Tag Archives: sexual abuse

40. I Would Drink to That.

I have spent the last few days worrying about my brothers, my children, my wife J. The reason is the blog, not only is it an idea, it is up and running. When I first cast my eyes on the page I was excited, nervous, scared (that word again). I spoke to the Sunday Mercury and gave them the details of the blog and the background to the story.  The reporter was very interested in doing a piece. Over the few days I phoned the Mercury and spoke at length about the blog, my abuse, (I must stop saying that word), the after effects, the cause that we are fighting. I also contacted The Coventry Telegraph and they kindly did a story.

But before I continue, I have to mention J.  Over the past few months J has sometimes looked at me, showing disapproval at what I am trying to accomplish and the means to its end, i.e. the blog. We have known each other for 31 or 32 years, and in that time I did tell her that I was abused by a trainee priest.  I did not go into any details, those remained locked inside my head, never ever to see the light of day. That was my intention, but events outside of my control, my history catching up with me; put an end to that plan.

As I have the blog fully written and the deadline for publication looming, I decided to give the full story to J.  I had made a copy to give to her, but I felt time was ticking away, so I plucked up courage, and gave J the folder with the story in. J took it to her work.  So whilst one of her clients was asleep, having an afternoon nap, she could read it. After 32 years, what would she make of my story? I still cannot sit and explain what happened, but I have it all written down. I think I was 11 again, for the afternoon, I switched off.

Finally J arrived home. I opened the gate as the ducks were out.  She opened the car door and I think she said “hello stranger”. I was just waiting for a row to start, I did not want one, but the air was just like it is prior to a thunderstorm. Not a lot was said, I did not want to get into a fight, or have a row, and yes I was scared. As I had sent the Mercury the story, they wanted a photo.  So I had to ask J to take one.  She took about 6 photos, and we had quite a laugh about it. I sent them off, and awaited the weekend paper.

Sunday morning came. I went on the Internet, found the web page and looked at the story.  Finally it was out. Today, it is official, the monkey is dead, he is off my back, and no arguments, great.

A few days later, still nothing said, I spoke to J.  I asked her to write down exactly how she sees me, and how she feels, now that my past is out. The following are quotes from J’s notes:

“You were very open in telling me about Robinson in the early stages of our relationship, but we both knew he was always on the back burner.  I never once asked you what happened, I hoped one day you would open up and tell me.  I didn’t want the sordid details, just for you to let me in.  It never did happen. I found out a few days ago when you asked me to read your blog. I cried.  I cried for you and all the other victims. I cried because you were a small, innocent boy with no one to turn to for help. I’m crying now as I put pen to paper. You never could turn to me for comfort or support, tell me how you felt, you just got angry. Geoff that makes me feel so inadequate.

I have tried, believe me, to put myself in your shoes, but I can’t.  No one can, unless they have suffered like you and all the others. During this journey you have been on over the last couple of years you have met some very kind understanding people, people who have helped you come to terms with what happened to you.

I love our home.  I used to get a warm feeling every time I came through the gates.  But over the last two years on dark and wet nights coming home from work, seeing an open fire in the lounge, I just wanted to keep driving, anywhere, but home.  I love you Geoff, I always have, and I always will, but some days I don’t like you.

Remember once Princess Diana said there were three in her marriage, that’s how the last two years have sometimes felt for me.  Robinson never seemed far away, around the next corner, waiting to start another argument.”

Finally, the truth is out.  I can’t take it back, more importantly, I don’t want to.  The blog has been going out now for several months.  I keep looking for any news, any contacts.  Yes I have to be patient, not one of my greatest gifts, ask J. I constantly try and put myself in the position of being a victim and having come across this blog, would I get in contact?  I think I would, but, I have to say that, it’s not easy; I only hope some good will come of my efforts to help others.

Do you realise what I just wrote?  “I constantly put myself in the position of a victim”.  I think this says a great deal.  It appears I don’t consider myself one any more.

If I did drink, I would drink to that.


