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Deacon jailed for abusing boys

Deacon jailed for abusing boys

Reverend Alan Morris, 64, kept a disturbing ‘bag of implements’ – including a leather strap, a cane and a wooden spoon – in his chemistry lab at an all-boys grammar school.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that school teacher and church deacon Alan Morris has been jailed for nine years for  abusing ten boys over a 17 year period while working as a chemistry teacher at St Ambrose RC College in Altrincham. The court heard that the children were taken to a small room inside of Morris’s chemistry lab, where they were stripped, beaten and indecently assaulted. In some cases, students were also made to beat each other.

One of Morris’s victims was Scott Morgan, son of Manchester United football star Willie Morgan. Scott Morgan, now aged 43, waived his right to anonymity in order to share the full story of his abuse with the public. He said:

I was really quiet at school. That’s why he picked on me. He had his favorites, those he liked to punish. You just knew when it was your turn. It was horrible. You just knew it was coming. You just shut your eyes and waited for it.

While victims bent over a stool awaiting their punishment, Morris would line up his implements of torture: canes, shoes, and a leather strap, as well as a homemade pink rubber paddle that Morris referred to as the Paddywhacker.

Scott Morgan was subject to repeated abuse over several years, beginning at the age of eleven.

You would go into his little room and sometimes it would be five minutes before he hit you. You could hear him going ‘hmmmmm’ as he chose the implement.

Morgan also recalled instances of group beatings, in which Morris whipped as many as “nine or ten” naked children at the same time. Morgan said:

He would go around hitting everybody in turn. He made us all pull our pants down. He was getting a kick out of it. The longer he could drag it out the better. That’s how he spent his lunch-times and always in his little room.

Other reports indicate that Alan Morris was permitted to function as the “chief policeman” of the school, with fellow teachers providing him a steady stream of victims to “punish”.

Morgan added:

All the teachers knew what Morris was like. They knew what was going on but would not go up against him because he was the deputy headmaster. We were all ruled by fear.

Parents complained, but Morris’s outrageous behavior continued. “Punishment was the whole culture of the school,” Scott Morgan remembered, noting that victims were sometimes punished for entirely fictional offenses. “It was just any excuse to get you into his room.”

Morris’s reign of terror went on, even after corporal punishment was outlawed in 1987.

None of the pupils wanted to go against him because we didn’t want to get thrown out of school. I wanted to be the first from our family to go to university. That was important to me..

Years after his retirement from the school, Morris’s sexual proclivities were brought to light by a former student, who made a police report after attending a religious ceremony presided over by the reverend.

During that investigation, Morris’s home was searched and items relating to his sexual spanking fetish were seized. Items entered into evidence included pornographic movies featuring spanking activity, some centered on teacher/pupil discipline scenarios. A forensic examination of Morris’s computer also revealed the minister’s habit of trolling websites and online forums related to sadomasochistic activities. Morris’s search terms included words like school, spank, discipline4boys, cane, and schoolboy.

Following Morris’s arrest and the resulting publicity, more than a dozen former students came forward with experiences of sexual abuse and assault at the school. These reports involved Rev. Alan Morris, as well as other former teachers at the school. The perpetrators of many of these alleged offences are now dead; however, detectives have established that had they not been, they would likely have been charged with sexual crimes.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge told the Manchester Evening News:

For decades Morris displayed a veneer of total respectability: a science teacher in a well-respected and high performing school and latterly as a deacon of the church. Today he has been unmasked as a persistent and prolific sex offender.

A self-proclaimed ‘chief policeman’, I have no doubt that he revelled in his fearsome reputation, taking it upon himself to seek out and punish pupils, using corporal punishment to cloak his real motive for chastising young boys: sexual gratification.

Morris was recently sentenced to nine years in prison. He faced more than a dozen charges of indecent assault and three of inciting gross indecency with a child, over sexual abuse meted out to ten boys under the guise of school discipline. Offences involving 18 additional boys were ordered to lie on file.

Looking back, Scott Morgan says he wishes he’d spoken out when he was a child.

[Morris is] a sick bastard. I really feel sorry for him but I feel more for the people who came after us. If we had stood up to him and said ‘no more’ then I don’t think a lot of this would have happened, the beating and making people shake with fear. The more he’s got away with it, the more he’s pushed the boat out. But what can you do as a child?

It became second nature to him. He was doing it more and more and no-one was saying ‘no – this is wrong’. It’s hard to admit for a grown man but you became his pet, his play-think.

You were effectively his gimp. He took pleasure from doing it and the thing that really sickens me is that he was allowed to leave the school in the full knowledge of what he had been doing and then join the church where he would be responsible for more children. That really beggars belief.

