July Comments 2017

ANON Jul 28th, 2017 @ 03:48 PM

Former Christian brother jailed for abusing young boys at Limerick school…

A former Christian brother who abused a number of young boys at a school in Limerick almost 40 years ago has been jailed for three and-a-half years.

Seamus Treacy (also known as James), aged 75, who has an address at Ashford Close, Swords, Dublin was convicted of 17 charges of indecent assault following separate trials at Limerick Circuit Court earlier this year.

Two of the charges related to one victim with the remaining 15 related to three other victims.

All of the offences happened at a school in Limerick in the late 1970’s where the defendant was a teacher at the time.

Most of the offences happened in the classroom at the school while one happened in the toilet area after Treacy found the victim smoking.

It can now be revealed that Treacy has a large number of previous convictions relating to similar offences all of which happened around the same time.

During a sentencing hearing this Friday, Judge Tom O’Donnell said the actions of the defendant were barbaric and that he had “effectively ruined” the lives of each of the victims.

“He left a deep trail of destruction,” he said adding that it was difficult to see grown men, now aged in their 50s, reduced to tears as victim impact statements were read in court on a previous occasion.

He noted that Treacy, who appeared to deliberately turn away from the victims as he sat in court this Friday, has not shown any remorse or empathy and that he disputes
Judge O’Donnell said the frequency of the abuse and the pre-meditated nature of his actions were aggravating factors as was the fact that he was in a position of trust.

Addressing the victims who were present in court he said: “You did nothing wrong. You should not be ashamed”.

The judge said the defendant’s previous convictions for similar offences were another aggravating factor he had to consider.

He imposed the maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment in relation to the incident in the toilet while consecutive sentences of 18 months were imposed in relation to the other offences.

Treacy’s name has also been placed on the register of sexual offenders. 28/07/2017

ANON Jul 26th, 2017 @ 01:53 PM

Top Vatican official Cardinal Pell in court on sex charges…

A massive media scrum greets Australia's highest-ranking Catholic as he arrives at court to face a number of charges.

The most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal has denied the charges against him.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis's top financial adviser, made his first appearance at a court in Melbourne, Australia, since he was charged with multiple historical sex offences last month.

Full details of the charges faced by the 76-year-old have not yet been released to the public but there are multiple complainants in the case.

The Cardinal, Australia's highest-ranking Catholic, did not say anything during his court appearance and, although no formal plea was entered, his lawyer told the court that he planned to plead not guilty.

"For the avoidance of doubt and because of the interest, I might indicate that Cardinal Pell pleads not guilty to all charges and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has," lawyer Robert Richter told the court in comments reported by The Age newspaper.

A massive media scrum greeted Pell as he arrived at Melbourne Magistrates' Court, accompanied by more than a dozen police officers.

He had not been required to attend the hearing.

Pell took a leave of absence from his role at the Vatican so he could return to Australia and fight the charges against him.

The Pope has so far not passed judgement, saying that he wants to wait for Australia's justice process to run its course.

He has also not forced Pell to resign.

Pell must reappear at court on 6 October

ANON Jul 26th, 2017 @ 01:50 PM

Father of tennis star Mark Philippoussis arrested on child abuse charges…

The father of Mark Philippoussis is suspected of sexually abusing two children including one under the age of 1.

The father of Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing children.

Nikolaos Philippoussis, 68, is expected to be formally charged on Wednesday. He is currently in jail in San Diego, on a bond of £1.9m ($2.5m).

He was booked under suspicion of crimes including sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, according the the San Diego County Sheriff's Department inmate tracking website.

The case has made headlines in San Diego, where Mr Philippoussis gives personal tennis lessons.

Mark Philippoussis, who retired from professional tennis in 2015, is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The player is a star in his native Australia, and at the height of his career reached a top ranking of Number 8 in the world.

"There has been nothing in the investigation that would make us believe he has anything to do with this," Lieutenant Greg Rylaarsdam, of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, said.

Mr Rylaarsdam stressed that the investigation was in its early stages and said police were interested in speaking with members of the public who had knowledge about the case.

