Tag Archives: victim

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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12. Dead and Gone from My Life

In April 2009 I was in Lichfield working at a Health Centre, doing some painting.  When I had finished and before coming home I called to see a friend of mine, M.H.  We have been friends for 40 years.  M.H. makes false teeth in his Dental workshop.  Whilst he was working I was sitting next to him and we were talking.

I mentioned a friend of ours P, and I asked M how is he?  M replied that P and his wife were having a rough patch with one of their two sons.  I asked why and M told me that one of the lads had come out, i.e. he’s gay.  Straight away, without thinking, I said to M, “could be worse, he could be a paedophile.”  M looked at me with tears in his eyes and said words to the effect, what are you trying to tell me?  In tears I explained what had happened to me when I was 11.  M told me that I should go to the police and that he would go with me.  I said no, James Robinson is gone out of my life, he’s dead and rotting in hell.

Little did M or I realize, the boot was about to be delivered.  I thanked M, gave him a hug and left for K’s.  A couple of days later I returned to Ireland.


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.


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.