13. He Walked Right Back into My Life

It was Saturday August 8th,  2009.  I arrived home from work and J was cooking the tea in the kitchen.  I went into my lounge, sat down and, just as I had done hundreds of times before, put Sky news on the TV.  It was a Saturday night the same as any other Saturday night; probably have curry and a glass of Port.  As the news came on, I pressed the red button and up came the news stories of the day.  My eye caught the story about the “priest extradited from LA.”

So many times in my life I have done the same thing, to find out that some old priest, has been prosecuted for abusing children.  But I noticed this was not the usual story, for I recognized the name of the priest, Richard John James Robinson.  Then it hit me, this was THE priest who abused me.  I don’t really remember, but I think I called out to J to come quickly, to read about the man that abused me when I was 11 years old.  I sat in horror as J came running in.  I had witnessed the man who abused me, his story, walking right into my home.  What happened to me 49 years ago was here, now in colour in my home.

I phoned K to get the phone number of the West Midlands Police, at Lloyd House, Birmingham.  I dialled only for some computer to tell me they were shut.  So I again phoned K to get me Walsall Police Station’s number.  This she did and I phoned them to report my abuse.  I was told that there were no Officers about and that they would phone me on Monday morning.  I phoned my middle brother B, telling him to get onto Sky TV and press the red button.  I put the phone down.

This night was the start of months and months of sleepless nights, of nightmares and being totally distraught.  I was awake all night.  At 5am, I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I got up and went to my golf club to play.  I have always been a good golfer, always playing once or twice a week.  I managed to play 2 holes, taking about 12 shots on each hole.  I can now say that I could not concentrate on the ball.  So I gave up and went home.

I had been home half an hour when the phone rang.  I picked it up.  It was Detective Sgt HM.   He asked me if I recognized Robinson.  I told him that I would, as Robinson was a former pro boxer, beat up forehead broken nose, cauliflower ears.  Then HM asked me if I had been an altar boy.  No I explained, I went to his butcher’s shop in Station Road, Aldridge, to collect meat for my mother.

Over the course of the next few days I went on the Internet to see if I could find anything about Robinson and there it all was.  I found the news reports because for the first time I had Robinson’s full name.  For 49 years I had never heard his real name.  We all knew him as Jimmy Robinson.  Later on my brothers and I called him Pope John.  Robinson was the first Catholic me and my brothers had ever met, as we all went to a Church of England school.  Over these days, I walked around like a zombie.  I could not concentrate.  I could not do anything.  All I thought about was Robinson.  He was in my head.  Only this time Jimmy Robinson was running around in the open, smashing up all of my life.  I am now at a point that I can see what I was like.  I feel sorry for J.  She, like me, did not ask for this.  But we got it.

It was arranged that I go to the UK to give my statement.  I packed my bags, leaving J behind.  I set off with all the feelings of anger, rage, guilt, shame, and exhaustion.

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