10. Shooting Pigeons

I was working with a mate of mine, C.  This one day he asked me if I would take out his nephew, an 11 year old lad, called G.  G wanted to go shooting pigeons.  It was one of my favourite pastimes.  I said that I would, and so I met G and his mother J.

J was married and had three children, G 11, L, 6, and K,1.  I took the lad shooting many times.  In fact, I gave G a shotgun when he was, I think, 14 years old.  This was the friendship we made.  As much as I met G, I met J.  Despite the fact that we were both married to other people, J and I spent much time together over the next few years.  At that point I have to say that I started treating the three children as my own.  To this day, 32 years later, they are still my children.  I would die to protect them.  I am very proud of them.  And yes I do moan about them, but I love them all.

When G was 16, and about to leave school, I asked what he wanted to do.  He replied that he wanted to be a gamekeeper.  So I advertised in the Shooting Times magazine, and got him a job in Anglesey, North Wales.  We went up to Anglesey many times, me J and G.  They had become my family, or should I say the family I never had.

Just prior to G leaving for his job I told G and J that I had been abused by a priest in 1961.  I didn’t go into details , but I had to tell them.  They deserved to know.  We are after all, subjects of our history.  They deserved to know who and what I am.


9. Leaving School

After leaving school I was thrown into a world I didn’t know.  A world that probably didn’t care what had happened to an 11 year old schoolboy.  I left school at a time that today seems far away.  I had many jobs after leaving school, as employment was easy to come by.  In those days you could have a new job every day of the week, such was the norm.

I flitted from job to job.  You name it, I’ve probably done it. One of my jobs was as a van driver.  I drove all over the country, delivering bone china mugs.  The hours were long but I enjoyed the excitement of being my own boss, calculating my route.  Learning so many things as I went.  I spent many years doing these various jobs, finally getting a job as a postman with Royal Mail.  I was at the Post for 18 years.  It was a good job and I was both punctual (4am start) and a valued member of a team.  I found this on occasions very difficult.

For all these years I was haunted by my past and the encounters with Robinson.  Jimmy Robinson never really went very far away.  He was always close at hand to give me the self doubt, the feelings of revulsion, pain, shame, guilt, and above all anger.

On one particular day, I was in my van, waiting at a set of traffic lights.  Parked in front of me was a car and in the back seat was a lad, 12 or 13 years old.  He was facing the rear of the car, looking at me through the window.  As is my nature, I put my thumb up to him to say hello and he smiled at me.  Then out of the blue I was overcome by fear.  Fear that the lad would tell his dad, the driver, that there was a man behind him saying hello.  I was in a cold sweat.  I was afraid that my friendly thumb up may have been seen as something quite different.  I drove away and never would I wave to kids again.

I have, looking back, been scared of kids, nervous.  I was always feeling ill at ease, and it’s very hard to explain to someone who has not been abused.  For the same reason, I have always been very nervous of being touched.  I feel it is quite alien.  I cannot stand anyone who is touchy feely.

You see all my life I have read newspaper reports of priests being prosecuted for being paedophiles.  In nearly all cases they state in court that they were abused in their childhood.  I believe this is an excuse, not the reason they did it.  After all, we are all taught to know right from wrong.  I do believe that all men are capable of rape.  But 99.99999999% of men, do not rape, because they know right from wrong.  The people abusing children in my early years, just like the men today on the internet grooming children, know it’s wrong.  They know it is illegal.  But that doesn’t stop them.

I have spent a lifetime in Robinson’s shadow.

I decided at an early age he wasn’t going to ruin my life.  After all, he left my life in 1961.  But yes I do have to suffer the after-effects.  I am still suffering.


8. A Lifetime of Shame, Guilt and Fear

I have had a lifetime of shame, guilt and fear.  I put it all away in the back of my mind and get on with life.  But although these feelings are locked away, they are not gone.

All my life I’ve heard Jimmy Robinson walking around in my head.  And every so often I hear the floorboards squeak.  Yes, he’s still there.  But at least I got on with my life.  I made the best of a bad job.


7. Trust No One

So as far as I was concerned, this was the last I would ever have to do with this homosexual, Jimmy Robinson.  I say “homosexual” because that’s what I thought Robinson was.  It wasn’t until I got to about 40 years of age when I suddenly heard a new word, paedophile.  Upon using a dictionary I found out that my abuser was a paedophile, not a homosexual.  That confusion, that fear and misunderstanding, is just one of the after effects of my abuse.

Over the years, I have seen hundreds of reports in the newspapers to do with priests going to court for abusing children.  I have never shied away from wanting to know about the subject or to try and find the whereabouts of my abuser.  But I never came across anything.  I have often thought about my abuse, wondered about any other victims.  But something always told me Jimmy Robinson was dead and rotting in hell.  With this, I was happy.

The abuse I suffered and the experiences that I had to endure, had a terrible effect on my life.   These visions of Robinson, live with me every day.  But I learned from a very early age to bottle things up, to switch my mind off.  I became very hard mentally, take it or leave it.  I have had to learn to look after number one, stuff everyone else.