39. So On We Go

Leading up to the trial, the news papers and TV were full of the Pope’s visit to UK.  For weeks and weeks they kept on about the visit.  I joined a campaign to ban the Pope’s visit.  But no, Tony Blair got his way, he got his visit from the Pope.  Let’s face it; he needs, what is it? absolution for his war crimes.  Through the news channels there was no news in the world, only this visit, of the Pope.  I watched him in Scotland, in London and, on the last day, I watched him in Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield.  Yes the very same college that Robinson went to.  The very same college that Robinson took his victims to, to be abused or should I say raped.

On the last day, (Sunday) he was in the college to perform the beatification of Cardinal Newman.  There sat on the Pope’s left hand Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, the very man that allowed my abuser, freedom in USA.  Not only that, but paid him £200 per week for nine years, whilst he was on the run from the Police (whilst Nichols was Bishop of Birmingham).  But don’t forget, Robinson had his wages as a priest from the California church.  I watched in total disgust; the very head of a church, the Pope, who reigns over an evil empire of abuse, not only here in Europe, but in the Third World.  What is happening here now is nothing to what is happening inSouth America.  Shame on the lot of them.  I watched various interviews on TV with Vincent Nichols and I was getting angrier by the day.  He has no compassion, no understanding of the suffering that we all go through.  I sincerely would like to meet him, face to face, to ask why he did nothing to help me or the other victims.  But it will never happen, so on we go.

I left these thoughts out of my first writings for the simple reason that I wanted to try and keep my abuse, my story, away from a purely Catholic Church bashing exercise.  I have an immense amount of sympathy for all the priests who do an excellent job looking after the needs of the parishioners.  But I also am totally against the church as it is here today.  A church that has shown, over many generations, to have lacked the basic Christianity that it preaches.  A church that is only interested in keeping its cash, keeping its independence and its business interests together, and secret.

38. Credit Where Credit Is Due

Having completed my story, I find that I am now looking back at the last two years.  I have seen despair, anger, frustration, more anger.  I have always had a fear of The Catholic Church, of priests, of the very Organisation that encouraged my and my fellow victims’ abuse.  I say encouraged, as that is the way it appears to me.  Any outfit that allows its ordained members to behave in such an evil manner is, in my humble opinion, evil.  There again I say ordained.  Robinson was in year 4 of a 6 year course when I had the misfortune of making his acquaintance.  The very fact that at the trial it was read out in court, that it took him 13 years to be ordained tells me many things.  I was, in fact, abused by a trainee, not yet a priest.  Yet he was expelled from his seminary in London for making sexual advances to the nuns.  It is apparent that the church let him back in a number of times.

I remember sitting in my cottage, back in 1995, watching “The Late Late Show” with Gaye Byrne, on RTE 1 television.  On this particular Friday night one of the guests was Cardinal Cahil Daly.  During the interview Gaye Byrne asked Daly, “were you aware of the child abuse going on with regard to Fr Brendan Smyth?”  He without hesitation replied, “yes.”  I was shocked.  The audience was taken aback and they made a gasping sound.  Gaye asked the same question again, this time instructing the Cardinal, “to think hard about the answer.”  He replied immediately, “yes.”  That night the Catholic Church, lost all credibility and still does to this day.

I have witnessed the Ryan, Murphy and now Cloyne Reports and I am still shocked not only by the church’s guilt, but by the way they treat the victims.  Their Christianity has no beginning.  Surely this has to change?  Last week I wrote a letter to The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, pledging my support for his efforts.  He is a very brave man to be taking the brunt of the public anger at what has gone on.  Yes a truly brave man.  Credit where credit is due.  This is the only man who seems to give anyone “hope for the future of the church in Ireland.”  I can see it, and I’m an atheist.

37. All That Is Necessary for Evil To Succeed, Is Good Men Do Nothing

My abuse, I never ever in the world of pig’s pudding ever thought, or had any reason to expect, Robinson to walk back into my life.  He did, it was shocking what we all went through and what we all had to relive in detail to an open Court of Law.  What happened is that he made us all go through the abuse.  Would I do it again?  Yes, without a doubt.  I was proud to do my duty, even if it was 49 years late.  I faced the bastard in court, looked at him, eye to eye.  I am a better person for what I did.  It was not easy, but yes, I am very proud.  I don’t cry so much now.  I can talk about this subject.  But I have found that I am still very emotional.  I just do not cry so much.

