his own vile sort in Wakefield – possibly safer there than on a wing at Leeds or Manchester in a way. The dirty nonce bastard.

  242. I used to be tutored by one of the good teachers at home, once a week(my parents home,with them in the next room). When we used to have a break, we would talk about incidents and characters at the school. Although I never discussed Morris and what happened to me,it was obvious that other staff were aware of what went on at that school. I’m utterly convinced that Morris (and others) continued to do as they pleased as they were protected by the likes of Sheehan in particular.

    Thinking about Sheehan, I remember an incident when he came out of the Bulls Head as the entire school were fighting to get on the buses. Utterly and completely pissed, the teachers on bus duty decided it was more important to shepherd a staggering,shouting deputy head back into the pub, rather than stick to the child welfare job that they’d reluctantly been assigned. Says it all really!

  243. Wouldnt surprise ifMorris appealed against the guilty verdict.
    Thats far more likely than admitting his guilt with all the other cases belng put on file.

  244. Sam Wilkinson was, at the very least, physically and emotionlly extremely abusive. And it seemed pretty obvious he got a huge thrill out of scaring and hitting the bejasus out of young children with his mini cricket bat. It’s no surprise to read on this forum that he gave alcohol to children at school and in his house.

    Was the Mr Cross that several posters have referred to the geography teacher? Used to say “Stop prattin’ about” a lot in a broad Lancashire accent. I was older when he arrived at the school and he seemed pretty harmless. I certainly couldn’t imagine him whacking kids at all, but maybe he saved his aggro for the little kids…? Or is the violent one a different Mr Cross?

  245. Joe I refer you to my earlier post
    “Mr Handy used to try and belittle/humiliate me in front of the class, which I guess you could call abuse of sorts, but I just never bothered with him and say yes sir, no sir” basically just an arse and only took an academic interest in the lads that played rugby…Handy is still there I believe…

    In response to Mr Chadwick comment ‘@From the music room’ Clearly he was big queen, but again, to me at least was harmless

    never thought Sam was dodgy, just used to shout a lot and put the frighteners on people that way

  246. Anyone going to the SA Old Boys reunion this year ? Could be appropriate to do some heckling at top table….Its usually November ?

  247. Re Knutsford View. Somehow being openly gay made him seem less creepy. Undoubtedly tried it on with most of the boys who joined the choir and I certainly enjoyed a gin & tonic at his house and loved going on choir trips, but I never once witnessed anything untoward. Not saying it didn’t happen of course. Not like the post lunch tears of friends of mine who’d spent the break time in alan morris’ lab…

  248. Hey guys, I’m an ex Ambrosian who was ‘taught’ by Morris and, well correct me if I’m wrong but so far no one has suggested that he may be a sociopath. I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently and he definitely fits the profile. Anyone read Martha Stout?

  249. My understanding of a sociopath is someone whose personality does not allow them to grasp the basic fundamentals of right and wrong when interacting with others. To that end, I guess Morris as a sex abuser would fall into this broad category, as indeed would any rapist, wife beater, serial murderer, etc etc….

  250. Openminded- Not my understanding of a sociopath at all. Rather a cunning, charming and manipulative individual that apes the normalities of human emotions but does not actually feel them. ie can nod and smile at the right moments and pass as genuine whilst doing things the majority of folk would never consider. Their only loyalty is to themselves, if they even have a self. legal profession is stuffed with them as is finance and politics. Think of Blair and you’ll get my drift.

  251. I see from the news that 2 “long serving, senior teachers” from Ambrose have been suspended pending an investigation into them being aware of the antics Reverend Deacon Alan was getting upto….
    This is great news as IMHO these pathetic little rats are just as guilty as the man himself. Anyone know who these two are…..?

  252. Anyone know who the 2 teachers from Ambrose are that have been suspended pending an enquiry regarding the cover up of this sad episode…

  253. Spoke to a mate who has sons at the school, everyone knows that 2 teachers (long serving) have been on “sick” leave for several weeks pending investigation. Friend of mine (teacher at the school) says the are malicious and they will be exponerated. The are alleged to have “known” about it but not “complicit”. I suppose that is “Accessory after the fact” – You know a crime has been committed but did not report it. Far more difficult to prove other than “Oh come on you must have known about it”…

  254. BTW – I am not going to name them but its common knowledge at the school. Just remember these are allegations at this stage, this is the UK, despite its many flaws we have the least worst judicial system in the world.

  255. Pains me to read and write this, I was one of the R thickos, I feel like I suffered awful abuse from Cross, the kind that no child should receive from their supposed teacher/mentor. Consequently I dropped out after 3 years and spiralled into drug experimentation and subsequent rehab. I have zero qualifications of any note, but somehow managed to hold down a job that pays me ok.
    It’s easy to point fingers and that’s exactly what I’m doing, so a big FU to Cross and the so called Christian brotherhood.
    I would love to see that panoramic photo though that’s mentioned above, I remember it being taken.

    How could this happen?

  256. Just discovered this forum. Thank you all. Am a twitterer myself, so propose to tweet screenshots of some of your comments, with my own observations. Having said that, when I tweeted some names before, I got no response. Bro. Baylor, yes! Remember that mattress well!

    Let’s not forget some of the sadistic lay teachers. Shaw & Almond from the early 1970s. Remember seeing kids bent over my desk to be beaten to a snivelling wreck just for not handing in their homework on time. Got a couple of slipperings & straps myself but just enough to preserve my playground cred.

    Nobody has mentioned Bro. Owen. He was alright with me but I heard stories. When I became a prefect I was given his class. On the school bus, one of his pupils told me that he was hit by him for no good reason. My advice was that next time he should hit him back because I didn’t think the other teachers would be prepared to back him up. God, I hope I was right!

    The women were the nicest teachers. In the prep school, i remember 1 of the younger ones in the late 1960s desperately trying to drop a hint about Baylor. Clear in retrospect but too late! Jacqueline Harrison in the secondary school was one of the most straightforward and gentle teachers and was rewarded with more rudeness and teasing than the others.