When the abuse happened, I look back to my schooldays, when they should have been the best days of my life.  I see now that I withdrew, went back into my shell.  I am ashamed that for the next 4 years at school, I sat looking out of the window.  I switched off, I wouldn’t, or should I say couldn’t, learn anything at school.  I am ashamed that I have never passed one exam, not one.

In the last year of my schooling, I spent nearly all of the year in the metalwork shops, with a school teacher named Mr. Sam Taylor.  I never confided to him of my abuse, but I think he suspected there was something wrong with me, or should I say he thought I had troubles.  For nearly a year I spent all my school hours cleaning, tidying and generally helping this teacher in any way I could.

Or is this the story of an idle mind.  As I say I could never concentrate.

I have had 51 years to lock away my demons, lock away my childhood, hide my innermost fears.  The main thing I learned, so many years ago, was that I am a survivor.  I was victimized, but chose to get on with my life.  I am what I am, you see what you see.  If you don’t like me, that’s fine.  I stick up for number one, me.  I’ve always had to.  I say what I think.  I come straight to the point.

I learned one thing, trust no one and I won’t get hurt.


6. Lonsdale

Then one day, Robinson turned up at my house after school. My mother was cooking the tea. He walked straight in, saying hello to my mother, and presented me with a brown paper bag. He told my mom and I he had brought me a present, as he was leaving to go back to college. I opened the bag, and took out a pair of professional boxing shorts, with the word LONSDALE sewed into the elastic waist.

Even today this word makes me feel sick.

I cannot remember if those shorts were red or blue, but I remember they were stained with his blood. Blood which had dripped down onto them, whilst fighting. The blood was black. To this day I remember, black. He then said to us goodbye Mrs Smith, goodbye Geoffrey.

Jimmy Robinson turned and walked out of my life. He walked down the entry, got on his bike and away he went.

Within one minute, in front of my mother, I threw the shorts into the dustbin. When I say threw, I mean at speed with such force. My mother looked at me, but nothing was said, only silence.

A couple of weeks later, I got a letter from him, at a college, I think it was Osterley, in Kent. This also went in the bin. After this, my mother and my father never mentioned his name again, which suited me.

I have just mentioned my father not saying anything. I have had 51 years to think over this. But I don’t think my dad ever met Robinson. Maybe that was part of Robinson’s plan, who knows.


5. Paedophile

Robinson used to take me to his mother’s house probably twice a week. Every week for I would say, three months. It was always the same routine, him laying on me and thrusting, me wanking him off, the kissing, the drowning inside my chest. I switched off. He never tried anal sex. But what he did to me was, as the police told me 51 years later, rape.

I switched off mentally, but emotionally no. The worst thing that he did to me was the kissing, the tongue down my throat. It was and still is pure terror. That and the fact that I was short of my next breath. Yes I was drowning. Of course, looking back, not only was I in a very dangerous situation, I firmly believe today, here and now, the next step for him, the paedophile Jimmy Robinson, would be murder. That is the next step. We all know the cases of child murder. It seems always to go from the act of paedophilia to murder. They want to cover their tracks.

Over the course of the next three months, I would be coming out of school, in Tynings Lane and Robinson would be waiting for me. It got to the point where I would come out of Quicksand Lane. I would make my way back to home avoiding being seen or followed. But Jimmy Robinson would always wait for me. And if I wasn’t there, he would come to my home to collect me. Often when I came out of school he would be at my home, with my mother, having cake and tea. Laying in wait for me to arrive, so he could take me to his “mother’s house.” This went on for months.


4. Leigh’s Road

I went inside. My mother asked how I enjoyed the ride. I said it was ok. I went upstairs and lay on the bed. What do I do now? I was, and I still am, convinced my mother would not believe me. How could she? She had tea with a trainee priest. She wouldn’t believe me.

Not only was I sexually abused by this man. What he did caused me to doubt my mother, my father, my brothers. How could I say such things about a future priest?

I was 11 years old. I had in my short time met a vicar and a chaplain. But I had never met a priest. What were priests all about? Robinson introduced me to Catholicism and, as I told the Judge 51 years later, “I didn’t like it.”

I was just a lad, nothing special, a nobody, my word against his. I remember thinking to myself, I mustn’t tell anyone because, they would not believe me. And I would get into trouble. I never said a word to anyone, not even my friends. I kept quiet, kept it to myself. After all I had survived this torture.

A couple of days later, after school, I was at home. Robinson came through the back gate. He knocked the back door and walked in, telling my mom, he was going to give Geoff a ride. He did, but not the kind my mother was thinking about. My mother told me to go with him. I didn’t want to, but I did.

We always ended up in Leighs Road, Shelfield, his mother’s house. Although I never met his mother. Did she even exist?


3. Following Orders

Following Robinson’s orders I walked upstairs first and he followed. I still did not know what was going on, and we walked into a back bedroom. He followed and closed the door.

