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”.
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”.