A MARIST Brother who formerly worked at St Patrick’s College in Sale will face Melbourne County Court in May 2019 over charges related to a series of alleged historical sex offences.
Some of the alleged victims were aged under 14, the alleged offences occurring in Sale and neighbouring towns between 1971 and 1977.
There were initially 103 charges against the now 90-year-old man.
Fitzpatrick appeared at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for an initial hearing between November 13 and 28, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The case is the result of investigations by the SANO Task Force.
The task force was established to investigate historic and new allegations that have emanated from the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child sex abuse involving religious and non-government organisations.
The task force also co-ordinates investigations emerging from the Australian Government Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
People with information about child sexual abuse in an institutional context can email the SANO Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 110 007.
To report a child at immediate risk or danger, phone 000 or a local police station.
For more information about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, visit the website, www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au.
Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) is a not-for-profit organisation working to increase public awareness of the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on men in their adult lives.
For more information about SAMSN, visit www.samsn.org.au, which also has links to other related organisations.
A Sydney man who directed the live sexual abuse of overseas children via an online video stream has had his minimum six-year jail term increased to 10 years.
pleading guilty to 23 offences including possessing child abuse material and causing a child under 16 to engage in sexual intercourse outside Australia in his presence.
After a crown appeal against the inadequacy of the sentence, two judges of the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal ruled the non-parole period should be 10 years while the third judge proposed 13 years.
Good attitude! Well done. Raping a child by remote control is really not much better than doing it in person.
By Sally Lockwood, North of England Correspondent
British-Pakistani researchers have found that 84% of all people convicted since 2005 for the specific crime of gang grooming were Asian.
The Quilliam Foundation found that the demographic background of those who exploit youngsters in a paedophile ring was different to those who act in grooming gangs.
According to the most recent figures, released in 2012 by the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP), 100% of child sex offenders in paedophile rings were white.
The report says CEOP, an official government body, identifies two types of group-based child sexual exploitation offenders.
CEOP found that 75% of Type 1 offenders were of Asian ethnicity, whereas 100% of Type 2 offenders were white.
In a number of cities across the UK, gangs of predominantly British Pakistani men have been convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls.
Questions have been raised about the connections between ethnicity and the offenders, and two British-Pakistani researchers from the Quilliam Foundation have said that the link is important.
The Foundation, a think-tank which usually focuses on extremism, has chosen to add its voice to the debate with what it describes as an evidence-based view.
Quilliam's researchers found 264 people have been convicted for the specific crime of gang grooming since 2005, and of those offenders 222 or 84% were Asian.
The report's co-author, Haras Rafiq, spoke to Sky News from his home in Rochdale, one town where members of a sex ring of predominantly British-Pakistani men were jailed for child sexual abuse in 2012.
"I'm from the heart of where one of the biggest high profile cases have happened over the last few years, and I'm saying it's very important that we do talk about it because the problem won't go away," he said.
"We didn't want there to be a pattern of people from our ethnic demographic carrying out these attacks. But unfortunately we were proven wrong."
High profile cases like Rochdale have generated negative headlines about the Asian community.
The most recent case in Newcastle changed the debate after 17 men and one woman were convicted of nearly 100 offences, and the judge said the grooming wasn't racially motivated.
It's just a coincidence that all but one are Pakistanis and all the victims are young white girls! It's also a coincidence for the other 205 Pakistanis who have been convicted of raping young white British girls.
Following the judgment, Mike Penning MP wrote to the Attorney General calling for a review.
Nazir Afzal, who is credited with tackling the issue during his time as Chief Crown Prosecutor in the North West, warned the issue of 'Asian' grooming gangs is being used as a recruitment tool by the far-right.
Mr Afzal also warned gang grooming was not the most common form of child sexual abuse.
"British white men they tend to work individually. They tend to work online where they groom and they are the majority of perpetrators. When it comes to Asian men or Pakistani men they tend to do it in groups," Mr Afzal said.
By Oliver Harvey, Chief Feature Writer
Led to his office on trumped- up misdemeanors, schoolboys blanched in horror at the sight of the “sadistic” monk’s cat-o’-nine-tails whip, canes and a leather strap.
Outwardly pious, Soper “cunningly” used corporal punishment as an excuse to pull down the boys’ trousers and sexually abuse them.
He even hoisted up his priestly robes to rape a 12-year-old boy over his desk at West London’s £5,368-a-term St Benedict’s School — then run by monks from Ealing Abbey.
Justice finally caught up with Andrew Soper, 74, formerly Father Laurence Soper, last week.
He was found guilty of 19 charges of indecent assault and serious sexual assaults involving ten boys in the ’70s and ’80s. The perverted priest will be sentenced next Tuesday. He will likely die behind bars.