The Legal System:  I found the Legal System was on my side, the side of the innocent man or, in my case, the innocent 12 year old lad.  I was very encouraged by the amount of “good people,” that I have met whilst travelling along this road to court and beyond.

Justice, “did I get Justice?”   I don’t think I did.  I got an evil bastard off the streets, but I don’t think I got justice.  Justice to me would have been to be treated like all the other victims.  I have not been treated that way.  I would have been happy to get compensation of some kind.  I would have taken Jill on a holiday, bought her things, etc, to say thank you for sticking by me.  I now realise we nearly lost everything we had, and I don’t mean money, or property.  Robinson came very close to breaking us up, the bastard.

The Church:  Well, the Cloyne Report was at last published, what horrors, how shocking, what a load of bastards.  All my life I have feared nuns and priests.  I’m now grown up and I am not scared of the bastards anymore.  I genuinely feel very sorry for the 99.99% of genuine Christian priests, preaching and doing good work.  I feel so sorry for them, being tarred with the same brush as these evil bastards.  I still feel that the catholic church is the evil empire.  I am so anti Church; yesterday, The Papal Nuncio left Ireland to go back to the Vatican.  He had been recalled.  He should have been expelled.  Please try to picture this; him about to board his plane, Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister, walking up behind him and doing a “Bishop Brennon”(Bishop Brennon; Father Ted – made in UK, for the Irish TV) – kicking him up the ARSE.”  Don’t forget the photo Doughal.

Over the past months and, especially now, writing “My Story,” for this blog, I have spent weeks, months thinking, going deep inside my head.  I have come up with these pages.  Whether they will do the trick, I don’t know.  But I am honoured.  You are giving me the chance.  I wish to say thank you.  But as I come very close to today, coming up to date as it were, I will still put down my thoughts and send you my latest pages.  I would like to leave with the last paragraph, probably the most important words I have yet written.

I have more Christianity on the soul of my shoe and that includes the “dog dirt.”  When will they ever get it?  When will they ever understand?  I quote a very famous line, by Edmund Burke, “all that is necessary for evil to succeed, is good men do nothing.”  Edmund Burke was born in Ireland in January 1729, his words will last forever.  After the recent Cloyne Report, I am very sad to say, that his words fit perfectly.  Today’s Catholic Church, in Ireland and from my experience, in Great Britain and yes, throughout the World, why do good men do nothing?

36. Thank You Brothers

I was also in contact with a Journalist, Chris Moore, from Northern Ireland.  He was the journalist who brought out into the open the case of Brendan Smyth, one of Ireland’s most evil bastards.  Again, a cover up by the church enabled him to abuse for decades.  No different from how the church in England handled Robinson.  I am still in contact with Chris as I write.

I also received a reply to my letter to The Honourable Patrick Thomas QC.  It was a wonderful letter, giving me encouragement in my quest for truth and justice.  I also sent a request to West Midlands Police and the CPS, asking for information under the Freedom of Information Act.  But they will not help me, as the information, shows the Police in a very bad light.  They failed in their duty in 1985 to investigate.  It was obviously at the church’s request.  I have now been offered the information, if I apply to court.  Various restrictions will apply, but as this material was read out in court, I am determined to get it.  Then I will know exactly why they do not want to help me now.  I am of the opinion that the police helped me purely to help themselves, to make their job easier.  Now I am surplus to their requirements.  I am, in fact, a redundant tool.  So they think.  But I would still do it all again, no matter what.  I’m now a spare part, making waves.