ANON Jul 24th, 2017 @ 12:27 PM

1/2 Church has learned very little in the 20 years since evil Fr Brendan Smyth died, says victim…

One of the victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth has said the Catholic Church has learned nothing in the two decades since the notorious child abuser died.

Smyth was jailed for more than 140 offences in 1994, dying of a heart attack behind bars on August 22, 1997.

Brendan Boland was abused by the twisted cleric for two years, starting from when he was an 11-year-old altar boy serving in his home parish in Dundalk, Co Louth.

In 1975, when Mr Boland was 14, he reported Smyth's abuse of him and other children but was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement that prevented him from speaking about it to anyone.

Mr Boland told the Belfast Telegraph that the Catholic Church still had work to do to tackle clerical abuse.

Mr Boland said: "I don't think the Church has learned anything in these past 20 years. It might all look well and good on the surface with child protection policies but the Church is still fighting victims in legal battles.

"Until the Church stops that, I can't accept that they have accepted responsibility for the damage done, not just by the likes of Smyth, but by those who helped cover it up and there are still plenty of them working as priests.

ANON Jul 24th, 2017 @ 12:24 PM

2/2" When I reported Smyth in 1975 I was taken into a room and stood in front of three priests which included Father Sean Brady (later Cardinal Brady) in an ecclesiastical court who interrogated me about what happened to me.

"I was sworn to secrecy and told that Brendan Smyth would never be able to hurt another child and he would be dealt with.

Years later it came out that Smyth kept on abusing and that had a bad effect on me, because I believed them when they said the abuse would stop."

Mr Boland said he cared nothing about Smyth's late admission of guilt but he is thankful for the awareness surrounding the issue that now exists.

He continued: "What happened me made me so protective of my own children when they were growing up.

"I wouldn't leave them on their own with anyone and so many times they asked me why, but they were too young at the time to explain.

"I found it so hard to trust anyone and when we had our children I worried about them.

"While I am yet to be convinced the Church has truly accepted its role in the abuse, parents are more aware and they are less trusting of people in authority be it the Church, schools, scouts, clubs whatever.

"It's not just the Church where abuse happens, it can happen anywhere, but parents today are clued in about it and so are the young people and that's a really good thing."

His book Sworn To Silence about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Smyth and its cover-up, published in 2014, is available on Amazon.

ANON Jul 24th, 2017 @ 12:22 PM

Son of Disappeared victim Jean McConville loses cancer battle…

A son of IRA murder victim Jean McConville, who was abused in a care home after he was orphaned, has died of cancer.

Billy McConville passed away in the NI Hospice days after appealing to politicians to secure justice for institutional child abuse survivors.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday at St Paul's Church on the Falls Road. He leaves behind four children and is survived by eight brothers and sisters.

Fellow abuse survivor, Margaret McGuckin, said it was damning that he had died before a scheme to secure compensation for victims had been set up.

Political deadlock at Stormont had halted progress.

She described him as a "courageous and unselfish man" who had inspired those who met him.

Mr McConville's mother Jean was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972.

He was six when he was sent to Rubane House in Co Down where he said that he was abused by some De La Salle brothers and by a lay teacher.

ANON Jul 22nd, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

Court rules men cannot reopen abuse claims against State…

Five men who sued over alleged abuse as children in Christian Brothers’ schools have failed in their attempt to have their damages actions against the State restarted.

The men previously discontinued their actions against the Minister for Education and the State after the Supreme Court, in the landmark 2008 case of Louise O’Keeffe, found the State could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of abusers employed in national schools.

In 2016, the High Court said, as a matter of law, the men were not entitled to have the discontinuances set aside.

On Friday, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan ruled, on behalf of the three-judge Court of Appeal, that this was the correct decision. Saturday 22July 2017.

ANON Jul 20th, 2017 @ 02:27 PM

Babies as young as a year old treated for rape and sexual assault in Galway,,,

Babies as young as one have presented for treatment at a service for victims of rape and sexual assault in the west of the country.

The Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment service in Ballybrit in Galway reported 73 attendances of children in 2016.

According to figures reported in the Connacht Tribune, three of the patients were just one years old, five were aged two and seven were four years of age.

