My Story by Robert Cawardine

The story behind The Story by Robert Cawardine by way of explanation

‘Former DEVON-based High Court judge Baroness Butler-Sloss refuses to stand down from child-sex abuse inquiry. [Robert must have written this is those few giddy days in July  2014  – the Sloss period, before the Baroness saw sense and departed as Chair] ‘…Hello.!..did someone say Devon?…..Please read folks…This is my self- motivation story…what brings a Devon boy to Protest in London..? For such is his wrath!?
Why am I so concerning myself with the issue of ‘Historical Child Abuses.?

As a child I was constantly beaten,belted,starved and psychologically bullied by a neurotic violent mother who really should have been imprisoned for the crimes she committed against her children..Strangely I was affected by my treatment and acted abnormally at school..A child psychiatrist decided i was maladjusted,the police told me.when bringing me home having run away from home in the holidays,that i was a spoilt bratt and there were kids who would love to live in a big house and a nice family like mine….I guess we were ‘middle-class’ in their eyes…
So off I went to a boarding school at the age of ten in north devon.Prior to that I was at Sherwell Valley,and,having passed my 11+ I was destined for the Grammar School and the best education a lad could get in Torquay in the 1970’s
Wow !..North Devon..What a great place to grow up you must think…lucky lad.!
There were not many such ‘specialist’ schools at the time in the area, I find ten listed at the time..behavioural issues,maladjusted ..those kind of institutions…in the childs best interests…parents divorce…welcome to the criteria ‘from a broken home’
The countyside is a safe environment to bring up kids, the area even had an assigned police liason officer for these schools,ensuring the kids and staff had a contact point… me typing…heres some facts from archives…make of it as you will,and deduce from the following why ive an axe to grind and why ive chosen to join you fine band of warriors and promote the cause of children who scream to be heard…
“Police are investigating the alleged sexual and physical abuse of up to 4,000 vulnerable children who attended private and council-run schools and care homes in Devon.”
Detectives have questioned former pupils of at least eight institutions, asking them to come forward if they were abused. The investigation follows allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against teachers and other staff, covering more than 30 years.
The inquiries by Devon and Cornwall police have been codenamed Operation Lentisk and could eclipse the North Wales scandal, in which 650 children were allegedly abused at care homes over 16 years.
More than 60 pupils at one former Devon school are taking a civil action against local authorities and the Home Office for placing them at risk. The ex-pupils, some of whom are now in their fifties, have made a series of “serious allegations” against members of staff.
Brian Ely, 71, was sentenced to 15 years at Exeter Crown Court in 2001 for 26 sex offences against boys dating back 40 years.
Devon solicitor Penny Ayles, who is representing some of the victims, said: “It was a complete failure of the system. The local authorities failed the boys in their inspections, in their employment of people and in making sure that the school was properly run.”
Operation Lentisk stemmed from allegations made over a year ago and has mushroomed in recent weeks to include thousands more former pupils of community schools, private care homes and approved schools in the region….
Crikey eh…Well theres one of the ten schools ..lets hope the other 9 have a better tale… .this is a different inquiry into other schools…also in sleepy Devon..same time….
‘….£500,000 settlement for 16 pupils of sex abuse schools
Victims of sickening child abuse at a string of privately-owned schools in the Westcountry have received compensation pay-outs totalling more than half a million pounds for the pain and suffering it caused them.’
The 16 former students of Pitt House Schools Ltd’s schools in Torquay, Chudleigh and Newton Abbott, which also acted as care homes for vulnerable youngsters in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, received pay-outs ranging from £5,000 to £70,000 after insurers for the defunct company agreed to settle out of court for the sexual, mental and physical abuse they received at the hands of former staff members. One former pupil, who suffered a catalogue of mental health problems after being abused at the school in the 1960s, said the money was nice but would not take away the pain he still felt.
“I have suffered from a post-traumatic stress disorder and depression for my whole life since it happened,” said the 50-year-old, who recently learned that his abuser had died.
Pitt House school, which catered for 180 pupils with special needs, was closed in 1984. Nearby Stonelake held 120 pupils and was closed in 1981, while Ingsdon near Newton Abbott (remember the town)had 96 pupils and closed in 1978.
