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.