Here’s A Question.

Far be it from me to brag about the problem, but it was I who dragged the dark sordid story of sexual abuse of young Catholic boys at St Bede’s College in Manchester between 1950 and 1966 out of the locked cupboard that is known as the Salford Diocese and into the empathic world of the 21st century.  It became an international incident as past pupils of the College started writing and e-mailing me from all points on the globe telling me of the gross and systematic abuse they suffered at the hands of Monsignor Thomas Duggan, the Rector of the school during that time and other clerics on the staff.  This abuse consisted of anal rape, cock sucking for want of a better word, masturbation of the priestly member, kissing, massaging and excitement of pupils private parts around the anus and the penis, hugging and mental abuse deemed to keep the pupils in fear.  There was also lots and lots of physical punishment which in reality only strenghthened us rather than cause us psychological damage which the sexual abuse obviously did.

Now the question, or series of questions, I want to ask is this.  In the recent case involving a one time teacher and now Deacon of the Catholic Church, Alan Morris, who used to teach at St Ambrose College in Altrincham, only a few miles from St Bede’s College, who was charged with 41 counts of indecent assault on a male, 1 count of outraging public decency and five counts of inciting gross indecency with a child, whatever all that means, why in one court was he found guilty on all counts,  yet in another the jury could not decide.

I finished that paragraph there as I wanted to end an overlong sentence.  First of all I do not understand why the case was split into two trials, then I do not understand why one jury faced with the same or similar evidence found him guilty on all counts and another jury was hung and could not decide guilt.  Is there something basically wrong with our court process or what.

I wrote a blog posting entitled The Tip Of The Iceberg over 2 years ago shortly after Morris was arrested.  The interest this case had amongst former pupils was such that it became the most commented on article I have written on this blog.  So I am, now calling on St Ambrose ex-pupils to answer my questions.

I had understood the case was about the sexual abuse of young boys very similar to the abuse I have mentioned in my opening paragraphs regarding St Bede’s College in Manchester.  But search as I did in the crappy press we do have these days I could find no mention of any sexual abuse.  The words sexual abuse occurred on numerous occasions but was never described.  Am I to understand then that this was psychological sexual abuse and not the more damaging physical sexual abuse that occurred at my alma mater.  If so I think the punishment harsh unless of course you can be hung for anal rape.

I am not poking fun or speaking lightly on this matter but I would like to know off the old boys of St Ambrose how bad it was.  Just being beaten with cricket bats and other implements for ones gratification to me is nowhere near as bad as having a fully engorged mature male penis stuck up the immature anus of a young boy.

I did open up the aforementioned posting a few days ago, after shutting it down during the two trials on popular demand for fear of jeopardising the legal process but nobody hardly has commented.  Certainly nobody has explained anything about the trials. So I thought I would write this short piece in the hope that my questions might get answered.  For a start David Nolan who stood down from giving evidence in order to film and comment on the case for ITV and who made a compelling fist of the job as I have seen the finished product, could start the ball rolling and answer some of the unanswered questions that have arisen since the second trial collapsed.  David has just commenced writing a book of his journey through Ambrose ending with the Alan Morris guilty verdict.

If you are there David!!!  What I want to know is, did  or didn’t Morris physically sexually abuse these kids.  I do not want awful bloody sexual assaults on the body wrapped up in painless anodyne phrases like sexual abuse.  These attacks if there were any, need spelling out as it was, otherwise it goes over the heads of 99% of the people.

20 thoughts on “Here’s A Question.

  1. I reckon people probably had a look within a few days of sentencing and saw the blog wasnt up yet but will comment over the next few days or weeks when they realise it is up for what he did all the details are on various news websites and doesnt just involve corporal punishment

  2. This is absolutely not the place to give such explicit details – it’s an open forum that any passing freak can get off on. Forget about the corporal punishment. That was merely the excuse Morris used to get young boys on their own and indecently assault them. I also know that it is not a competition as to who was ‘abused’ more. I find that offensive. As one lad said during his evidence… It only lasted a matter of seconds, but it affected me for the rest of my life. Also, the second trial didn’t collapse. It was a hung jury and it was decided that a retrial wasn’t worth it as it wouldn’t increase his sentence – the nine years he got was a real shock. He was expected to get much less. He did not leave the court protesting his innocence, he was silent.
    I am indeed writing a book about this. It’s not a prospective idea, I have signed a contract and it will be out next year. Anyone who wants to help me can contact me on
    It’s your chance to have your say. Don’t waste it.