    Let’s face it, some of the pupils were bastards too but that’s another blog for another time.

    I suggest a hashtag for Twitter: #stambrose ?

  257. Paul ,everyone who went to ambrose was deemed to be academically above average aged 11,so forget the c stream thicko bit.Lets hope you had a beter time at the other schools you attended.

  258. yes, @aelwyn ‘Pop’ Owens was a bit liberal with his strap as I recall; a sadistic disciplinarian, but I hadn’t heard of him or marked him myself, as a sexual deviant.
    I got hit a few times for no ‘particularly good reason’ by a few of them over the years. To be fair, (and I know not everyone will agree) but it was partly the times we lived in; I’m clear in my mind on that one … and yes, there were some bastards among the pupils also.
    However, the sexual stuff – the Baylor and Morris stuff is another issue altogether and as I posted previously Baylor was a serial paedo and worse, was sheltered and supported by the Catholic church. I’ve corresponded with one Scotus victim and I suspect Baylor’s actions there, were significantly worse, or at least on a bigger scale.
    There were some good teachers in the prep – Cooke? Massey? and I do think they tried – one of them was involved when Baylor got shunted. But on the whole it was dominated by Christian Brothers (at that time) and … the teachers were Catholics and it was a powerful lever.

  259. See Michael Thompson, the head teacher of SAC has announced his departure, however the school has been keen to stress “it is nothing to do with the Alan Morris Abuse scandal………”

    Any word yet on who the suspended teachers are?

  260. Hi Open minded, if you leave an email address on this forum, I will email you the names of the 2 teachers from SAC who have been “off sick” for several weeks prior to going on suspension. Please tread carefully this is all on the word of 1 ex pupil. This could be malicious, mistaken identity, they could even pull the “nazi defence” IE just following orders from the Diocese and therefore NOT guilty so naming them in a public forum could prejudice their case. As I have said before this is UK (not North Korea) and we have the least worst judicial system in the world. But we do know who they are now. Very very disappointing as 1 of them taught me and thought was OK..

    1. Better still Ex 5m and Open Minded, I have both your e-mail addresses why don’t I introduce one to the other, but which one first is the question

  261. Re John Barton Knutsford View. I appreciate you acknowledge that although you never witnessed anything untoward you are not saying it never happened.

    However, what fascinates me about your comment is the fact that you state he ‘undoubtedly tried it on with most of the boys who joined the choir’ This was a man in a post of teacher, who should not be trying it on with pupils, almost all minors. It is sick. Im glad you have fond memories of your Gin and Tonic and choir trips, others do not have such fond memories. This man allegedly (and I’m not sure why I added allegedly as my source is 100% reliable, and as I stated went to the police in the early 1990s) bragged about raping a child on his stairs whilst indecently exposing himself and attempting to sexually abuse another minor. I’m sure many people have fond memories of Alan Morris, do they continue to enjoy the memories of evenings spent with the now convicted pervert, for whom as Paul Malpas has pointed out there are no accounts so far of any behaviors such as rape and from my viewing of Mr Nolans appearance on ITV this wasn’t mentioned then either.

    Enjoy your memories!

  262. Is there anyway I can contact David Nolan? I was a victim of this vile culture at Ambrose durin the 80’s. Based on his bravery, I have recently come forward and been interviewed by the police in Altrincham.

  263. Pretty sure they have computers in prison these days, so on that basis – A very happy christmas Alan from the class of ’84. Hope all your wishes come true.

  264. To all:

    Since this is the Season of Goodwill etc., can the following people step forward and reply to my posting of September 6, as regards their ‘conviction’ (a possibly unfortunate choice of words in the circumstances) that Alan Morris was innocent.

    You are all still wrong, three months on.

    So, the following Apologistas:-

    Chris Shelley 25 April 2013
    Martin 22 May 2013
    Margaret 26 July 2013

    We still can’t hear your apology.

    A Merry Xmas to everyone else.

    P. S. Any idea which jug Alan Morris is currently residing in? Then we could direct all of the above to go and visit him in prison.

  265. Regarding Chris Shelley, Margaret, and Martin…
    . My guess is that they are from Holy Angels and are hoping (praying….!) that their grubby little organisation does not also get an ‘investigation’ into who had knowledge of Morris, as has been the case with the two suspended Ambrose teachers. From what I have heard, the Diocese of Shrewsbury has a bit of a rotweiller on board now investigating all the fun and games that have been going on, and I am sure that also includes anyone involved in cover ups!
    Would also like to know which slammer the Reverend Deacon Alan is partaking in porridge – isn’t Wakefield where they send nonces for the North of England?

  266. I appear to have been living in a bubble and only got to hear about all this when a lady I work with, who lives in Hale told me about the case, when i mentioned going to Ambrose. Whilst reading the press reports in the last couple of days and particularly reading the posts on this thread. I kept getting vivid memories about different teachers who I witnessed and endured physical abuse from. Some of these memories had previously erased from my memory and I can’t help but feel sick about and a real sense of injustice. The bits I had remembered i had joked about down the years until now, anyone i told the stories to, probably thought it was gross exageration. To be clear, thankfully i never endured or witnessed any, what i would deem to be direct sexual abuse but maybe indirectly it gave some teachers sexual gratification in some way. I was one of 3 or 4 pupils who had to cane each other in Morris’s lab, Morris once repeatedly poked me in the face with his pen calling me the perverse of the school (rich i know). I was kneed in the back by Br Rynne a good few times for failing my latin vocab test. Billy Knight once punched me in the stomach for no reason whilst i held a door for him in the coridoor and he totally winded me. I still remember his smirk as he walked off. Mr Howard the french teacher once lifted me by the hair on my sideburns until i was on my tip toes and had tears in my eyes he looked at me with a real hatred, i was larking about along with a load of others who should have been reprimanded (not in this way) but he singled me out. Dave Hallas once ran a full 50 yards to spank 4 of us on the arse and bare legs for messing in a long jump pit. I was the first to get it, he hit me on the run and had me hopping around for a good few minutes and a red hand mark on my arse. I have vague memories of Br Ryan (think there were 2 Ryans) losing it in class and running round lashing out indiscriminately with a thick leather strap, he swung it at my head but my blazer arm blocked it. I remember Mr Cross punching a kid straight in the face in front of a class, he was 13 years old. I also remember Br Coleman repeated kicking a kid in class while he cowered and covered up. Some of this stuff sounds trivial compared to what some ambrosians suffered but i can’t help thinking that there was a number of teachers who abused pupils god only knows with what regularity and to what extent, but yet only one has been brought to justice. I don’t know if any of the above are still teaching but i would hate to think that somewhere there are some poor kids having to suffer this type of stuff. I am not thinking the likes of Billy Knight should be jailed for punching me in stomach one day but if he did that to other kids regularly he should be locked up or at least not allowed to teach or be near kids. Maybe the ship has sailed but i would be keen to hear from others before deciding whether to take anything further and i am really curious about the 2 suspended teachers.