He will get punished accordingly but what about the school? They allowed him to get away with it. The teachers and headmaster knew what he was doing and they allowed him to do it. He should never have been allowed anywhere near children.

To me there are more people from St Ambrose and the church who should have been sitting next to him in the dock. They allowed him access to children when they knew he was wrong.

• Writer and activist M Dolon Hickmon examines the intersection of religion and sadomasochistic child abuse in articles published all around the web, as well as in the pages of his critically acclaimed novel “13:24: A Story of Faith and Obsession”.

15 responses to “Deacon jailed for abusing boys”

  1. Broga says:

    The usual story, I suppose. A religious school, a devout believer with a façade of respectability and behind it all a reign of terror on his victims. I hope we can be optimistic that the chances of this happening today are greatly reduced. What we do know is that the RC Church continues to protect its priests and throw the victims to the side.

  2. Matt Westwood says:

    Wouldn’t have been much point complaining about it when it happened, society hadn’t yet evolved to the point where children could get a good result when reporting it.

    Retribution is starting to happen now, though, which is good.

  3. Brummie says:

    Broga, you describe my childhood perfectly.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    Thank heavens that Reverend Morris is an anomaly. Just imagine how it would be if clergy child abuse were widespread and happened over decades; imagine if it were systematically hushed up by clergy, ignored by police and if the faithful masses turned a blind eye. What a strange and terrible world that would be.

  5. Paul Cook says:

    Trevor

    I don’t believe the Police had the opportunity to cover it up, as the RCC had a such a strong systematic code of silence, the Police were never informed. Several bishops and senior officials were blessed, promoted and given honours by the air miles king-polish pope and Ratzinazi for NOT informing the police of abusing priest.

  6. Robster says:

    Does the RCC have an Honour Board somewhere, embossed with the names of all the naughty and convicted priests and workers employed by the church over the decades? They’d need one of their empty churches to keep the thing in. It’s mind blowing that the catholic church, anglican and the rest of them have any respectability left at all, oh hang on, they don’t. See a clergyman, avoid all contact. They simply can’t be trusted with anything, let alone children.

  7. Ex Patriot says:

    another story that doesn’t surprise me at all, These woo peddlers think they can away with anything and not be caught. I am glad to see this bastard going to jail and I hope he serves his full term, or the only way he comes out is in a box

  8. Broga says:

    These followers of gentle Jesus the lover of children seem to enjoy sadism to be a big part of the perverted practice. They enjoy the power of the terror the inflict on their helpless victims.

  9. Matt Westwood says:

    @Broga: Indeed. “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” And “A sound thrashing never did me any harm, now where’s my whippy cane, the one that whistles through the air and leaves red lines so beautifully straight…”

  10. sailor1031 says:

    As one who served time in a jesuit gulag I can attest to the terror. My friend actually had a nervous breakdown – at the time I didn’t know why but had my suspicions. The beatings and rapes were well known among the children but the RCC Inc code of omerta prevented anything being done for a long time. Even when it was uncovered there was no “scandal” and the perp was merely reassigned to a remote, unsuspecting community.

    Fortunately my parents wised up after that and sent me to a different school. I have always believed that RCC Inc promoted draconian punishment in their schools because they enjoyed doing it and because part of their utterly perverse dogma is that suffering is good.

    For anyone interested the history of the jesuit criminal ‘father’ Henry Harcourt “last of the great missionaries” is instructive.

  11. Paul Cook says:

    sailor

    There is a saying:

    “suffering breeds character”.

    But that’s bullshit.

  12. sailor1031 says:

    Hargreaves not Harcourt. Early morning brain blips. sorry

  13. sailor1031 says:

    Suffering breeds character.

    May be true. Two of the nastiest people I ever worked with were physically handicapped.

  14. A tidbit that hadn’t emerged when this was published is that Alan Morris was investigated for sexually spanking his pupils in 2001; he stood on his reputation and the charges were dropped. Morris returned to his post, where he abused dozens more children over the next 11 years.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-28996577

  15. Manc says:

    I went to ambrose with Scot. None of this is a surprise to me. I remember being beaten about the body with a 10inch leather strap by one of the “Christian” brothers for getting answers wrong. I started wearing a vest, shirt, jumper and my blazer to classes to increase the “padding”. I dont have any happy memories of school at all. When my wife tells me of her happy memories of school, i am envious. I was a poor performer throughout school, yet when i left, i eventually went to uni and did really well. The whole culture at Ambrose was of punishment and discipline. Not many would have left that school without having received the strap, slipper, ruler etc. Everyone knew about it. I relate to scott when he says he wished he had spoken up but its hard when you are a child and conditioned to believe that ‘you must have done wrong’ and deserve it. Fortunately, i was not in Morris’s class as he taught the top stream and i was in the lowest stream.