Operation Lentisk comes after the inquiry launched last August by Avon and Somerset police into allegations that up to 4,000 children in council care homes may have been abused.
*( tribute to WBW Solicitors, which has been pursuing the claim on the former students’ behalf, even having the company reinstated, despite being wound up in 1988, so the compensation case could go ahead.)
Heck another 3 paedo schools….? almost half…! maybe thats an exaggeration…its only 4 out of ten…..
‘BRITAIN’S most prolific child abuser, William Goad, who is at the centre of a fresh police investigation, blamed Newton Abbot’s notorious Forde Park approved school for ‘messing his whole life up’.( hang on did you say Newton Abbot?)
Goad, who is believed to have abused up to 3,500 boys, was jailed for life in 2004 at Plymouth Crown Court.’
He died in prison of natural causes last year aged 68
Now his case has been reopened after a confidential police report said ‘prominent men in society’ may have been members of a paedophile ring linked to Goad.(hang on…prominent people.?..what like mps,entertainers? going a summer holiday to Devon…)
After he was jailed, Goad sent a handwritten letter to BBC’s Panorama programme, claiming he himself had been ‘physically, sexually and mentally abused for years’ at Forde Park approved school in Newton Abbot, where he was sent by magistrates aged 10 in 1954.
He was there until 1960.
check on google,or my good friends @ UK paedos exposed etc etc i can give links to the court reports too if you want to dig deeper!
The allegations, brought by a group of 40 self-styled ‘Forde House survivors’, were that for 25 years Forde Park harboured a particularly sadistic paedophile ring.
*Moving on…so now we get to a situation where we get so many kids being GROOMED that the abusing school needed to off load pupils..starting to be a tad ‘obvious’ so feed other schools in other areas…distribute… so back to the Devon School Paedo network circa 60s,70s,80s….
Throughout the past year detectives have been re-investigating complaints of child abuse at the former Kesgrave Hall school in Main Road, Kesgrave.(hang on thats near london..not devon)
Now it has emerged that 72-year-old John Downing, who taught at Kesgrave Hall’s feeder school, Heanton School in Braunton Devon, (Aha)is to appear at a crown court next week accused of abusing five boys between 1968 and 1982.
The Suffolk school, which closed in 1993, was founded in 1976 by those who set up the junior boarding school at Heanton., near Braunton (remember this village) in North Devon.
* Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has expressed concerns over a police claim that the original inquiry files had not been retained. ( IE LOST!) heard that recently elsewhere?
In 1992 the Crown Prosecution Service said there was NOT enough evidence to prosecute any of the alleged abusers after a complaint from a former member of the independent school’s care staff.
Four members of staff, who had been suspended for seven weeks, returned to their posts.
Downing, a former teacher at Heanton School, was charged with 21 historic sex assaults against four boys earlier this year.
The case is due to have a preliminary hearing before Exeter Crown Court on December 5, it was committed by North Devon Magistrates’ Court.
Downing, of Torrington, Devon, is accused of 14 indecent assaults on a boy under 14 and seven counts of gross indecency on a boy under 14.
These allegations relate to incidents said to have taken place between 1968 and 1982,
Last week Downing appeared before North Devon magistrates charged with a further five counts of abuse on a boy under 14. The charges refer to the period between January 1, 1976, and December 31, 1980. Downing is on unconditional bail.
Heanton and Kesgrave Hall schools were said to have been established for boys with a strong academic ability, but who had perceived emotional or behavioural problems.
*Back to Downing in a minute…
So,before you assume every social services school in Devon was abusing kids…youd be wrong..and you shouldnt be jumping to conclusions….yet .because on top of these schools operating a paedo ring…well you read on….
..A former boarding school teacher has been jailed for 10 years and nine months after being convicted of 13 sexual offences against children.
Paul Couch, 61, of Wyndham Street West, Plymouth, was found guilty earlier in August of two counts of serious sexual assault and 11 of indecent assault.
Couch, a former monk, ( Im not joking here!)had denied the charges at Exeter Crown Court.
The offences, involving boys between eight and 13, took place between 1972 and 1993 at a now-closed Devon school.(So im claiming half of special schools in Devon were ‘at it’…and im not exagerating!)
Judge Paul Darlow said Couch had committed a “gross breach of trust” and that the boys at the boarding school needed care and protection from the staff.