  267. Fully agree with the comments you make about Cross, Howard, Ryan et al. They were abusers, albeit not sexual, but the way to look at it is this: If it happened today to your kids, what would YOU do…..?
    When giving evidence to the Police, they came out with a very interesting point of view which was that they don’t care if it was 25 years ago, as it was all wrong then, and therefore is all wrong now.
    I strongly suspect the net will be closing in on a few more in 2015 if not for sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse.

    Regarding your point of who to speak to, I would strongly recommend Dave Nolan. He is a victim, and is putting together a book on Ambrose. He is a great guy and a sympathetic ear. I am sure someone will be in touch to give you his email.

    You are not alone, and it is not too late to go to Police – trust me, it lifts a huge burden.

  268. Do any gin and tonic lovers on here remember the music instrument store room??? If not let me remind you …. think of the music corridor, approaching from the playground, on the left as I’m sure you remember was a suite of rooms where music lessons would take place. One room was where the instruments were stored, this room had no windows. This room was cleared of musical instruments and became the choirmasters office. How convenient. He tried to fuck one of my friends in there. Enjoy your gin and tonic.

  269. To Ambrosian class of 87, yes I’d echo the advice to contact David Nolan. His email address is on this thread (put there by himself) or you could contact him via Twitter.

    If you haven’t seen it there’s a Granda Reports Special Report (5-10 mins) on the Morris case and a good interview after with David Nolan. Google Granda Reports Alan Morris if link below doesn’t work.

  270. To our friends at Alty Grammar School, it appears the Fred Talbot trial starts in Minshull St today (day 1 is opening plea & jury selection) and I note its the same judge who presided over the Alan Morris trial.

  271. Has anyone heard if there have been any success in legal claims yet for Morris victims against St. Ambrose?

  272. Anyone know if Uncle Monty is still alive & whether he will be charged?
    Have the suspended teachers been reinstated? I’m guessing a long serving school historian & a Malteser

  273. open minded, I think Panonne are dealing with the majority of cases but haven’t heard of any actual court action as of yet so perhaps deals are being done. Probably best to ask the school direct, in writing, if you believe you have a case and see what their own lawyers have to say. Might be a good time to ask them to remove the blurb about the ethos of the Christian Brothers that still exists on their website, a very long list of convictions and the Irish Governments own report on the Order should convince and I imagine they’d be glad to re-invent themselves after all the justified attention they have received.

  274. A lawyer called Richard Scorer is the one possibly going to take the lead (a collective suit) on SAC, The Diocese and the Unchristian Brothers. Probably the suit will be a list of claimants Vs the defendant (whoever gets named). It has the advantage of one litigation (which the courts love) and a big pay off to split between the claims.

  275. PM – Think you are right, however, some maybe tempted by the no win no fee (ie no risk law suit) BUT a) he may be quick to settle b) take a lower amount for quick resolution c) take his 40% The Alternative is to see a different lawyer who will want costs (fees) win, lose or draw…

    1. He takes these cases on because he cannot lose, he has the crime on his side. Whatever he will certainly have his nice pay packet, he does not care that the survivors only get the small change.

  276. I am a latecomer to this discussion but rather surprised at the lack of comment from pupils of an earlier era like myself ( 1952-1959 ). Obviously the very public case against Alan Morris has justifiably expanded contemporary interest into the layers of culpability and responsibility within the catholic hierarchy but I would like to emphasize that daily, relentless, physical and verbal abuse has been on the St Ambrose curriculum for a long time.
    The. Perpetrators are probably long dead and my point is not to stage an “our abuse was worse than yours scenario” but to wonder at the extraordinary length of time they and their successors have been able to get away with it and the indifference and compliance of superiors supposedly doing Gods work on earth
    As one of the relatively few pupils who attended both St. Ambrose and St.Bedes ( 1959-1962 ) I did once comment to Paul that , although I hated my time at St. Bedes ,( apart from the opportunity to play football without getting the strap ) I was never subjected to nor saw any form of abuse. He replied rather ironically but truthfully that I was too old.( 15 )
    Fortuneately, i don’t think I suffered too much at the hands of either school but if I had to sum up the difference from my perspective, one was a zoo, the other a prison.
    All the best to those not so lucky who really suffered

  277. Very sory to hear an ex- Ambrose Pupil took his own life last week. I understand he was there in the 1960s and experienced a tough time like most of his schoolmates. I do not know, or feel it is appropriate to discuss or speculate further, however it has deeply saddened me and gives so much assurance that the brave guys who stood up to the corruption and evil of that shameful place in giving evidence last year did so with dignity and courage. x

  278. A good friend of mine in 1986 took his own life (age 22) and he was ex Ambrose and “pet” of Morris so shocked when I heard the news 29 years ago. He was Mike Hutton if anyone remembers I am beginning to wonder how much pain there is still out there….

  279. Ex 5m mike hutton rings a bell.When did you leave Ambrose? I know of another ex ambrose pupil who took his own life but wasnt abused there as far as I know.