    1. Without you wanting to get angry with me David I honestly do believe people should be told how it was otherwise it means nothing to them, They will never get aware. What is the forum a book? Unless you disgust people openly they will never get it.
      I was not meaning to make it into a competition when I asked my questions but there are degrees of abuse and I just wanted to know where Morris stood on that scale and get people to understand.
      My expression of him leaving court protesting his innocence was in retrospect a little theatrical however never at any time did he show remorse, never at any time did he mention he was guilty, never at any time did he think he had done anything wrong.
      Any way whether the true unexpurgated story comes out in your book or on this blog it really does not matter. What does matter is the fact that the public have a right to know what really happened and at the moment they don’t. We will part as friends with different ideas.

  3. Paul,

    I think someone here has a book to publicise and is somewhat reluctant to go into too much detail, that I can understand, but we’re not here to steal his thunder.

    However, we’re not asking for Chapter and Verse here, no detailed minutiae, just an approximate idea of how the abuse compared with Bede’s, furthermore a possible explanation of the differing verdicts and why the trial was split into two.

    A reasonable request I’d say, sadly the press, in particular the MEN, did its usual reporting impression of a chocolate teapot and left more questions answered than unanswered. In the words of Number 2 in the Prisoner, we need information. Unlike The Village, I’d say the request was more reasonable, the whole case of Mr Morris was shrouded in legal secrecy until the verdicts were announced, as usual reporting restrictions were not lifted till the very end.

    Therein lies the problem, we know very little about the case other than the verdicts. Ex-Ambrosians, please step forward, I’d prefer to hear several opinions of what happened rather than just one. If that sounds a bit harsh, I’m sorry, that’s just my opinion.

  4. Not sure it’s fair or reasonable to say “someone here has a book to publicise”. Paul brought up David’s book and asked David to respond to his points. It was decent of David to come on and give good answers to Paul’s these points.

    I can find out the answers to your questions about the legal process, reasons for the split trials etc and I’ll post here later this week if somebody doesn’t do it first. I won’t be covering or discussing details of the abuse though. You can look up legal definitions of the charges to get a good enough idea.

  5. I am a victim of Alan Morris. I gave up a great deal – including my anonymity – to do this, so I think I deserve a bit better than being accused of trying to get publicity, to be honest.
    Think I’ll leave you guys to it. Best wishes to you.
    My contact details are here if any ex pupils wants to contact me.

    1. Well Mr Nolan, it appears your dummy is well and truly out of the pram. It strikes me that you are nothing but a typical media hack exploiting a situation for your own long term gain. I had the decency to give you all the room you wanted on this blog and on every occasion you blatantly gave out your contact details but when the hard questions are being asked, you take on a hissy fit like a spoilt child.
      I now understand why the second trial was hung, the evidence was not that good, you said yourself that you were shocked at the sentence he got which suggests that his actions on the paedophilic scale were bad but not that bad if you understand my logical conclusion of your behaviour, more pschopathic than paedophilic.
      Anonymity be blowed, I do not understand the word. It is for the timid amongst us. If a person cannot stand up and be counted what is the point of getting involved. You stood up for different reasons I fear.

  6. To Bill Smith:

    I think Mr Nolan has done a good enough job already of publicising his book, that’s my opinion. Nowhere do I say I disagree with him doing so, in fact I’ll probably be one of the first to buy his book.

    The point I am making is let’s hear from others about what has happened. So many people were abused by Mr Morris, it seems very strange that so many people are remaining silent now they have a chance to speak out, without fear of recrimination. If only yourself and Mr Nolan comment about what happened, it would be rather like only Paul Malpas and A N Other commenting about Bede’s, to the exclusion of everyone else.

    As you no doubt can see from the Bedian postings, we have several people commenting upon the possibility and rights of a High Court Case, with wildly varying opinions. That’s simply the point I’m trying to get across- let’s hear from other ex-Ambrosians, especially including the victims.

    I have no axe to grind whatever here, just the interest in what the people have to say…

  7. To David Nolan:

    You’re entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine. People who post on this blog can and do remain anonymous for various reasons. Some people abuse this facility, you clearly do not, neither do I.

    The ex-Ambrosians can come forward here and tell us what happened, they do not have to reveal their identities in order to do so.

    I look forward to the publication of the book, I assure you that I am glad someone like Paul Malpas and yourself have come forward to tell us what really happened in these schools run by the apologists who call themselves the Catholic Church.

    People even now are still in denial of what went on, I’d like to see the people who vilified Paul last year, stating their unequivocal belief in the innocence of Mr Morris, to at least come out and say they’re sorry, how wrong they were. I’d deem that far more offensive than anything I’ve said or you think I may have implied. I’ve listed those persons in ‘The tip of the Iceberg’ posting, I’m not rushing to see when they respond.

  8. To all:

    Let’s remember we’re fighting the common enemy here, the Catholic Church. We may all approach the target from different directions, but we should all be aiming at the same target. Let’s concentrate on that fact.