The remaining victims were aged between five and seventeen. Thursday 20July 2017

ANON Jul 19th, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

1/2...Tusla guilty of litany of failings in child abuse cases – Ombudsman…

An investigation by the Ombudsman into how a number of allegations of child abuse by adults were handled has found a litany of failings.

The investigation into Tusla, the Child and Family Agency revealed:

:: Long delays in dealing with allegations of abuse

:: The rights of some people who were accused of abuse were breached

:: Tusla failed to follow its own procedures when keeping social work records

:: Some social workers lacked empathy

:: Confidential communications were sent to an incorrect address

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said today:"My investigation has found that in some cases there have been serious failings in how Tusla carries out its role.

“ However, Tusla has accepted the findings in my report. It has agreed to implement the recommendations which are aimed at improving Tusla's procedures.

Tusla has already started to implement some recommendations and I will closely monitor how they are being implemented."

The’Taking Stock’ probe was prompted in 2014 after the Ombudsman expressed concern about how some cases were being handled by social workers, particularly cases involving historic allegations of abuse.

ANONA Jul 19th, 2017 @ 10:55 AM

2/2..Case studies highlighted in the report revealed:

:: It took five years to conclude that allegations of abuse against a grandfather were unfounded. He died without learning he was cleared.

:: A case where a statement provided by a woman who made allegations of abuse was misfiled.The allegations were examined fifteen months later and only after the woman contacted Tusla. In the same case a note of the woman's allegations which was to be sent to her was sent to the wrong address and a subsequent letter was also sent to a wrong address.

:: A case where an adult did not receive written notice of the allegations of abuse made against him before being interviewed by Tusla - contrary to guidelines set out in the 1997 'Barr judgment'.

In response Tusla said today: “External oversight and assessments such as the Ombudsman’s investigation into complaint handling, coupled with the experiences of those who use our services, provide us with valuable feedback and assist us to continuously develop and enhance our services.

“Tusla has been actively working to improve this area of work for the past 12 – 18 months. In addition, we have actively worked with the Ombudsman over the past year, during this investigation to progress the implementation of the valuable recommendations.”

The spokesman said “ Tusla has been working to continuously improve the complaints function within the agency, and set up its own complaints function independent of the HSE in 2016 called ‘Tell Us’.

“The recommendations in ‘Taking Stock’ and resulting actions will build on the improvements already completed or underway to further enhance the complaints function within the Agency.

ANON Jul 18th, 2017 @ 06:22 PM

1/2...German abuse victims speak of 'hell' at choir school …

Teachers at one of Germany's most famous Catholic choir schools physically or sexually abused 547 pupils between 1945 and 2015, an independent report has found, with some boys likening the institution to a concentration camp.

The 440-page report chronicles teachers doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard that the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.

Boys who tried to escape the "Regensburger Domspatzen", or Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows, were hauled back into the school and beaten and humiliated in front of other boys, it said.

Allegations of abuse at the school, which dates back over 1,000 years and now tours the world to perform choral music, surfaced in 2010.

After criticism of that investigation, the diocese, which acknowledged it had "made mistakes", commissioned lawyer Ulrich Weber in 2015 to put together the independent report.

Former Pope Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, 93, led the choir from 1964 to 1994.

He acknowledged in 2010 that he had slapped pupils in the face but said he had not realised how brutal the discipline was.

Mr Weber said he was "to be blamed especially for turning a blind eye and not intervening despite having knowledge", adding the investigation did not show he was aware of sexual abuse.

Several testimonies said he was generally friendly.

It was not possible to contact Mr Ratzinger for a comment.

ANON Jul 18th, 2017 @ 06:19 PM

2/2...Mr Weber said the system was focused on achieving musical excellence choral success and to that end, a high degree of discipline was commonplace.

That provided a basis for violence.

He found that a total of 547 former pupils had probably been victims of physical and/or sexual violence. Of those, 67 suffered sexual abuse.

He blamed 49 individuals, 45 of whom were physically violent and nine of whom were believed to have committed sexual violence.

"Victims described the institution as a prison, hell and a concentration camp," Mr Weber told a news conference.

"Many of them called the time there as the worst of their lives which was marked by violence, fear and helplessness."