  280. I (& Mike Hutton) & his best pal John O’Hara left after A levels in 82. I found out about Mikes in the summer I graduated in 86 and it was within 12 months of that time so say May 85 to June 86. I was in shock all day and for a few days after. Mike (and John) had another close friend Matthew Taylor (a year younger) but Matthew was also a family friend of mine so would see him regularly out of school. It was Matthew who told me about Mike. Of course I didnt think anything further other than depression or maybe pills but didnt connect the dots. I am now wondering. Too late though….

  281. Just a reminder for anyone who doesnt already know , David Nolan’s book about the trial is published in early July.

  282. Just read through this thread for the 1st time. I attended the Prep school roughly from 1972 to 1975. Brother Baylor the PE Teacher is my sole memory of my time there with his mattress in the “football style” big bath with the showers on the outside. On a number of occasions I was chosen for a “massage”. He would chose his victims at the beginning of the “Games” lesson and the others would be told to go running around the school fields. I remember dreading him choosing you as he would make you lie face down on the mattress and straddle you and be puffing and panting whilst he massaged you in the groin area. I’m 51 now and still as I write this it makes me feel disgusted and ashamed. Not sure why I am writing this but hopefully will feel better for doing it. Reading the Messenger article on David Nolan’s book launch got me looking on the web and finding this thread.

  283. Sympathies, Prep and Grammar.
    I know the story. See my post of 30th September 2014; Baylor was a sick man who left a trail of damage behind him. Outrageously, he was protected by Catholic Church and the Brothers. He lived out his life and shuffled off without being brought to justice, which is a sad situation.

  284. Hi,

    I have only just stumbled upon this in the last few weeks. I was a pupil at St Ambrose From 1980 to 85 and have spent the rest of my life trying to forget. I have suffered with depression, anxiety and have borderline personality disorder which has just been diagnosed. Last year while visiting my sister her husband was reading the paper and declared something which mentioned the school and sexual abuse. It was like a kick in the chest. My life has slowly imploded since then. I have lost my career, family, friends, life. I remember morris, too well, he’s had a profound effect on my life and I’ve let him destroy it again.

  285. I’d like to offer my experiences to the mix. Or at least some of them. I was at ambrose college, from 1980 to 1985. morris ‘chastised’ me on an off throughout my awful time there. Rubbing against me (crotch to back, hard, what a, well, twat). And I endured the inner sanctum, alone and in chain with others. He, was, so, so harsh. And his hands, I was hands on stool. First there was a search for text books, which he never found. Then later in my teens, trousers down. Then te went from a twat to a sadistic paedophile. I’m glad he’s away, I don’t need to know where. He took, has taken almost 35 yrs of my life. Or maybe I’ve let him. Idiot . Me. Idiot. Anyway, good luck to the book a.d a profound thank you to all who put him away.

  286. Someone said something about Fleming. He put me out of class when I was ‘asleep’ but actually unconscious from inhaling butane. My class was outside morrises lab. I dont know what happened but every time I think of leaving that room. I just realised, I cant think of leaving that room. Shit. I’m getting therapeutic community work soon. I need to know what happens at those times. I’ll find out with others who know my stuff. And I will pass on other experiences from Manchester, without any names, where appropriate and if consent is given. I’ll be doing this for 9-18 months, if people like, I’ll send further posts. Byeee.

  287. I want to say, having spewed my guts earlier. That in no way do I think I can ever understand what its like to see that monster in the flesh. Wrong phrase. The guys who faced him, in and out of court, haved lived their memories more vividly than I will everjnow. Nobody deserves to have that as ppart of their survival. Anyway, what you did, fellow men of sac, should be applauded by all. Thank you for bravely doing my job for me with aplomb. He is where he is because you faced your deepest fears.

  288. Breaks my heart to see messages like this nearly a year after the trial. Just awful. Many ex pupils will be getting together in Altrincham on June 25th. One part book launch, one part mass therapy session. It’s full but I’m sure we can squeeze in a few more. Any more lads who want to come email me
    What a terrible, terrible business this has been.

  289. Interested to note that my comment of 21st May is still ‘awaiting moderation’. Is there something wrong with it? or is this an oversight? Just interested to know. Thanks

    1. Sorry Ex-Ambrose pupil your comment slipped through the net whilst I was away in England but it is now in place.

  290. I’ve only just stumbled across this site and it made very interesting reading. I was at St Ambrose from 1972-79. Even then Alan Morris was known for his “odd” behaviour but luckily I didn’t fall foul of any of his chastisements. I was, however, Mike Hutton’s class prefect (5M) and remember him well (one of my younger brothers was in the same class). We used to talk about the Buzzcocks and which bands he’d seen recently. I felt so sorry when I heard he’d taken his own life. My three younger brothers and I all have indelible memories of attending St Ambrose – not somewhere I would ever have chosen to send my children. Well done all who applied the sustained pressure to weed out one of the bad eggs at the school.

  291. Yes, I went to the launch on Thursday and had read it by the following Friday afternoon so gripped was I. Mr Nolan has done a sterling job and I highly recommend it whether you were a pupil there or not (I was btw). I think it’s a testament to both the victims character and David’s skilled writing that it’s is a very level headed, compassionate account that sticks to the facts rather than opting for sensationalism or tabloid style headlines.

  292. Ordered my copy today.

    Will be reading with great interest especially anything re. to Nonce Morris and Nonce Wilkinson as I knew these two vile sods whilst I was at the school.

  293. Reporting my case to the police today. It’s time. Jason. Anyone eho xan offer /support feel free.

  294. We will help and support you, as we have all walked in the same shoes. If you have not already, I would urge you to make contact with Dave Nolan. Good luck, and keep in touch.

  295. Great read so far David. The humming I remember, as I do repeating loudly any word that rhymed with “base” in economics. But that’s not the whole of the dreadful dump – the way the violence is portrayed as day to day, as part of normal life, hits the note bang on. It was there, and all schools were the same. Weren’t they? only when I left did I realise that Ambrose was a freak.

  296. Hello lads!

    I was at Ambrose in the 80s. Fortunately I managed to escape at the end of fourth year. I gave evidence at the second trial.