One day in April, I had just got home and the phone went.  I picked it up and a voice asked for Geoff Smith.  Without any hesitation I said, “hello R.”  It was RK.  He could not get over the fact that I remembered his voice.  But as I said to him, how could I forget?  I explained to R that Christmas had come early this year, as I was so very pleased to hear from him.  We spoke on many occasions and I arranged to meet him in a pub in Brownhills, together with GS and AM.  On the day of the get together I phoned LE asking for them to join us, but they were busy.

We all met and had a couple of pints.  My brothers C and B also went along.  It was very interesting talking after the trial.  We were in a very, very busy pub.  We were all sitting together, no one would have known outside our circle what a brave, strong and determined bunch of grown up lads were there.  It was great to get to see each other.  I am again proud of my association with them.

I often look back at the 15 months prior to the trial.  My brothers stood by me. This is the most important fact to me.  It took Robinson to come back for us to get together.

Thank you Brothers.

Having spent the last two years looking back over my life, I have found out many things about my family, about my abuse, about the Legal System and about the church.

35. I Am Not Willing To Walk Away

I put in a claim from the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), which was quickly rejected on the grounds that the abuse against me was in summer 1961 and the CICA was formed in 1964.  So I was not allowed to get any compensation.  I sent a letter trying to appeal what is to me a very unjust outcome.  I still maintain it was, in my case, very unfortunate that, as an eleven year old, I was unaware of the date of the forming of the CICA.

It was, looking back, rather stupid of me, being raped by a trainee priest prior to the CICA.  Given my life again and the fact that I am now aware of this date, I would reject the abuse by this man.  Should I have asked him to come back in 3 years time?  Very bad timing on my part.

They seem to overlook the fact that the abuse I suffered may have started in1961,but has affected me each day, each week, each month and, I suppose, each year since that date.  I think it is very good of them to have at least sent me a reply to my original claim.  I would however have appreciated being told to F*^# off, rather than picking the date of 1964, to turn me down.  After all, their aim to help the innocent who are abused by criminal acts says a lot about me.  Incidentally, when the Judge was giving his summing up he told us all that the Police helped GS get £22,500 in CICA compensation.  His abuse started in 1958.  How was he able to get compensation prior to a conviction?  I do not begrudge G one penny of his claim.  He deserves it and more.  But in any way you look at it, surely CICA should be fair to each case.  I submitted a written appeal, which was again rejected owing to the 1964 commencement of the CICA, as my abuse was prior to this date.  I am saddened, disgusted and very angry at their lack of compassion to me.  I am the only one of the six victims appearing in Court who cannot get compensated for the wrongdoing that I suffered.  Shame on them.

I wrote a letter to Paul Kenyon at the BBC and subsequently, we spoke on a few occasions.  He promised to help my cause and try to get Midlands Today at Pebble Mill, Birmingham, to make a report, a follow up to the reports after the trial.  But nothing ever came of my efforts.  He did however, tell me that a man in Scotland had a letter from West Midlands Police, apologising for the Force’s lack of investigation back in 1985.  I asked for a copy, but nothing has arrived.  At least I tried.  I have to say, J is getting very, I don’t quite know how to put it, she wants her old life back.

I can’t put the genie back in the bottle, he won’t go.  I didn’t ask for this crap, this history to come back into my life, but it did, I can’t help it.  J thinks I’m on a one man crusade.  Maybe I am.  All I know is that I have a duty to stick up for children today.  When I was 12, no one stuck up for me.  I am not willing to walk away.

34. No Bullshit

In early December I phoned the Police and was given the names and addresses of the other 5 victims who testified at Robinson’s trial.  I thought long and hard, what to do.  Finally, I sent each one a lovely Christmas card and, as well as my best wishes, I enclosed my letterhead, so at least they would know who sent it.  I waited and waited for weeks, no response.  So I put it down to their choice.  I offered my hand of friendship, so I felt happy with what I did.  Was it the right thing to do?  I don’t know, who knows?  But that’s me.