Allegations of sexual and physical abuse in Catholic schools in Germany, in particular in the former pope's native Bavaria, have shaken the church and abuse scandals have also rocked it in Ireland, the United States, and Austria.

Choir school victims, many of whom implored their parents to let them come home, said they were still traumatised.

"These are not 547 cases where an individual was affected once. Rather, this was an ongoing practice over decades where 547 children were tormented, abused, mistreated and socially harmed," former choir boy and abuse victim Alexander Probst told Reuters TV.

"They are severely traumatised to this very day. This upsets me.

I thought I had gotten over it after a seven-year battle but in fact this greatly upset me today."

The Diocese of Regensburg acknowledged its past mistakes and said it wanted to find out what happened and deal with it.

"We all made mistakes and have learned a lot. We see today that we could have done things better and sooner," said Michael Fuchs, General Vicar of Regensburg Diocese.

ANON Jul 14th, 2017 @ 06:55 PM

Man accused of raping boy is remanded in custody …

A man accused of raping a 12-year-old boy nine times has been refused bail at Cork District Court.

The defendant is accused of nine counts of rape between July 2011 and March 2012 and nine counts of sexual assault.

He is also charged with one count of child exploitation.

Objecting to bail at Cork District Court, gardaí described the man as posing a risk to young people.

The 30-year-old had applied to be released on bail pending his trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Judge Olann Kelleher said that having heard the application for bail and the State objection, he was remanding the accused in custody

ANON Jul 14th, 2017 @ 11:11 AM

1/2...HSE chief treating foster care abuse victim with ‘contempt’…

HSE director general Tony O’Brien has been accused of treating foster care abuse victim ‘Grace’, and the general public, with “contempt”, for failing to release a damning report into €600,000 of cutbacks imposed on those who uncovered the sexual abuse scandal.

The Public Accounts Committee made the claim after being formally told, by letter, of the latest delay in publishing the report. The letter also confirmed the HSE has spent €185,984 on the case in legal challenges.

PAC chair and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming said, in response to criticism about the delay last week in publishing the Deloitte cutbacks’ report, that Mr O’Brien had written to the committee to explain the latest holdup.

Stating “here we go again”, Mr Fleming said the HSE chief confirmed that while he told the PAC on June 15 that the report would be made available by the end of that month, it was now being delayed until at least the end of August, as revealed by the Irish Examiner last Saturday

Mr O’Brien attributed the delay to the fact that HSE officials and the whistleblower involved had, in recent weeks, provided further information to Deloitte’s investigators and that further meetings had not taken place, as people are on holiday.

However, dismissing the comment as an excuse, PAC members criticised the latest delay, with Independent TD, Catherine Connolly, saying “it would be easier to extract teeth without anaesthetic” than to receive information from the HSE.

ANON Jul 14th, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

2/2...In a similar vein, Mr Fleming said that the PAC has “been promised this Deloitte report time after time, after time” in recent months, without any success, despite the fact that a draft version was largely completed in late March and formally finished on May 19.

The committee chair said Mr O’Brien had said he was seeking the permission of the commission of investigation in the Grace scandal to send the committee the report.

Ms Connolly said this was “totally unacceptable”, as the report was commissioned over a year ago: “This is adding insult to injury.

It’s appalling.”

She said that four of the five staff involved in the Grace case have been promoted, while the two whistleblowers in the case were “seriously impacted on”.

Deputy David Cullinane (SF) said the HSE boss had led the committee to believe the Deloitte report would be published “almost immediately”, but almost a month had passed.

“He is treating Grace with contempt, and the public with contempt,” replied Mr Fleming.

The PAC chair said he would write a stern letter, expressing the “gross dissatisfaction” of the committee regarding the reply and timeline.

He said that unless the PAC receive the Deloitte report, it would be expecting Mr O’Brien to appear before the committee again in September.

The stand-off came as the HSE letter to the PAC confirmed the publicly-funded body has spent a massive €185,984 in its legal defence, to date.

The HSE said that the State Claims Agency believes the final legal cost which excludes the €6.3m High Court settlement to Grace earlier this year “has not reached a final conclusion” and further expenses may occur.