    I am halfway through David Nolan’s book and I think it is remarkable. It’s having a great impact on me. It’s really bizarre reading a book about MY childhood. I was sorry to miss the book launch event in Altrincham. I believe David described it as ‘the world’s strangest school reunion’ – sounds apt. If there are any plans for a follow up reunion or an ‘Ambrose survivors’ meet up – I’d be in.

    I am very grateful to David Nolan for all of his efforts. I am a journalist too and over the years I have often thought about covering the story somehow. I am so pleased David has done so, so comprehensively.

    I always found it amazing that there’s an old boys network and annual get-together – who in their right minds would want to celebrate their memories of THAT place?! But I guess some boys must have had largely positive experiences. None that I know.

    A few people on this forum have mentioned Mr Cross (was his first name Andy?). He had a big impact on me in first year, and not in a good way. Anyone know where he is now? Is he still teaching?

    I also spent a lot of time at what I now know is called Knutsford View (I just confirmed that by phoning Majestic Wines in Hale Barns and asking them the name of the terrace behind them).

    I would be very interested to know the identity of the two teachers that were suspended following Morris’ arrest. Anyone?

    I send my best wishes to all of you ‘Ambrose survivors’. I hope that you too have found some strength and closure following Morris’ conviction and by reading Tell the Trust and Shame the Devil.

    Cheers lads. Don’t let the bastards grind you down! x

  297. The two suspeded teachers were Phil Howard and Nigel Handy.
    I agree about Cross – A violent nasty little bully. I sense there are more than just one or two lads with serious issues with him and his violence – lets see what happens… There is now a private Facebook page set up for survivors of Morris/St Ambrose.

  298. I was at Ambrose from the mid 80’s. Reading this book has reminded me of many things that I must have previously blocked out. The book is brilliantly written and is hard to put down.

    Please can you send a link to the Facebook Group ?

  299. For those who have been affected by St Ambrose (as opposed to the mildly curious…) there is a private Facebook page now set up to discuss, debate and help in a small way to deal with the past. It is also the place where those thinking of coming forward but but still haven’t will be offered sound advice and compassion from like minded lads who will not judge in any way.

  300. Morris was chemistry teacher to 2Ha 1973 during a lesson he had a boy over his knee taking great delight whipping his bottom with a length of bunsen tubing

  301. I read the book, fantastic account of things concerning AM, life at the school, I didn’t get the answers I personally wanted as to why 2 of my mates committed suicide. However reading the account and how he picked his victims, I can now look back at the 2 lads their physical appearance, background, social class and where they lived ticked all of AM’s boxes in terms of victims of choice. He got what he deserved AND the final chapter delves into 2 teachers who are suspended pending investigation as to whether they were or were not complicit during AMs reign of misery. The headmaster has now quit (retired sorry) and the stink over the school still remains. I was astounded at the paucity of the compensation given, a lousy £3000 which the lawyers took 25%. We should get a blow up picture of AM and a tressle table wait outside Holy Angels after kicking out time with a banner “Justice for the AM students.” Let’s just see how “christian” these church goers are…

  302. Whole class regularly got ‘slippered’ by w. Knight, for no other reason that someone had not put enough whitener on their pumps for gym

  303. Owens loved to bring out his tawse from his briefcase and you had to purchase his crap plastic ‘map of France’ template and Lourdes souvenirs

  304. ‘Sam’ Wilkinson kept ‘bottom slayer’- a sawn-off cricket bat in his briefcase which was used during his biology lessons. Never had that threat with Rosie cox x

  305. Ex 5M, I know one of the people you are talking about and he definitely didn’t fit the profile particularly. He was middle class and relatively confident. He certainly wouldn’t have been more reluctant than most to tell his parents about abuse suffered. Quite the reverse I think. He did, however, develop a specific mental illness.

    A friend of mine recently wanted to have a look round St Ambrose with a view to his son going there, as is the custom with all secondary schools nowadays but was told that this wouldn’t be possible for “child protection reasons”. Apparently there are a lot of glass walls so parents would be able to see into classrooms etc, violating privacy. You couldn’t make it up!!!! The arrogance and stupidity lives on in spades, but oddly it also indicates that they don’t have problems getting new punters in.

  306. I’ve just stumbled across this blog thread by chance and I’m surprised how many other former ‘inmates’ share exactly the same feelings towards the Ambrose of old as me. In fact one or two comments could have been my very own words. I somehow thought that i was one of a very few who vehemently disliked the place but it seems i was wrong and have been wrong for many years! Ambrose was indeed a harsh, uncaring and an often brutal place although i count myself lucky that i was never aware of any most the more sinister punishments and sexual molestations suffered by some of the above contributors. However it could also be that i’ve blocked it all out as they weren’t exactly happy years for me when i think they should have been. After not having worked during my first two years there (i didn’t know how to!), I along with about half of the year was consigned to the rejects bin aka ‘C’ stream. However unlike many others, what i took to be a rejection by the school spurred me on to prove them wrong…so I became a swot. I guess i figured that if i was going to have to endure another three years there then i might as well get something to show for it. That may have been my way of dealing with the regime…compliance and obedience. Luckily i dropped chemistry so avoided crossing paths with Morris who i never had any dealings with. I have to admit that its all a bit of a blur now (maybe intentionally subconsciously) and i don’t remember many of the teachers’ names mentioned above although unfortunately Mr. Cross’ face has reappeared from the depths of my memory! I heard the BBC R4 documentary by David Nolan a couple of days ago. It was very well done so congratulations to him on a job well done. When he interviewed Derek Scanlon it brought it all suddenly close to me as i remember him being in my year. I have often wondered how my time at Ambrose, often jokingly likened to a borstal, might have been affected my personality. I guess i’ll never know. I have two boys aged 16 and 12 and i’m just thankful that they don’t have to endure such a place. Bravo to some of the other contributors who have bravely shared their awful experiences in this thread.