“You were in fact a predator, a sexual predator in that community-orientated monastic school,” he said.
“You knew in what particular regard you would be held as a priest.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth said in a statement after the case: “The Diocesan authorities have co-operated fully with the police investigations that have taken place.
“As soon as the allegations came to light Father Couch was removed from all public ministry in accordance with national child protection policy.
*Yes our children protecting church had an interest in things too!….
Not forgetting Father Clonan…abusing boys at…Pitt House…..”10. The claimant says that he was sexually abused at those schools, and the Judge accepted that such abuse occurred, at least at Pitt House School. The sexual abuse of which the claimant complains in these proceedings took place . in 1975 and 1976. .At least one boy, appears to have been sexually abused by Father Clonan over a period as long as eight years, the abuse including buggery. At the other extreme, it seems that other boys, such as M, had their genitals caressed by Father Clonan on one or two occasions. Father Clonan remained working at the Church until 1992, when he left very suddenly; it quickly became clear that he had left because his sexual abuse of boys was about to become public. He initially went to Ireland, but, despite attempts to locate him, Father Clonan’s trail went cold in Australia, where it appears that his mother and sister lived.
Ordained priest William Manahan, 80, was jailed for 15 months in 2007 for sexually abusing boys at Buckfast Abbey Preparatory School between 1971 and 1978. The school later closed.
So now we have the church promising an what happens? They only employed this fiend to oversee the inquiry..
The Roman Catholic Church has ordered a widespread review into its safeguarding children procedures in the South West.
It followed the arrest in March of Christopher Jarvis, 49, who was employed by the Diocese of Plymouth to investigate sex abuse allegations….(.yes you read that right!)
Jarvis, of Penrose Road, Plymouth, has been jailed for a year after admitting 12 counts involving indecent images.
A Plymouth Crown Court judge said children who had confided in Jarvis would feel “sullied and let down”.
Former social worker Jarvis had worked for the diocese – which covers Cornwall, Devon and Dorset – since 2002, checking on volunteers who wanted to work with children.
The father of four was also authorised to counter-sign applications for Criminal Records Bureau checks and he had access to confidential church files on child abuse cases.
As a member of the Devon and Cornwall Multi-agency Safeguarding Team, he also worked with police officers and social services and had access to private information about vulnerable victims of child abuse.
The court heard that he was arrested after uploading images of pre-pubescent boys to social networking website and was sacked immediately by the diocese.
Police found more than 4,000 child porn images, mainly of boys aged 10 to 12, on his church-supplied computer and a memory stick when they raided his home.
Twelve images were at Level Five, which can include scenes of torture and sadism.
Jarvis, who the court heard claimed he was abused as a child, admitted 12 counts of making, possessing and distributing indecent images.
And finally..(there cant be more surely?)
….there were now so many paedos operating in the local schools,( ok half) that the local paedos couldnt get a look in…so they had to move elsewhere for
Former deputy headteacher of West London school ..given four years for assaulting boys during the 1970s and 1980s.
A Braunton man (hello ….which village is he from?) has been sentenced to four years for indecently assaulting boys during school camping trips. (london to Braunton getting busy!)
Anthony Roy Dowsing, 69, was jailed on Friday at Isleworth Crown Court having previously pleaded guilty to five counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 14.
The historic sex offences occurred between 1975-84 while he was deputy headteacher at Hayes Junior School in West London.
He had also pleaded guilty to nine counts of possessing indecent images of children.
Dowsing came to the attention of police in 2013 after a man came forward to report he had been indecently assaulted as a child by his then deputy headmaster of Hayes Park Junior School, during a school trip approximately 35 years ago.
An investigation was launched by the Metropolitan Police, which led to a three more victims being identified, all of whom were between seven to 10 years of age at the time.
Dowsing was arrested at his Braunton home on April 9 last year. During a search of his address, officers seized a large quantity of indecent images of children appearing on his computer.