    What did depress me was that a report in the Daily Mail regarding the Morris case mentioned the lawyers acting for some of the victims was none other than the famed ambulance chasers Slater & Gordon. In view of their previous actions in settling quickly out of court, this might not have been a wise move by the claimants.

    i think we can agree at least on that point.

  9. As a victim of Tommy Duggan, back in late 1950, I think a frank and clear description of just one case in the Ambrose saga should be aired on this Blog. My part in the Bede’s case ended when the Statute of Limitations cut in and me very out. The horror stories I have heard over the years of abused pupils at the hands of Duggan can be seen as repeated sexual violence against young boys. I was 10 years old and had only been at Bede’s a couple of months. I had 4 years of abuse until a final violent attack on me by Duggan left me in such a mess it could no longer be hidden from my father. The same father who had failed to believe me 4 years before after the first attack.Can you imagine a boy of ten in 1950 after his father punished him for telling the truth wondering why his world had come crashing about his ears. Left to struggle alone against one of the most evil priests of the RC church. So if just one boy from Ambrose’s of those years of abuse will come on this blog and tell his story. Paul knows who I am and no one else needs to know.

    1. If any Ambrosian fancies following this story up it was published on this blog on 9th February 2014 under the title The Reality Of St Bede’s In The 1950s and 1960s and in particular read the comments. It shows how telling the actual as it happened makes people aware and that is what my campaign is all about.

  10. To all:

    I recommend all ex-Ambrosians read the blog ‘The Reality of St Bede’s in the 50s and 60s’, they will realise the similarities between the two colleges’ abuse is truly staggering.

    Bede’s students suffered under the hand (and other appendages) of Tommy Duggan, Rector from 1950-66. In a shortly-to-come High Court case, it will be alleged he was not the only abuser at the time, at least two other priests were involved, both, like TD, are now dead.

    I attended Bede’s in 1964-71, so was only there for the last two years of TD’s Reign of Terror. Fast forward a few years, along comes Billy Boy Green, who proceeds to repeat the abuse, leaving the College in the late 80s. Years later he’s not so lucky, his abuse comes to light, and he ends up being jailed for six years, he’s currently out on parole.

    This mirrors the going-on at St Ambrose, albeit on a slightly different time-scale. Contributors have mentioned elsewhere that it alleged Alan Morris was not the only one committing abuse at the College.

    In both cases of the respective colleges, the abuse was kept well-hidden. In all my time at Bede’s and for a decade later, when I kept in contact with several ex-Bedians, never once was the issue of abuse mentioned. In my case, this is probably because the abuse had all but ceased by the time I arrived, the earlier students were the victims of TD’s abuse.

    Paul Malpas has also mentioned in one blog the massive fall-out rate in the mid-late 50s of Bede’s students, a rather larger than would be expected percentage of whom either left early or received relatively poor exam results. Several victims’ lives were wrecked by this abuse, let’s not forget that.

    The fact that no-one felt able to expose the abuse going on at St Ambrose is completely understandable, as people would not believe this could be happening, but it did happen and, more importantly, when victims say it did happen, they are now more than likely to be believed.

    So, ex-Ambrosians, no names, no pack drill, let’s hear from you. Only by truly getting this out in the open will what really happened be exposed. The legal cloak of press restriction has hidden most of the detail of what actually happened there, the court case informed us of very litle, it’s time, once and for all, the dirty linen was well and truly aired, in the full glare of publicity.

    We can’t rely on the press, in particular the MEN to do a job for us, their silence as regards the going-on at my Alma Mater have been truly deafening. Mind you, with that many Old Boys on the payroll, are we surprised? I’m most certainly not.

    One last point. The actions of both Shrewsbury and Salford Dioceses respectively in these matters could deem Pontius Pilate to be an interventionist. I accord them no respect whatever, their attitude to the abuses, with mealy-mouthed, insincere lawyer-written attempts at apologies are nothing short of stomach-churning. They should collectively hang their heads in shame, get out the cheque books (where deemed liable) and attempt at least a modicum of financial restitution.

    It might also be deemed advisable for the victims to keep clear of a well-known ambulance chasing firm of Manchester compensations lawyers, no doubt Mr Malpas could point them in a more sensible direction.

  11. I think Ken is right. It’s the only way to bring the reality of this home to people who have not experienced it themselves (i.e. most of us).

  12. Paul,

    No problem currently posting, unfortunately JJ is still posting his inane thoughts in’Tip of the Iceberg’. A pity his underwhelming observations slipped through.

  13. For an Altrincham man’s view on things Ambrosian go to thesatirestall, dated 17th September 2014 and read Ruty’s Skewed News Views

  14. 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.

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