Tag Archives: professional boxer

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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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.


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.