ANON Jul 13th, 2017 @ 10:15 PM

Former teachers at Horsham school charged with historical sex offences…

Four men who taught at Christ's Hospital School, in West Sussex, are accused of a range of offences dating back almost 40 years.

Four former teachers at a top independent school have been charged with a series of sex offences during the 1980s and 1990s.

The men taught at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex, and the alleged attacks took place between 1980 and 1996, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Gary Dobbie, 66, is charged with seven counts of indecent assault on a male, one count of attempted indecent assault on a male and three counts of indecent assault on a female.

James Husband, 67, is charged with five counts of indecent assault on a female and four counts of rape.

Ajaz Karim, 62, is charged with nine counts of indecent assault on a female and one count of attempted indecent assault on a female.

Peter Webb, 74, is charged with six counts of indecent assault on a male.

The alleged offences were against 15 suspected victims.

Christ's Hospital School is a 16th century boarding school which also takes day pupils, with boarding fees of £10,930 per term and day fees of £7,110 per term.

Students wear a Tudor-style uniform which includes a long blue coat, yellow socks and a white neck band.

The school said in a statement: "Christ's Hospital is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its pupils and continues to provide its full support to the police in their investigations.

"We would always encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to come forward.

As criminal proceedings are active, we are unable to share any further information at this time."

The men will appear at Crawley Magistrates' Court on 9 August

ANON Jul 13th, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Christian Brothers sell former Clonkeen College playing fields…

Order says sale is necessary to discharge €10m debt to redress board for child abuse.

The Christian Brothers have sold the 7.5 acres of land that was previously used as playing pitches by Clonkeen College in south Dublin.

It emerged last month that the school had been told on May 3rd a “legally binding” contract had been entered into with local homebuilder Patrick Durkan snr, to sell the playing fields for a reported €18 million.

Negotiations for the sale had been ongoing for 12 months, without the school’s knowledge.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton on Wednesday confirmed the land has been sold in response to a parliamentary question from Labour TD Joan Burton.


“The congregation has confirmed that the position is that the lands have been sold, that it has signed and exchanged legally binding contracts with the purchasers and that the Congregation cannot reverse this transaction,” he said.

Last month the board of management at the school sent a legal letter to the religious order demanding that it acknowledge there was an agreement in 2006, in which representatives of the Christian Brothers indicated the lands would not be sold as long as the school remained a school.

The Christian Brothers have said the sale is necessary to discharge their debt of €10 million to the redress board for historical abuse of children who had been in their care and for the future support of ageing brothers.

The sale was “not an easy decision” but was taken having made very substantial provision for the college’s reasonable future needs, they added.

ANON Jul 11th, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

1/2...Ex-principal on child sex charges could face 'fact-finding' hearing…

A judge has refused to halt proceedings against a former Catholic school principal facing historical child sex abuse allegations.

Lawyers for Co Antrim man Richard Duffin (7 said he was too ill to stand trial on eight counts of indecent assault, two charges of cruelty to children under the age of 16 and two counts of common assault.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said yesterday that although he was refusing to grant the abuse of process application, one remedy to the case instead of a trial could be to hold a "fact-find hearing'' in which it would be decided if Duffin had committed the acts as alleged by three male complainants.

The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between June 1975 and June 1981 against three males while he was principal of St Joseph's Primary School in Ballymena. He denies all the charges.

Last week, Duffin's legal team advanced an abuse of process application stating the accused was not fit to stand trial due a number of medical conditions, and asked for a stay in the proceedings against him.

Defence counsel Neil Connor QC said Duffin, formerly of Ballysallagh Road, Cargan, Ballymena, faced charges dating back 42 years.

When the accused appeared in court last September he was able to attend with the help of a walking aid.

"However, he is now confined to a wheelchair and remains in that wheelchair throughout the day until he goes to bed," Mr Connor said.

He continued that, according to medical reports, Duffin suffered from a number of medical conditions, including Parkinsons Disease "which is at an advanced stage'', and also epilepsy.

ANON Jul 11th, 2017 @ 12:23 PM

2/2...The reports also stated that he suffered a stroke in 2014 and had previously suffered three heart attacks.