After Christmas I watched, Amy Berg’s, “Deliver us from Evil” for maybe the fifth time.  I again would recommend this film to anyone.  It is a moving, heart wrenching story.  I am so impressed with the characters, not playing a role, but real people, abused, just like me.  Yes, like me their story goes on.  I watched a man called Jeff Anderson, an Attorney in the USA.  I wondered if he could help me.  I looked up his web page and sent a message in a box.  Off went the email.  Well, I presumed it went off, I’m not very good with Technology.  The day after I was at home when the phone went and Jill answered it.  She walked into my TV room and said, “there is some American on the phone.”  I seriously thought she was winding me up, but no.

I recognised the voice from the film, it was Jeff Anderson.  He talked to me for twenty minutes.  I asked “can you help me?”  He replied that he could and then invited me to London in early January 2011.  He said he would pay my expenses so I thought I would give it a go.

I was working, and counting down the days.  I was getting very excited.  I’ve never met a film star.  I flew into Heathrow and was met at the arrivals by P, a very nice young man, very keen, very professional.  We took a taxi, or should I say a cab, arriving at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at 10.15am, when the press briefing started at 10.00.  I was so sorry I was late.  To me punctuality is like clean shoes.  It’s just the thing to do.  P and I sat down and were listening to the speakers.  After about,1/2 an hour I suddenly thought I had left my phone switched on and low and behold the bloody thing went off.  I sat there, hand in pocket, trying to kill my phone, especially as my ring tone is a police siren.  I managed to kill it, I apologised to the speakers.  Jeff Anderson, said, and I loosely quote, “I’ve been accused of chasing them.”  I felt two feet tall.  But no one was dead.

After Ann Olivarius had spoken, Jeff opened up to the group gathered and me and my big gob went into action.  I think I stood up and asked the following, “Mr Anderson, how do you keep going, day in, day out, banging your head up against the Vatican wall?”  I was very impressed with his answer.  I think it went like this, “I get angry, I cry, and I try my best to help.  But most important, I listen and I believe them.”  That answer, to someone who has been abused, was very important.  Because, abuse, all our lives, it’s not just the physical act of abuse, it’s not the fact that some bastard raped you, it’s the fact especially in my case of who would believe you?  That’s what is important; to be listened to, to be believed.  After the questions were finished, I stood with P and D, waiting like a fish out of water, to meet Jeff.  He put his arms around me.  I hugged him with tears in my eyes and I thanked him for his help.  After a couple of minutes talking, I shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and said, “Jeffrey, can I ask for one thing, and one thing only?  No bullshit, I can’t stand bullshit.  If you want me to piss off, tell me.  But no bullshit.”  Jeff agreed, “no bullshit.”

After the meeting, P and I went back to the Office.   D and I went to Lunch with L.  I was very impressed, I am still impressed, and may I take this opportunity, to say a big thank you to you all.  Whilst in London, I was given a copy of the official court documents and the Judge’s summing up.  This makes fascinating reading, but also shocking.  It reveals the true extent of the crimes committed by the church and by Robinson.

33. Liberated

Having arrived home, and gone over with J what went on in court (I believe the Military call it a debrief) life slowly got back to its ebb and flow.  I got back into work and all seemed well.  I went to visit a friend of mine, the legal advisor.  I went for morning coffee, free legal advice and another session of debriefing.  I have to say, as one who has never been offered or taken counselling, I can wholeheartedly, from my experience, advise anyone to talk; if not to a counselor, talk to a friend.  I know, take it from me; it does help.  I know this from my own experience.  Oh yes, I also walked out of the legal advisor’s house with three weeks work, decorating the whole of the interior of his Georgian farmhouse.  Is that lucky or what?  It was very instructive to him as well as me, telling my side of the legal story, telling of my experiences with the Law.

I also, as matter of urgency, put in a claim for my expenses for the trial.  I was paid for my ferry ticket, diesel and for the two days in the witness box.  I was assured by the Police that my expenses for my original interview of August 09, as well as the three weeks waiting time at the court, would be paid, when the church paid my compensation.