  307. 79-84 I would guess more people disliked the place when we were than liked it,certainly most of the c stream .All down to the regime in place it’s probably been relatively normal since the brothers left which is about 20 years ago ? Anyone wishing to join the Facebook group can easily mail me on

  308. Apologies if this has already been covered, but what on earth were the other teachers doing? Cards on the table, I loathed the place, but there were SOME decent people teaching during the 70s (I left in 1980).
    Or forgetting the apparently decent sorts, e.g. Barry, Rory, Mannie, Furlong, etc. What about Sean Fleming? Although (in my experience) a deeply unpleasant man and appalling teacher, he was a person of authority, why didn’t he step in?

  309. Mike I left in 82. 2 Teachers who were around in that era have been investigated and now “stepped down” – one being Phil Howard. Baz Butler sadly RIP & I’ve no idea about Fleming, I still see Dave Hallas knocking about but not seen him since this Morris nonce, next time I see him I intend to ask him what his take on it all was, dealing with violent / drink fuelled brothers etc…A lot of questions….

  310. To be fair to DH, he was largely joining in the fun. The Games dept, with it’s “no underpants” rule and penchant for pretty regularly hitting boys’ barely-covered arses with trainers was my main experience of Ambrose violence. I think DH was just prone to bouts of foul temper which found expression in occasional violence, but W.A.N.K was the really nasty one. I suspect he had a chip on his shoulder as he wasn’t all that bright, but Christ he was a deeply unpleasant individual.

    Having said all that, I think there’s a danger of making Ambrose out to be worse than it actually was. David Nolan’s line in his short docu that every teacher had a weapon of choice is obviously untrue and actually unfair to the majority of staff who worked at Ambrose at that time. At least 90% of the teachers were perfectly harmless. Very few of them had any teaching skills as such, but a lot of them were very nice. Mr Delargy, Butler, Chilcott, Coan, Baranski, spring to mind as being very or moderately amiable and (from memory at least!) never hinting at any sort of abuse. But also loads of them who maybe didn’t like teaching or children that much but were also absolutely fine (Joan H, Fanny H, Cartledge zzzz, and loads of others whose names I forget).

    Not sure about Mr Fleming. I liked his sense of humour, but he was overseeing the whole operation and was therefore (I think) more responsible for allowing Morris, Wilkinson and others to abuse kids than the (recently) current members of staff who have (or so it seems to an outsider) been scapegoated.

  311. ‘What were the other teachers doing?’ well you might well ask: possibly keeping their heads down, but I suspect that the point is, it was a lot of years ago and times were different. That shouldn’t be forgotten and it is easy to recalculate all this with modern values … (none of which doesn’t make it right).
    The sort of hijinks that Baylor and Morris were up to is totally unacceptable in any context and at any time … that’s clear and Nolan has nailed the detail on those. But as someone has pointed out on a previous post, there was a fair mix of students, some of whom were there simply to fill in time and make trouble. So I suspect a fair amount of the corporal was well-deserved. I can remember being caught up in a couple of whole-class slipperings (Matt Carroll and Eddie Friend), I didn’t like it one bit at the time, but we either did something, or hadn’t done something (can’t remember) and I think it was fair dues.
    I’ve personally never agreed with the interpretations and allegations directed at Sam Wilkinson. He was flamboyant, irascible, dramatic, handed out fags and drink … but personally, I don’t think we was that bad (!). I haven’t seen it pointed out elsewhere, but there is a bit of tabloidese crap surrounding the infamous Bottom Slayer. I was actually in the class when the original sawn-off bat was found to be filled up with autographs. It was discussed in class light-heartedly. But within a couple of lessons Sam was presented with a fresh sawn-off bat by one of the pupils (I can remember clearly who it was). That is my abiding memory of the relationship that was in play between pupils and Sam, during my time there. Bizarre, but true. And I think if Sam whacked you, you knew why.
    I haven’t visited this thread for ages, but came across the bookmark in the list and have caught up a bit, so as a closing remark
    I think it is a shame that the schools reputation is so badly tarnished. References to my own time are certainly removed from my own data and that leaves one rather groundless (having spent ten years there) which is deeply regrettable.

  312. Whole class whackings are a sign of poor teaching. They had so littel control, so little knowledge of the children that when they were caught out, we all took the blame.

    Poor, really poor teaching

  313. searched and at long last found a blog regarding this school. what can I say. I was an attendee from 1969 -1974 when the school was run by head teacher Brother Gleeson.
    some of my story and I mean a small portion of it was mentioned in the book which I read within 2 days such was its grip.
    The school as I remember it was a den of terror run by a pyramid of monsters from the Christian Brothers at the top to the teachers then the prefects and then the prefects “fags” ( if you have read Tom Browns Schooldays and Goodbye Mr Chips you will know what a “fag” is…and it bears no resemblance to the modern use of the word. The “Fags” were the next generation of prefects who did the dirty business deeds of the prefects for which they received payment in cigarettes….fags…hence the term “fags”.
    The Christian Brothers ran the school by rule of the rod …in their case…rule of the strap, plimsoll, board rubber, tennis racquet, cricket bat, sawn off cricket bat, table tennis bat.
    In fact the head himself Br Gleeson named his personal strap “Excalibur”. Br Rynne a chain smoking whiskey drinking maths teacher carried his strap holstered in his gaiter straps under his cassock, he could draw his “weapon” almost as fast as Billy The Kid or Jesse James – heaven help you if you didn’t know your maths theorems.
    But by no means were the Brothers the only monsters that taught or prefected at that school there were many other brutal punishments handed out by so-called ordinary teachers from those who taught games, French, geography, History, Maths, Chemistry…the list is endless. All that being said, I did not have any experience or knowledge of Mr Morris` activities (I only heard rumours) my Chemistry teacher was Mr “Rubber lips” Donnelly
    As for my sins…I was from a poor background….a council housing estate and was fortunate enough (or unfortunate as the case may be) to pass the old 11+ scholarship and was sent to this school…..not as I recall my first choice of school.
    I gave evidence to the police during the investigation and indeed had my statement filmed at the same police house as Mr Nolan…the one in Hazel Grove.
    Yes I am in the book, thankfully not by name, – p106 last two paragraphs. – but those two little paragraphs only tell part of my story – In reality it was much worse than mentioned in the book…and the legacy I have had to live with has been intense. I can only say that this case has opened up a whole can of worms again for me and I am now seeking medical treatment and counselling.
    I am 59 years old now and unfortunately the sufferings I had to endure back when I was 11-15 have been regarded as physical and mental abuse which falls under the umbrella of “corporal punishment” which of course was still allowed in those dark days, so nobody will ever be taken to account for those actions.
    I once re-wrote the song “San Quentin” by Johnny Cash….to ST Ambrose……there weren’t many words that needed changing.