Mr Connor added: "I can honestly say from the Bar I can scarcely understand much of what he said to me this morning. Mr Duffin's conditions are both mental and physical but more physical than mental.

"I fail to see how the accused could give intelligible evidence to a jury given his condition and, for those reasons, we say he is not fit to stand trial.''

Prosecution counsel Tessa Kitson objected to any stay in the proceedings, saying that measures could be put in place to assist Duffin with his trial, including a registered intermediary, his interviews could be played to the jury and he could be given regular breaks during the trial.

The prosecutor said that if he was not able to attend court, a live video link could be provided from his nursing home so he could follow proceedings and give his oral evidence to the jury.

Giving his ruling, Judge Kerr said the difficulty for the defence was that procedures exist to deal with the medical issues raised.

He added: "In considering the interests of justice, as I must in dealing with this discretionary remedy,

I have to have regard to the fact that a stay would be an end to the proceedings, leaving the complainants in this case practically without a voice.''

He said a 'fact-finding hearing' would not apportion guilt to the accused. Instead, a jury would decide whether or not the accused had "committed the acts'' as alleged by the complainants.

Refusing the stay, Judge Kerr adjourned the case until next month for mention at Antrim Crown Court

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

Department of Children releases update on investigation of mother-and-baby homes…

The examination of the mother-and-baby home site in Tuam, Co Galway, has been complicated because human remains from different babies are intermingled with each other.

This has made it much harder to identify individual babies at the site.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has released an update on mother-and-baby homes issue, as well as a paper that sketched out options on investigating the Tuam site.

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes earlier this year announced that “significant” quantities of human remains had been found buried under the site of a former institution for unmarried mothers run by the Sisters of the Bon Secours.

The remains belonged to children aged from about 35 foetal weeks to three years.

The commission was set up in February 2015 after a Galway-based historian, Catherine Corless, published research that revealed death certificates for 796 children at the Tuam mother-and-baby home with no indication of their burial places.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said she will release a monthly update on the issue, and the first one was sent out on Friday evening.

It said that further geophysical surveys of the Tuam site would be conducted later this month. The non-invasive surveys “may assist to identify any further burials or anomalies on the areas”.

A separate options paper on what to do with the site was also released. It said “complexities include the commingled/inter-mixed juvenile human remains, which were found in significant quantities in a subsurface chambered structure with limited accessibility”.

“The probability that the commingling/inter-mixing of human remains has occurred is a significant complication to individual identification.

This is more acute in the case of juvenile human remains due to their fragile nature, compounded by the potentially significant quantities involved.”

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 11:01 AM

1/2... An 81-year-old former Koran teacher who was convicted of a string of child sex offences has been jailed for 13 years….

Mohammed Haji Sadiq taught for 30 years at Cardiff's Madina mosque and abused four girls as a form of punishment.

He was found guilty of eight sexual assaults on a child under 13 by touching, and six indecent assaults after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

The court heard Sadiq, of Cyncoed, "took advantage of his position".

:: Koran teacher guilty of child sex abuse
§
:: Koran teacher denies pupil sex assaults

:: Mosque tutor used 'physical punishment'

Being abused by paedophile Koran teacher Mohammed Haji Sadiq 'felt normal eventually', says victim

He had denied the charges involving four girls aged between five and 11 and blamed "politics" in the mosque for the accusations.

But sentencing him, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC told Sadiq: "Children called you 'uncle' as a mark of respect. You are a man in my judgement of some cunning."

He added: "Beneath the veneer there is a dark and deviant side."

Sadiq, who was a part-time Imam, sexually assaulted two girls under the age of 13 by touching, and indecently assaulted two other girls over a decade between 1996 and 2006 at the Woodville Road mosque.

He abused them if they made a mistake while reciting the Koran and would use a stick as a form of punishment in class, hitting people over the hand or hard on the back.

Some of his victims said they were afraid to attend the mosque because of his abuse.

One said she had attempted to take her own life because of the abuse.

In victim impact statements read to the court, others said they felt they could not tell anyone about the abuse because of the culture they grew up in.

The court heard one victim feared the consequences of speaking out following Sadiq's conviction.