I took the time to write after a few weeks, when what had happened to me had finally sunk in.  When I had had time to think about what had gone on.  I wrote to the West Midlands Police, The CPS, The Crown Court Staff and the Judge, each one in turn.  I thanked them for their patience, consideration, compassion and their Professionalism.  I would stand by all four.  I was very proud to be associated with them, they did a magnificent job.  Those are the feelings of all the victims and the witnesses.  I told the police to phone me if at any time they have a victim of child sexual abuse and they would like someone who has been there, who knows what they are going through, to talk with them.  I would advise them to go forward, but I would not persuade them.  I know it is up to you, not anyone else.  I did it, I am proud I did it.  I would do it again.

On a personal level I would use the word “liberated.”  That’s how it made me feel.

32. “We Knew He Was Guilty”

For the 6 days that I was in court I had often looked at a man in a green suit sitting at the back of the court taking notes.  I do not know who this man was, but after sitting, looking, many times our eyes made contact, we both looked at each other.  I often wondered what he was doing, what he was thinking?  He would then go back to making notes.  Each time that Robinson had been stood down,the barristers and this man would go out of the door together with the prisoner.

I always considered that I, or should I say “we,” were on the good side.  So that would make him part of the bad side.  We stood in the public area outside the court room, he was talking on the phone.  As I was walking past him he put away his phone and this is what happened.  He put his hand out to me and I shook it.

He looked me in the eyes and said, “We always knew you were all telling the truth, we knew from day one.  We knew he was guilty.”  As we were still holding hands, I looked him in the eyes and said “thank you, that means more to me than anything that went on in that court.”

Having said thank you, the police called me over, as they were going to the pub to celebrate.  I agreed and my brothers also needed a drink.  As Sky News was doing a live broadcast at the front of the building, the police took us out the back of the court.  As we were walking about a ¼ mile to the pub I phoned J on my mobile phone, whereupon she said she was watching the live broadcast, live on TV back in Ireland.  We got to the pub, it was about, 1.30 pm and the pub was busy.  LM got the drinks in and I was standing talking to Mr. B, the man who led the investigation.  I was taking my chance to thank him personally for his fantastic staff, without whom, this case would have been dead in the water.  We had a drink with the Officers, GS and his brother P were there.  We were all  having a laugh and a joke, talking about Robinson’s 32nd fight, the one that he lost, when in walks the man in the green suit.

He went to the bar and the police bought him a drink, which I found most strange.  I suddenly had this urge to talk more to the man.  I went up to him and said hello.  I then went on to say the following, “thank you for your words outside the court, they mean so much to me, it helps me realize that what we had achieved was fantastic, getting that monster off the streets.”  He said “I am telling you, we knew that you were all telling the truth from day one.  We knew he was guilty.  He should have pleaded guilty, but he would not do it.  He wants to die an innocent man.”

He then asked me, and I quote, “do you really know what you are up against?”   I replied, “the church.”  He said, “I was once sent to Los Angeles for three days to get Diocesan employment records. They would not talk to me.  Then I was sent to the Vatican, again for three days, to get the information from their records.  They would not talk to me.  If they won’t talk to me, who will they talk to?”  Once again, I thanked him for his honesty, shook his hand and went back to my brothers.

Having had my one drink, I again thanked all present.  Then my brothers and I walked out, back to the station.  We boarded the train, and home we went.  I parted with B and C, a couple of stops before I got to mine.  I hugged and kissed them both, and thanked them for their support.


As soon as the Judge left the court, I shook G’s hand.  I then stood up and walked forward to Mr H, who is a small built, athletic kind of man.  I put my arms around him and picked him up off the ground.  I think I kissed him, whilst trying to say thank you, whilst crying.  I put him down and went to Miss R.  I again picked up this little Lady, I kissed her, again trying to express my, gratitude, my thanks, my appreciation.  It is my belief that such small words, thank you, they are so small, but I do not and will not ever find other words to express my appreciation better than these.

I walked out of the courtroom, at which point I kissed all the female officers of the police.  I think there were 4.  I hugged HM, I hugged LM.  The emotion was flowing, I was running on pure adrenalin.  I forgot, I kissed my brothers.  They had stood by me through thick and thin, a life time apart, but together when I needed them.

Thank you all.