  314. So I went there from 77 to 84 but being academic and good at sport avoided much of the violence. I missed the trial in the news and it has only recently come to my attention.

    Morris taught me in second year and although we all thought he was a wrong ‘en, I was unaware of his widespread abuse. I do remember one incident towards the end of second year, when he put a lad over his knee and had his hand over the lad’s backside in his suggestive and theatrical manner. Morris was obviously enjoying and was playing up to the class. I was no more than 3 feet away from them and I could see how much Morris was enjoying himself. There was some nervous laughter from the class. I said quietly, “That’s not funny and it’s not right”.

    Morris’ face changed and he seemed to be so angry that he would explode. He glared at me for what seemed like forever but didn’t say a word. I was truly terrified and even now after 40 years I have clammy palms thinking about that incident.

    Just as quickly his face went back to normal. He released the lad and carried on with the lesson. With the benefit of hindsight, I think that he must of calculated that if he had punished me them the whole circumstances would have come out, which he couldn’t risk. I had very little to do with him for the rest of my time there.

    I now feel guilty as I feel that I should have done more but we were just children.

    Btw I think the lad in question was a character witness for Morris at the trial, from what I’ve since heard.

  315. So counselling underway. Depression and post traumatic stress disorder been diagnosed. At least someone is listening. Apart from the police and my counsellor i havent spoken to anyone else about all what haappened to me all those years ago….just wish i could tell someone who was there , someone who would and could undersdtand.
    Just feel alone in the world.

    1. So gather round Ambrosians help this poor Loreto Boy. If anybody thinks he can help, tell me and I will pass your e-mail address to him.

  316. So counselling underway and depression and low self esteem getting even lower.
    Flash backs and bad dreams.
    Does anyone else close their fingers and click the end of their nails with their thumb so as to counteract the pins and needles after being strapped? After all these years it is still a reflex action or or a bad habbit.
    e-mail listed for contact purposes

  317. I was doing a bit of digging about someone in Ireland in the 70s and found this Ex-Ambrose pupil says:
    March 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm
    ‘What were the other teachers doing?’ well you might well ask: possibly keeping their heads down, but I suspect that the point is, it was a lot of years ago and times were different. That shouldn’t be forgotten and it is easy to recalculate all this with modern values … (none of which doesn’t make it right).
    The sort of hijinks that Baylor and Morris

    Was Baylor Eddie Baylor? If so he went on to offend over the water.

  318. I haven’t got an automatic alert on this site, but after watching the film Philomena on catch-up, my thoughts automatically turned to matters Catholic … and I checked back into this forum.

    @Fintan – check out my entries of 30 September and 23 November, 2014 – they both mention Baylor and quote another source. Ignatius was his CB name, but if you google Scotus Academy and look in the gallery, you’ll see a picture of him as rector there in the early 60s. He was, as you say, a monster.

  319. I was at Ambrose’s from Sept 59 to June 64. We had a bro. Grace, am Irishman, red-headed, spectacles. He taught us arithmetic in my second year (1960-1). He was a paedophile. Sitting next to boys, he enjoyed putting his hand into a boy’s trouser pockets and would play with the child’s genitals. he was strap-happy as was Bro. Owen. owen once gave a lad called Peter Hartley six on both hands (12 cuts) and one on the back-side for “luck’; he was a sadist. Bro. Carey was the headteacher and went out of his way to dish out very painful punishments with the strap; he had a reputation for this among all the boys. Bro. Ring was a geography teacher: he would humiliate boys especially a boy called John Hargreaves. Hargreaves left Ambrose at the end of his first year and went to St. Bede’s which he liked better. Ring used to call us “scum” and other names, besides beating us. Bro. Ennis strapped us for failing to get our daily catechism answer right. Bro. Duane taught us physics; he used to call a ‘naughty’ boy up from the class, take his cheeks in his hands (he was tall and strong) and lift the boy up. It was agonizing. He also was strap-happy. Bro. Rynne would stand behind us while we demonstrated a theorem on the board. If we stumbled we were strapped, and further faults meant we were “promoted” to serjeant (three cuts of the strap). This was supposed to be funny. Bro. Ferrara was an Indian brother. he was overly strict and would arrogantly demean one; it was humiliating; he was economic with the strap, to be sure, but was psychologically lethal. i would love to know what happened to Bro. Grace. He’s dead now, no doubt, but I’d love to visit his grave. Does anybody know?