“This is a historical case going back nearly 40 years, where Dowsing used his position of trust as a deputy head teacher to abuse vulnerable children over a nine year period,” said Detective Constable Kate McDuff.
“We commend the actions of all four brave victims who have come forward to report Dowsing’s sickening actions. We take all allegations of child abuse and sexual assault extremely seriously regardless of how long ago the offences took place.
“Dowsing is known to have worked with a number of children’s clubs and charities in the London area and there may be further victims of his abuse who we would urge to come forward and speak to us.”
The Met has asked anyone who may have been affected by the actions of Anthony Dowsing to contact them on 020 8246 1901.
Thats important….We are not finished with this fiend..i will update later in the year…needless to say loose talk and all that..Please contact the Met…you know you can trust them with such matters…!
*Almost forgot…not to be confused with Heantons’ John Downing. Downing…what happenned to him?….
The jury have been discharged after failing to reach verdicts in the case of a teacher accused of abusing boys at a private boarding school in North Devon.
John Downing, aged 73, was cleared of eight charges but the jury at Exeter Crown Court were unable to agree on 17 others.
The retired teacher has been on trial for a week and a half accused of indecency offences against five boys at Heanton School, near Braunton, which date between 1968 and 1982.
The jury at Exeter Crown Court was sent out to consider its verdicts on Monday after hearing five days of evidence and a day of closing speeches and summing up.
They were discharged on Wednesday after failing to reach any verdicts. Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, accepted gave the prosecution 28 days to consider if they wish to apply for a retrial.
Church organist Downing was accused of molesting boys as young as seven at the privately run school which catered for children from troubled backgrounds who were sent there by local authorities.
The jury heard from seven former pupils, including the five who Downing is accused of abusing.
They allege he touched them during lessons, on beach, fishing and cinema trips, in washrooms and during midnight feasts in his staff bedroom.
Downing is also alleged to have beaten a naked boy with a wooden coat hanger and made boys stand naked in a corridor as punishment.
Downing, of Warren Lane, Torrington, denied 25 charges of indecent assault or gross indecency against boys aged seven to 12. He was found not guilty of a total of eight charges which related to three different complainants.
The jury were unable to reach verdicts on the remaining 17 charges which include alleged offences against all five complainants.
During the trial Downing refuted allegations that he touched boys inappropriately and said his contact was fatherly and caring. He said there had been physical contact with boys, but it was not sexual.
He told the jury:”I never touched a child sexually or encouraged any child to behave in a sexual way. These things which have been alleged did not happen. Never. I can assure you all these allegations are false.”
Well its a case of here we go again…It aint over yet…If you are affected,live in devon…i would suggest you run to the police.but….i checked first..
.Fourteen Devon and Cornwall Police officers and staff are currently being investigated for sexual offences,
A Freedom of Information Act request revealed they are among 169 officers and support staff nationwide facing inquiries for inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Complaints include sexual assault, other sexual misconduct, possession of indecent images and inappropriate sexual behaviour at work.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that at the end of June there were 14 unresolved investigations – the fourth highest number in the country. There are five similar inquiries being undertaken in Avon and Somerset but none in Dorset.
Heyho…Well done for reading thus far…you deserve an encore….So remember I said right at the start,about having the safety of a police liason officer…I hear you ask where was he when this paedo ring was so active right under his nose.?. Why not call him to help fight your case for the kids he was serving and protecting?..You cant make this up folks…like i say get googling!
Derek Hooper, a former special constable from Bovey Tracey who worked at Pitt House’s Forde Park Approved School in Newton Abbot, was found guilty in September 2000 of 28 indecent assaults, seven counts of attempted serious sexual assault, three of serious sexual assault and two counts of incitement to commit serious sexual assault. He is currently serving a 14-year jail sentence…….
Heyho…A Devon High Court Judge heads national inquiry into past child abuse? Alarm bells ring.!
..See you all on the 24th July in London…one love from the westcountry…x all welcome on this public un-censored page !
Come Clean On Child Abuse