She said: "Due to my religion it was very difficult, almost impossible to tell anyone what had happened".

She added: "In the Muslim religion we do not talk about personal matters".

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

2/2 'Family honour'…

Another victim said it was "not acceptable" in her culture to talk about what was happening at the mosque.

She said: "I remember the relief I felt when I told my mother, and she believed me and went to the police.

"In my family honour is very important, but my family have been very supportive".
Sadiq has had no involvement in the mosque since 2006 when it burnt down and was re-sited elsewhere in the city.

He was cleared of one indecent assault after his trial last month.
In addition to his jail sentence, he was issued with a sexual harm prevention order and will have to register as a sex offender.

Det Ch Insp Rob Cronick of South Wales Police praised the "immense courage" of the victims who came forward.

"As a result of the verdict and today's sentence I believe there may be members of the community who may now feel confident enough to speak to the police or our support agencies," he added.

A spokesman for the children's charity NSPCC said: "This was an appalling breach of trust and Sadiq has rightly received a significant prison sentence for these heinous offences."

A Muslim Council of Wales spokeswoman said: "We applaud the bravery and courage of the young women who now, as adults, pursued the case and pursued justice.

"Mr Sadiq was not an imam but a volunteer teacher at the former Madina Mosque.
"All mosques in Wales now have Child Protection Policies in place, and teachers and volunteers alike are all vetted and closely monitored."

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

Skipton children's home carer jailed for child sex abuse…

An ex-carer who sexually abused three boys and a girl at a children's home in North Yorkshire has been jailed.

Stuart Thornton, 65, of Cross Street, Cowling, near Keighley, West Yorkshire, carried out the crimes at the now closed Burnside House Children's Home in Skipton, between 1971 and 1976.

Police said his youngest victim was aged just five years old.

At Bradford Crown Court, Thornton was jailed for 19 years after which he will be on licence for three years.

He was convicted in May of a series of sex offences including indecent assault, gross indecency with a child and a serious sexual crime in May.

North Yorkshire Police said Thornton, who denied all the charges, started volunteering at the home on Carleton Road before he was employed as carer.

Det Con Gillian Gowling said: "He abused his position in the most horrific way possible and his victims have had to live with that abuse for years before seeing justice being done.

"I hope it gives them a small degree of comfort, knowing that he has finally been held accountable for what he did to them."

She praised the victims' bravery and said "their courage means that Thornton is now facing the consequences of his sickening crimes".

Thornton was also placed on the sex offenders register for life, barred from working with children abide by the terms of an interim sexual harm prevention order.

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 10:48 AM

Dublin man who raped niece and molested her sister jailed for 10 years…

Victim told court she went from ‘playing with dolls to planning her death’ after abuse began

A man who raped his young niece and molested her sister has been jailed for 10 years.

Francis Rafferty (6 admitted the sexual assault of his nieces but said he believed his behaviour was harmless.

Rafferty, of Botanic Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one girl when she was aged between nine and 12 years old between 2005 and 2008.

After a trial at the Central Criminal Court a jury convicted him of two counts of raping this victim and of sexually assaulting her older sister.

He was acquitted of two other counts of raping the younger girl. He had denied these charges.

The victims, now adults, gave permission for their uncle’s name to be published. One victim told the court that she went from “playing with dolls to planning her death” after the abuse began.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan noted a report from the Probation Service which stated that Rafferty has no understanding of the hurt, trauma or long term effect of his actions on his victims.

ANON Jul 8th, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

Largely finished Grace report won’t be published until August…

A HSE-commissioned report into claims that officials drained resources from the Grace sex abuse whistleblowers will not be published until at least the end of August five months after its initial deadline.

The Irish Examiner has learned that the report by accountancy firm Deloitte into serious concerns over sudden funding cuts to the agency the whistleblowers worked for between 2009 and 2016 is continuing to face ongoing delays despite being mainly completed by late March.

The report is understood to outline how up to €600,000 in HSE funding was cut from the agency in the years after the whistleblowers raised the Grace case concerns, and specifically relates to staffing and therapy funding reductions.

In addition, it is believed to have raised serious questions over why the funding cuts took place and who authorised them, issues which were outside of the original terms of reference the HSE set down for the report.