  320. I also knew Susan’s brother Richard ( never Rick ) he was was an excellent guy and it’s a complete tragedy what happened , I send my deepest condolences to the whole Reynolds family .
    I have to say I’m baffled by the mention of Mr Howard’s name in any connection with this stuff , sure he was a bit hard but he always seemed straight as a dye to me . I was there in the 80s and looking back it seems amazing to think how normal the casual violence seemed at the time , it seems almost trite to say but we really had nothing to compare it to , and I suppose I thought this is what secondary schools are like . Although from university onwards , friends seemed utterly horrified at my stories of every day life at St Ambrose . It wasn’t until then I started to realise other kids at other schools seemed to have a fairly nice time .
    Some names have cropped up on here rather often and I’m inclined to agree with the sentiment that Mr Fleming must have known much , if not all , what was going on . He always seemed to be in charge and knew the ins and outs of everything . I personally had nothing to do with him but was relieved when after 3 years of history with Ma and Pa Fox then the arsehole Mr Carroll , we were then taught by Mr Aspinwall , one of the few good ones . I thought Mr Howard was ok also Mr Cain , Mr Chadderton Mr Dwyer ,Mr Cilcott , Mr Furlong and didn’t actually like Eddie Friend as such but he was less awful than the others .
    I hated Ronan as much as anyone as he seemed snide , you never knew where you stood . At least the bastards didn’t really try to hide it . Brother Sheehan whacking kids over the head with a massive bunch of keys , whilst screaming ” No books out !No books out ! No books out! ” sticks in the memory over 35 years later . Mr Hancock seemed to despise anyone who couldn’t draw , Brother W X Ryan seemed in a permanently bad mood
    Although special mention has to go to Mr Cross , a cartoon bully who earned the name ” Gripper ” , I expected his face to turn purple and steam to start coming out his ears , he really ought to have been in prison . Is casual thuggery against the law ?
    But his mood swings were rather amateurish compared to our esteemed leader , step forward Brother Coleman . A less christian , compassionate , selfless soul you could never meet . The man was a psychopath , plain and simple , rueing the day he’d ever joined holy orders and taking it out on the kids who he clearly didn’t understand and hated . As a chemistry teacher as well as headmaster , there’s no conceivable way he was ignorant of what was going on under his nose .
    In 4M and 5M we kept the same teachers for our O ‘Levels so we endured Mr Morris for 2 years . I must admit , my feelings were loathing , fear , pity , discomfort and revulsion . But being quite naïve I don’t remember thinking of anything sexual , although looking back being invited to the dark room , laying over a stool , lifting up my blazer whilst he chalked an X on a wooden spoon so it would leave a mark on black trousers does seem a bit odd with hindsight .
    Our year was blessed with three future MPs , 2 Conservatives and a Lib Dem in my class , and their silence on this whole business is deafening . Maybe they want to forget the whole thing and leave it in the past but I think especially the two members of the government , one very senior tipped as a possible Prime Minister , have a duty to speak publicly and get it all out in the open . As I say maybe they don’t want to air their opinions and believe it should be kept private , maybe they don’t want people to know they were in the B stream and ended up as Tory MPs , who knows ?
    I am so sorry for the victims of Mr Morris , I’m sickened by what that piece of dirt put you through and I hope the court case and the verdict can bring a tiny bit of comfort . Clearly nothing can ever put it right , though I applaud the efforts of everyone who worked so hard to bring justice and to get the school and diocese to admit what they knew and when they knew it
    I think only those of us there truly know the horror of what went on but hopefully a light has been shone on it and the world now has at least a flavour of it .
    Thank you everyone who helped

  321. So is Morris out yet? I assume so as he got 9 years in 2014?

    I don’t know why I thought of this blog today but it wasn’t pleasant reading coming back to it.

    I left in 1980 I think and I didn’t suffer any sexual abuse and only the usual casual violence and mental cruelty that was the norm at the school, but I think the place was seriously harmful to the majority of people who went there. I know it stopped me achieving anywhere near my academic potential or at least delayed it until I went bac to Uni again when I was 30. I know it gave me a (healthy?) suspicion of authority and and s vigorous dislike of religion although I am grateful it pushed me very quickly towards atheism.

    Hallis and Knight would be to on my shit list. Knight was a jumped up little turd of a man. My most vivid memory of him was him hitting me for smiling. Smiling during sport? What a weirdo. Hallis’s no underwear rule and proclivity for watching us shower after sport seemed creepy at the time and hasn’t aged well. There was a kid in my year who didn’t go through puberty until years after the rest of us and I every shower time he looked humiliated and ashamed. You always felt sorry for him but what could you do?

    Funnily enough the only person who motivated me in a good way was Sam Wilkinson who made me to want to be a Biologist as he at least had enthusiasm for his subject. Not that that makes up for his other actions. I know he seems almost benign compared to sexual sadists like Morris but he still preyed on underage boys and I’m sure many of them have suffered due to his attentions. Shame he died before he could be suitable punished for his acts. I also never saw him hit anyone with bottomslayer but stuffed if I ever tried to find out.

    If I tell my son about my schooling I’m not sure that he believes me or rather thinks it is an exaggeration. However, I do remember one incident just before I left at then end of Year 5. I can’t remember the teacher’s name and I’m not sure he was there long, small and Scottish is all I can remember, but this dickhead hit me very hard on the head from behind with a huge hardback book while I was sitting at my desk. I saw stars and next thing I remember is I was standing up towering over him. I didn’t hit him, wish I had in retrospect, but whatever happened then (and it is hazy as I think I was concussed) I ended up in the Head’s office and threatened with suspension or expulsion. When my old man heard what had happened he stormed to the school and threatened them with the police at which point they backed down as long as I apologised. I’m not sure for what although I may have put hands in him without actually hitting him but I don’t remember. I refused point blank and oddly nothing happened other than I wasn’t allowed into Maths classed for my last few months. Just to spite him I passed my Maths O level on my own. I then saw the little runt again a year or two later crossing the road in front of my car in Cheadle. I resisted the obvious temptation 😉

    What a fucked up place St Ambrose was and truly terrible academically.

    1. If he’s out I hope he spends the rest of his miserable life looking over his shoulder in fear of some old testament justice.
      His Hale address is widely known so I guess he will have moved somewhere else.
      Shame on those who spoke up for him. I guess when you make a deal with the devil for an Oxbridge endorsement you have to repay it eventually.

  322. However inadequate and useless it is now I want to say how sorry I am that I didn’t stand up or even tell my parents about the dodgy stuff that was going on. I know we were made to feel it was normal but that feels like a very poor excuse today. Even though I didn’t see anything sexual directly most of us knew that Sam had his “favourites” in the choir and drama group and that teachers staring at naked boys in the shower wasn’t right or that Morris was up to no good or that Pop Owens was a violent sadist etc etc.

    1. The abuse at Blackrock College is only now coming out in the Irish Press. Most of them are dead now so it will be brushed under the carpet like it was at Bde’s and Ambrose’s and a good few colleges of the Holy Ghost Fathers round Ireland. What do you think that they changed their name to the Spiritans 7 or 8 years ago. They knew the train was coming down the tracks after them

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