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7 Responses to My Story by Robert Cawardine

  1. Nigel Beardsley. says:

    Hi. I am a victim of John Downing and was a witness for the prosecution in March 2015 where he was found guilty and given 21 years (Hooray for that). I am trying to find out who the owners of Heanton School were as I am trying to make a claim for compensation. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


    • Billy mcnicholl My phone number is 07932790756,time is running out for me says:

      This is good news that you got justice. I was a pupil at Pitt house school Torquay and am having big problem in finding out if I’m entitled to help as i was seriously abused at Pitt house school Torquay and cannot find information about how i go about getting the same justice. I’ve been told by a Torquay solicitors that I’m out of time to prosecute anyone. I never received any information about a survey into child abuse of Pitt house school Torquay and only two police officers taking page’s of statements and then nothing else. Are you able to help me or guide me in the right direction. My name has been changed due to having to take my step fathers name back in those days your sincerely william mcnicholl Billy


    • Chris Fox says:

      I am not happy that this conviction was at all safe or the facts true. I was at this school from 1967 to 1971 although it is reported the school was opened in 1968! John Downing was a very young house master at my time there and was extremely kind and generous with his time with me and many other boys. I trusted him without question. on occasions he would take me and one other boy fishing to Stevenstone for good behaviour at the end of the week in his car. Other staff would do the same. I looked forward to the trips he organized and learnt about fishing, the organ at Torrington Church where he taught me to play “Trumpet Voluntary”. I was 8 years old when I started school there and was very small and under developed with stunted growth. I at no time during the years feared John Downing in anyway, which I cant say for some other members of staff. I have since John Downings sentence reseached some of the “Victims” internet conversations before and after the sentencing and I must say it gives reason for concern to say the least. If anyone would like my name and contact details for legal or otherwise I am happy to contribute. This whole episode does not sit comfortable with my mind at all. My fond Memories of John Downing are of a man with empathy to the situation we were found in through no fault of our own. He was kind, understanding and tried his best to make up for the lack of care that we so lacked. There were some wonderful staff there but equally some quite cruel individuals too and John Downing was certainly not the latter! I have an excellent Memory and remember the owner of the school very well. The school was opened in 1965.


    • Roger William Belding says:

      Hi any luck with the owners as I will be in on a claim action also. I was at the school for almost 3 years and remember Dowing and others more the physical abuse standing in the hallway with arms stretched out for hours and beaten if we dropped our arms. Not allowed out of bed after 7:30pm if found going to the toilet again beaten… the only way to go was down the side of the bed… Petrified not just scared from age 9 to 11 when I left.. and all the teachers with full knowledge of the physical abuse apportioned out by the few. Recall that we were forced to write postcards weekly to my mother and all were vetted by the teachers to ensure no negative comments.


  2. Kevin Withington says:

    On looking down memory lane I have read the horrific story. I was at heanton between 1969 and 1974 (Kevin withington) l would like to speak to anyone there at that time. My memory is faded but but, would like to chat. Hope we are all well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roger William Belding says:

      I was there for almost three years and left in 74 myself. Recall mostly physical abuse and manipulation ad being scared for most of my time there… recall the hallway torcher; and if you wet the bed forced to walk naked down to the laundry and into the ablution block to shame in front of all the other students and teachers. Confident I have blocked other things… Hope you are well also


  3. Billy mcnicholl says:

    This is good news that you got justice. I was a pupil at Pitt house school Torquay and am having big problem in finding out if I’m entitled to help as i was seriously abused at Pitt house school Torquay and cannot find information about how i go about getting the same justice. I’ve been told by a Torquay solicitors that I’m out of time to prosecute anyone. I never received any information about a survey into child abuse of Pitt house school Torquay and only two police officers taking page’s of statements and then nothing else. Are you able to help me or guide me in the right direction. My name has been changed due to having to take my step fathers name back in those days your sincerely william mcnicholl Billy


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