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.