Belmont Abbey School, Herefordshire
Father John Kinsey of Belmont Abbey, Herefordshire was sentenced to five years at Worcester Crown Court in 2005 by Judge Andrew Geddes for a series of serious offences relating to assaults on schoolboys attending Belmont Abbey School in the mid 1980s.
Kinsey attacked three schoolboys while a monk at Belmont Abbey during a two-year period, grooming and attacking victims during bell ringing lessons and altar service duties. The frequency of his attacks increased to a weekly basis before Kinsey was sent away from the Abbey for a short period to train as a priest.
Due to falling pupil numbers Belmont Abbey closed the school in the early 1990s.
A FORMER choirboy who was groomed for sex abuse by a Welsh priest last night said it nearly drove him to suicide.
Cardiff-born John Kinsey, a novice monk at Belmont Abbey in Herefordshire, was jailed for five years this week for the indecent assault of three schoolboys.
One of them, a 32-year-old computer programmer, is now demanding an apology from the abbey, who, he says, allowed the priest to continue preying on young boys.
“I joined the abbey for the sixth-form,” said Kinsey’s victim, from Hereford.
“I met Brother John as soon as I started at the abbey and thought he was kind and friendly to the boys.
“But it became apparent almost as soon as I started that Brother John had his favourites and I was one of them.
“He used to give me chocolates and treats, which are always lucrative currency in a boarding school.”
But in the spring term of 1987, Kinsey waged his first sexual attack on the young boy.
“When the abuse first began I had a real sense of disbelief,” he said.
“I was shocked and just froze. I just wanted to get away as fast as I could.”
From then on until the student left the abbey when he was 19, the abuse continued on a weekly basis.
Eventually the ordeal became too much for the victim, who failed his A-levels at the abbey and was forced to re-sit them the next year.
By that point Kinsey had left for Rome University to study theology.
But on the eve of his return, the suicidal victim felt he could no longer suffer in silence and told one of the other monks at the school.
“But nothing was done when Brother John returned, so I confronted him myself,” said the man. “I told him I knew everything about what had been going on and that I knew there were other victims.
“Eventually he told me about another boy he had abused.
“He also told me that it was my fault and that I was somehow responsible for his actions.
“Then he became extremely apologetic and said he would never do it again.”
He claimed Kinsey offered him #400 and also invited the 19-year-old boy to his parents’ home in Cardiff.
That was the last he saw of Kinsey – until he returned to the abbey to confront the priest in 1993.
“I was angry because I found out he had been ordained as a Catholic priest despite the fact that at least one person at Belmont Abbey knew what he had done,” he claimed.
“I told him twice that I had forgiven him for what he had done in the hope that it would make me feel better.
“But unfortunately the anger has never dissipated.”
The former choirboy finally went to the police with his allegations in September 2001 after he was advised to contact them by his counsellor.
Around six months after he gave his formal statement, the victim learned that two more former schoolboys had come forward with similar stories about Kinsey.
On Thursday at Worcester Crown Court, the trio finally saw justice done when 46-year-old Kinsey was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault.
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Geddes told Kinsey: “You were a Roman Catholic priest and an initiate monk and, as such, had access to the boys.
“You know that you should have been someone the boys could trust absolutely. Instead, you abused that trust and indecently assaulted three boys aged between 14 and 16.
“The damage you have done to them is incalculable.”
After the hearing, the victim said he may pursue the Catholic Church for compensation.
“Belmont Abbey has handled this situation badly,” the victim said. “They have dealt with it without compassion, charity or sympathy.”
Last night a spokesman for the abbey said: “We can only hope that the appeal procedures are concluded justly and quickly so that we can try to deal with some of the issues. In the meantime of course we are unable to comment on the case.”