News

Monk jailed for child sex offences, bishop due to be sentenced for kiddie porn

A ROMAN Catholic monk was warned about his behaviour after molesting a 12-year-old boy at the school at which he was teaching – but instead of being reported to the police he was simply prevented from teaching younger children by the Benedictine abbot of the monastery to which the school was attached.

Richard David White

This shocking fact came to light when Richard David White, 66, was jailed for five years for child sex offences which took place in the 1980s when he taught at Downside School in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset.

Taunton Crown Court heard that, after he received a warning, the monk went on to indecently assault a second boy over the course of several months while he was aged 12 and 13.

White pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with a boy at a previous hearing last November. He asked that four offences against another boy, who has never complained to police, also be taken into account.

Sentencing White, Judge Graham Hume Jones said:

You targeted this complainant and took advantage of his interest in old books and maps, you gave him access to the monastery library which is not normally open to pupils to indulge in your own sexual gratification.

White groomed the victim by giving him small sums of money.

The judge said he acknowledged there was no evidence to show he committed any further offences beyond 1989.

One of his victims who attended court said it was an “appropriate” sentence and would highlight to Downside School:

The risks of religious orders running educational establishments without the necessary safety nets.

He called for an apology from the Roman Catholic Church which runs the school.

The Abbott for Downside School said:

Our first thoughts are for those who were abused as children. Being conscious that the care of children is our paramount concern as educators, we are truly sorry that any child should have been abused at Downside.

He added that White has lived under restrictions since 1998 and has been withdrawn from active ministry.

Raymond Lahey

Meanwhile we have just learned that a Roman Catholic bishop in Ottawa is due to be sentenced today for possessing kiddie porn.

Raymond Lahey, 71, a Newfoundlander who had been the head of the Nova Scotia diocese of Antigonish, was caught in 2009 at Ottawa’s airport after authorities checked his personal computer and found a large cache of child pornography.

Lahey pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography for the purposes of importation to Canada.

The Crown’s case involved 588 photos and 63 videos, with the Crown pointing out that some involved adolescent boys engaged in sex acts while wearing a crucifix and rosary beads.

Hat tip: Marcus Robinson and Canada Dave (Lahey report)

15 Responses to “Monk jailed for child sex offences, bishop due to be sentenced for kiddie porn”

  1. tony e says:

    It’s only a five year sentence but it’s a start. The ex pupils will probably wait longer for an apology from the rc church.

  2. Angela_K says:

    Who would have thought it, a religious organisation covering up child abuse. I can hear the excuses: the victims made it up, it was the victim’s fault for “tempting the priest” etc.

  3. Trevor blake says:

    The evidence that the sheltering of clergy rapists is a policy of the Church has been plain for years. Details here…

    http://ovo127.com/2009/08/02/trevor-blake-an-open-letter-to-amnesty-international/

  4. Lucy says:

    What is astonishing about these reports is that they are not even a bit astonishing.

    I do wonder what ‘the faithful’ catholics think about it all. Do the majority think it’s all ‘a few bad apples’? or ‘so long ago’? or an atheist witch hunt? (funny expression that, since it was catholics who actually hunted for and killed witches)I suspect so, though I hear heartening anecdotes of people who have stopped attending church…

  5. Broga says:

    @Lucy: I too wonder about how long the faithful catholics can go on ignoring or excusing these acts and the persisting danger that celibate priests pose for children. Meanwhile, the government and the BBC seem oblivious to the risks. The BBC is ready to proselytise with licence payers money for the RC Church and a pernicious example was the propaganda they broadcast for the Pope’s visit. This included his unutterly banal contribution to Thought for the Day. The government, with its mouthpieces of Cameron and Gove, persist in their spending tax money on faith schools.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    @ Broga & Lucy

    Read any of the RCC-based (or biased) websites, blogs, etc. and you’ll find the group mentality has confined the whole thing to the dustbin of history – everything is okay now. That was yesterday’s problem. Which only goes to show how powerful the grip of religion really is on the human mind and morals.

    (BTW Good to see another religiot has now dropped out of the US Presidential race.)

  7. How many examples do there have to be before there’s a public realization and acknowledgment that the Roman Catholic Church is institutionally paedophilic?

    The investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence almost by itself led to a complete overhaul of the Police service and an admission that racism was widespread. Yet there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent response to the subject of the sexual molestation and rape of children by employees of the Church.

    And this isn’t one example…this is an epidemic of sexual abuse. Case after case after case after case…

  8. northern light says:

    A short note off topic but relevant…it’s about Hitch.

    While in Ireland over the holidays I stopped into Charlie Burnes Book Store in Galway.

    I was looking for anything on Chris Hitchens and could find nothing after a short search.

    I inquired of the sales staff the location of Hitch books ….the sales assistant told me they sold out of all Hitch books within two days of his passing……..

    There is still hope for reason …even in catholic Ireland.

  9. Stonyground says:

    I think that people are now walking away from the RCC in droves. Not only that but Ratty has recently expressed his concern that most of his sheep are quite old and are not bringing any more young lambs for him to fleece. He is now training his evil sights upon Africa because Europe, at least, has finally woken up to what a vile organisation the RCC is.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Bishop Admits Fathering 2 Kids, Resigns

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2103664,00.html

    (VATICAN CITY) — The pope has accepted the early resignation of a Los Angeles bishop who recently acknowledged being the father of two teenagers.

    Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, resigned Wednesday under the code of canon law that lets bishops step down earlier than the normal retirement age of 75 if they’re sick or for some other reason that makes them unfit for office.

  11. barriejohn says:

    An Irish priest facing allegations of child sex abuse from the 1960’s to the 1980’s is due in court in London today.
    Seventy-two-year-old Fr Peter Kennedy was deported from Brazil to England on St Stephen’s Day.
    Fr Kennedy first hit the headlines in 2003 when one of his former victims was awarded €325,000 in one of the largest ever pay-outs at an Irish clerical sex abuse case.
    He fled to Brazil on a British passport, where he worked as an English teacher until the authorities there deported him 10 days ago.
    He is due before the City of Westminster’s Magistrates Court today, and as soon as he is extradited from Britain, Gardaí are expected to bring charges against him.
    Up to 18 people have made statements to Gardaí alleging that they were sexually abused by Fr Kennedy.
    The suicides of two young men have also been examined as part of the Garda investigation.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/gardai-seek-irish-priest-on-child-sex-abuse-allegations-in-uk-534633.html

  12. sailor1031 says:

    Interesting. Bishop Zavala has a normal relationship with an adult – he’s history in a heartbeat. White is a rapist of young boys – no action taken for years. I’m only surprised the RCC Odessa didn’t get him away to Rome and hide him in the Vatican as they have others.

  13. Don says:

    So many cases, so much vileness, so much hypocricsy. All I can feel now is a dull, gnawing loathing for these creatures and the organisation which shelters them.

  14. Mark Richards says:

    Lahey is pronounced as “lay he”.

    The name gives it away.

  15. ed-words says:

    Even those who can turn wine into the blood of a god make mistakes.