He turned to me and told me to take off my trousers and underpants. As I was so scared, I did as I was told. He told me to lie down on the floor, which I did. I still remember he didn’t close the curtains and it was always a sunny day. He got down on the floor with me. He opened his zipper and got his p**** out. I remember it was so hard, I had never seen an erect p**** before. It was sticking into me as he kissed me over the next 15, 20 minutes. He played with my p**** and my t*******, he got me to wank him off. But as I didn’t do it quick enough, he finished it himself. I remember having his ejaculate all over my belly and legs.

He then put his p**** between my legs, making thrusting movements on top of me. I now know these are the movements for love making. This was not lovemaking. This I now know to be rape. At the same time he was kissing me, putting his tongue right down my throat. I remember looking at him, my eyes wide open, his eyes closed. All the time I was fighting for breath. I was, in effect, drowning. I still remember whilst this was going on the sunlight coming through the window onto my face. We take our next breath for granted, until we can’t breathe. That’s when terror strikes. It was at this moment that I learned to switch off my emotions. I concentrated on surviving.

When he had finished with me, he wiped my belly, and my t********, wiped his p**** and stood up. I then got up and put on my pants and trousers. It was at this point that he physically threatened me. Not by any words, but by shadow boxing me. I backed away from him, he followed, always threatening to hit me. I was 11. He was once a pro boxer. Yes, I was scared. I was petrified. We then went downstairs to the front door. He opened it, we walked to the bike, and he took me home.

When we got home Robinson dropped me off outside my house and drove away.


2. Triumph Bonneville

Whilst I was standing looking at the bike a man came out of the shop, dressed in a white butcher’s coat, covered in blood.  He asked me if I would like to have a go on the bike.  I said I would.  Even now, so many years later, I remember I was so excited.  I went home and told my mother about the motor bike.  I asked if I could go for a ride and she said yes.

A few days later this man, Jimmy Robinson, came to my home on his bike, and introduced himself to mother.  I remember him having a cup of tea and explaining to my mother that he was a trainee priest, working his summer holidays in the butchers shop. We were also told that he had been a professional boxer, before going to training college.

Jimmy Robinson was about 23 years old.  He had the looks of a boxer:  very short cropped hair, he had swollen eyebrows, broken nose, and swollen ears.  He looked just like Henry Cooper, but was slightly smaller.  I use Henry as an example.  We all know Henry Cooper was a pure gentleman, unlike the man I was about to get to know.  Robinson had the walk of a fighter; the way he held his arms, his hands.  His posture was very threatening.  As far as my mother was concerned, he was a very respectable young man.

I think we children were sent to the Methodist chapel in Aldridge because our aunty Mabel was the head of the Girl Guides in Aldridge, and they met at that chapel.  Mabel’s husband, our Uncle Jack, was in the Aldridge Band.  He played the big drum, carrying it on straps on his belly. Those thoughts bring back my innocence, and such happy memories.

I remember when he had drunk his tea, Robinson said, “Come on Geoff.”  He told my mother we would be gone for a ½ hour ride.  We walked down the entry, between our house and next doors, out to the road to the bike.  Robinson got on, and told me to hang on, my arms around his waist.  No crash helmets then.  We shot off up the road.  I kept putting my head out around his body to see where we were going, not as I knew many areas other than my local area.

It is now 51 years later.  I realize that me being on the back of his bike, holding on for  grim death, my arms around his waist, was not the thing to be doing.  But I was 11, innocent, very vulnerable, and yes, somewhat scared.

We drove for 6 or 7 minutes, and suddenly stopped outside what I now know was a semi detached house in Leigh’s Road, Shelfield .  When the bike stopped, he switched it off, and we got off.  Robinson told me this was his mother’s house.  We walked up the path.  He unlocked the door and pushed me in.  At this point I had no way of knowing what was going to happen, I stood there waiting.

Jimmy Robinson told me to go upstairs.


1. Summer 1961

Well, where do I begin, I am 11 years old, I live in Oakley Avenue, Aldridge, West Midlands together with my two elder brothers. We are from a working class family.  My father worked one week days, followed by one week nights, at a steel foundry.  I remember being normal, just like all the other lads in the street.  I had many friends.  We spent time playing football, going down the railway tracks hiding behind bushes, watching steam trains shunting in the goods yards.

When I was 11 years old, I attended Tynings Lane Secondary Modern School, In Tynings Lane, Aldridge, just ¼ of a mile from home.  I didn’t like school, because I wasn’t the brightest of lads.  My problem was that I found it very hard to concentrate because there was so much going on around me.  My brothers and I were taught to respect, the vicar, the policeman, the doctor.  Many a time a policeman in the same avenue would belt us one for climbing over his wall to get our ball.  We took it.  We didn’t tell our mom or dad because you would get another belting, when dad got home.  That was how things were.

On a weekly basis my mother used to send me to Poxon’s butchers, in Station Road, Aldridge, next door to Aurthur Thomas, fruit and veg shop.  I went to the shop probably twice a week to get meat or sausages.  This I did after school, or Saturday mornings. This went on for a few years.  After all, it was safe for kids to be on the streets in those days, or so my parents believed.  On one day, just like any other, I walked to the shop only to find a Triumph Bonneville motor bike standing against the front of the shop.  I still remember standing looking at this massive machine, trying to imagine what it was like to ride.  This was the day that my life changed forever.