But the case is a hollow victory for Soper’s victims, whose lives have been destroyed by their abuser.
One traumatised man told The Sun: “He’s a cruel bastard. He touched my backside when I was 11 then caned me weekly for two years. He got a sexual thrill out of it.
“We were made to feel responsible for what was happening to us.”
Depraved Soper is thought to be the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of sex crimes in the UK.
Soper’s conviction is the latest shocking chapter in the worldwide clergy abuse scandal that stretches all the way to the Vatican itself.
Thousands of victims in a dozen countries have spoken out about priests molesting children as the church hierarchy turned a blind eye.
As Abbot of Ealing Abbey, he was one of the most powerful figures in the Benedictine order.
In 2000, after allegations were made about his conduct as the visiting Chaplain of Feltham Young Offenders Institution, he transferred to Rome to be bursar at S’Anselmo, the Vatican’s Benedictine University.
A spokesman for Ealing Abbey’s Abbot told The Sun: “When the allegations were made it was decided the safest option was to keep him in that role at the university in Rome.
“Restrictions were placed on him to ensure he did not come into contact with children.”
But the net was closing in. Soper was questioned several times by police but allowed to return to Rome on bail. In March 2011, fearing he would be charged, he fled to Kosovo, where he remained hidden for five and a half years before his arrest.
Last night a victims’ group slammed the Vatican for not doing enough to “root out abusers”.
David Greenwood, an executive member of Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, said: “The Catholic Church has helped to harbour abusers and has helped them evade justice.”
In October, Pope Francis himself conceded that the church had “arrived late” to the crisis. Only in 2011 did the Vatican order a top-level inquiry into abuse at St Benedict’s.
That scandal is one of the most serious to engulf the Catholic Church in Britain.
The school was accused during Soper’s Old Bailey trial of a “serial cover-up” of his abuse between 1975 and 1983.
A former bank worker, Soper joined the Ealing Abbey monastery in 1964 and taught at St Benedict’s from 1973, first as a maths teacher, then as head master of the middle school and as bursar.
One ex-pupil says he never saw “tall and stern” Soper “smile once”.
Shockingly, he is the FIFTH master convicted of sexual offences involving children at St Benedict’s.
One ten-year-old victim had tried to hang himself from a stairwell after being fondled by the master.
Police had investigated Pearce in 2001 and again in 2004 but no charges were brought. Then, in 2006, one of his victims sued Pearce and the school in the High Court, and was awarded £43,000.
Yet Pearce remained a priest and remained at Ealing Abbey. He continued to groom and assault young boys until his arrest in January 2008.
One victim said: “This man made me think I was a bad person for 30 years. I thought about him every day, wanted to kill him every day.”
Another abuser was lay teacher and “master of discipline” John Maestri, 78, who was jailed after admitting three indecent assaults against children in the 1970s and 1980s. He made one 11-year-old sit on his lap, kissed and fondled him and told him he “loved” him. The victim recalled: “So my first kiss wasn’t with a pretty girl, like everyone else, it was with some old man.”
Another victim, subjected to frequent beatings by Maestri and a monk who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “It was sexual abuse that masqueraded as discipline.
“He beat me for fun. I can’t put it down to anything more than his personal entertainment. It has hung around my neck for decades. It has ruined my life.
“Even now I have a ritual when I’m going to bed. I have a GPMG — general purpose machine gun — and imagine that I’m lining up the sights on the monk’s bedroom window. “That’s the only way I can get to sleep. Every night.”
Another pupil who was at St Benedict’s in the 1960s spoke of how he was abused by Father Kevin Horsey, head of the middle school.
Horsey, who died in 2006, would invite boys to sit next to him in PE and fondle them.
The ex-pupil says: “When I left I put the floggings, the sexual abuse, the mental abuse to one side. But it never quite leaves you.
“It was an amoral and perverted place. Everybody sort of knew it was going on but did nothing. I’m angry with the parents who didn’t listen, and angry with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church who let it happen.”
In 2011 a court heard St Benedict’s dealt with a complaint about a sexual assault by teacher Stephen Skelton, 69, by writing him a good reference and asking him to “go quietly”. Ten years on, Skelton was found guilty of two indecent assaults on another boy.
In May 2016, deputy head Peter Allott, 38, was jailed for 33 months after admitting he was addicted to child pornography, even keeping some on a hard drive in his office.
Today St Benedict’s is an elite co-ed school that promotes “the Christian values of integrity, fairness and generosity”. It is no longer governed by Ealing Abbey’s monks and was found to be fully compliant in child protection following two recent inspections by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
High-flying old boys include comedian Julian Clary, Star Wars actor Andy Serkis and Tory grandee Lord Patten. There is no suggestion they were caught up in the abuse scandal.