Monday, 14 January 2013
WHY SURVIVORS NEED HELP
Last night someone from Twitter put a link to an interesting documentary about Peter Righton, Inside Story, The Secret Life of a Paedophile. It is well worth watching.
Righton was a prolific paedophile, who rose through the ranks of teaching, childcare and eventually became responsible for the training of social workers during the 1970's. He also helped to place his friends, and fellow paedophiles, in key positions where they would have easy access to vulnerable children.
Some of you are aware that I have written a book about my experience in a children's home in Orpington, Kent, in the 1970's. The house father Peter Rands, had an almost identical MO to that of Peter Righton. That is, with the blessing of the Church, he selected boys to take under his wing, and moved them into 'our' house, completely disregarding the policy of keeping siblings together. The girls were left behind. He formed a powerful group around him, and victimised those who were not part of his inner circle, including boys who would not succumb to his charms and the sisters of his chosen victims.
He regularly took the boys on outings and holidays, including taking a select few to the Vatican. I even have a picture of him, with a boy, standing outside No. 10 Downing Street in 1972.
An ex Jesuit Monk, he moved a close friend, another ex monk, into his bed, at the childrens' home. His friend, bizarrely, was even more sadistic and vicious than himself. I saw my own brother savagely beaten by the two adult men, as he refused to be part of 'the gang'. This may have been a step too far, because Rands left the convent under a cloud to take charge of a Boy's Home in Gravesend. His personnel file, revealed that he was sacked from the Boy's home after being found with a 15 year old boy in his bed, and on the evidence of a whistleblower, who was disturbed that Uncle Peter had taken a group of boys to see 'The Devils' and the bizarre behaviour and rituals that followed. Huge financial discrepancies were also discovered. Despite the above, Peter Rands continued to work with children until the late 1980's. He was never prosecuted.
One of Rands' victims was a boy called Philip. Philip was handsome, bright and kind, the only one among us who went to grammar school and his future was bright. His four siblings were left behind, as Philip was chosen by Peter to move into our house. Ten years ago, Philip was found dead in a squalid council flat. The cause of his death was unknown and he was identified through DNA samples taken from his sister.
Philip was one of many, possibly hundreds, of victims who were groomed and abused by Rands and his friends. In researching my book, I found so many similar cases, children whose adult lives were devastated by perverts and predators who took advantage of them when they were at their most vulnerable.
For those who have reservations about victims coming forward and claiming compensation for abuse they suffered, I would simply say, that Philip had a life worth saving, It is unlikely however, that Philip's case would ever have reached a settlement or a trial. Not surprisingly, he had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and his character would have been torn to shreds by opposing lawyers. The Good Lord, if there is one, gave me the gift of writing, and a heightened sense of injustice. I continue my campaign and speak out on behalf of victims like Philip, because I can. Too many end up in prison or dead in the gutter. While throwing our arms up in horror at the Savile revelations, lets not forget that the victims are real people who need help.