However, despite the fact the report has been largely complete since late March and draws many of the same conclusions that were confirmed as part of the €6.3m High Court award for Grace against the HSE earlier this year, the document has yet to be released due in part to concerns from individual HSE officials.

As previously reported by the Irish Examiner, the Deloitte report was commissioned by the HSE director general, Tony O’Brien, in February 2016 amid claims that the whistleblowers’ agency which has not been named to protect their identities saw its funding cut by €600,000 in the immediate aftermath of raising concerns about Grace’s treatment.

At a PAC meeting in late March, Mr O’Brien said the Deloitte report was mainly drawn up and would be published “imminently”.

After a near-three month delay, in mid-June Mr O’Brien told the committee he had been “misled” about the deadline and promised the report would be published by the end of June.

It is understood that Deloitte contacted the whistleblowers’ agency to say it would like to meet to discuss the “draft” report on August 10 meaning the document is unlikely to be concluded until late next month at the earliest, five months after the initial deadline.

Asked about the delay, a HSE spokesman said it would be more appropriate to tell the PAC first as to when the report will be delivered.

Benson Jul 3rd, 2017 @ 04:51 PM

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry was set up to establish what went wrong in the Island's care system over many years and to find answers for people who suffered abuse as children. --- here is the final report: http://www.jerseycareinquiry.org/Pages/Final-Report.aspx

ANON Jul 3rd, 2017 @ 01:03 PM

1/2...UN to hear about ‘denial’ over Magdalene laundries…

Government’s refusal to accept liability violates survivors’ dignity

The continuing “denial” by Government that the State has any liability for the Magdalene laundries continues to violate survivors’ dignity, compounding their “torture”, the United Nations will be told on Monday.

In a submission to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) group said there had never been “an independent, thorough and effective investigation” into the experiences of women and girls in the laundries and no person or institution held accountable.

It said Government had failed to deliver on key commitments made to survivors, including on the provision of services and rights, and to consult with them on a memorial.

Ireland comes before the UN Committee in Geneva at the end of the month for questioning on compliance with the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

More than 10,000 women and girls spent time in Church-run Magdalene laundries from the early 20th century, until the last was closed in 1996.

Most were sent and held against their will, usually for the “crime” of being unmarried and pregnant, where they worked in laundries without pay.

Many State-run bodies, hospitals and hotels had contracts with Magdalene laundries.

ANON Jul 3rd, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

2/2...Legal liability..

Though an interdepartmental committee, headed by Senator Martin McAleese, found substantial State involvement in the Magdalene system in its 2013 report, the State has rejected legal liability.

Last year it told the UN CAT it knew of “no factual evidence to support allegations of systematic torture or ill-treatment of a criminal nature”.

The JFM group said this “absence of accountability” amounted to “continuing dignity violations, compounding the torture or ill-treatment which the women suffered while incarcerated in Magdalene laundries”.

Among their experiences, as documented by the McAleese report, were involuntary detention, being given no information about why they were held or when they might be released, being stripped of their identities, forced to work constantly and unpaid, denied contact with the outside world, subjected to humiliating and degrading punishments, subjected to routine verbal denigration, denied education, gender-based discrimination, and being buried in unmarked graves sometimes without their deaths being registered.

The State played a role in the laundries in several ways, including that at least 26.5 per cent of admissions were recorded or made by State actors; the State legislated for the use of the laundries as places of detention; and the State had laundry contracts with them, according to the submission.

In May 2013 an “ex gratia” scheme was established to make “restorative” payments to survivors. However, according to the JFM, the women had to sign legal waivers, abandoning all rights of legal action, denying them accountability.

It also means, says JFM, religious orders have not had to produce archival evidence about the laundries.

Among the calls in the submission are for an independent evaluation of the State’s response to the Magdalene women; consultation on and funding for a memorial; release of all religious and State records on the laundries; and amendment of the statute of limitations to enable survivors bring civil claims.

ANON Jul 3rd, 2017 @ 12:56 PM

1/3...Zappone critical of HSE failings on mother and baby homes…

Senior HSE staff highlighted concerns five years ago but these were not fully investigated