St William’s Community Home
Operation Aldgate & Operation Reno
(De La Salle Order links to St John’s, Southsea, Portsmouth Unitary Authority)
Former chaplain at children’s home goes on trial accused of sexual abuse
09:56, 13 OCT 2015 UPDATED 14:41, 16 OCT 2015
Anthony McCallen, from Ingleby Barwick, denies eighteen indecent assaults and seven other serious sexual offences
A former chaplain at a children’s home has gone on trial accused of sexual abuse.
Anthony McCallen, from Ingleby Barwick, is accused along with two other men of abusing pupils at St William’s – an approved school for boys with behavioural problems in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.
The residential home and school was run by the Catholic De La Salle order.
Former principal James Carragher, 75, is one of the two other men on trial at Leeds Crown Court.
He has already been jailed for 21 years for sexually abusing boys in his care has gone on trial accused of further offences.
A jury has been told that was jailed for seven years in 1993 and a further 14 years in 2004 for offences he committed
Carragher who was head and principal of St William’s from 1976 to 1990.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Richard Wright QC said Carragher was a man who had a “committed sexual interest in children and young boys in particular”.
Mr Wright said: “He hid behind a cloak of respectability.”
The prosecutor described how boys were sent to St William’s when they were taken away from their families because they had got into trouble and were often fragile and vulnerable.
He said many staff members were dedicated and professional but he added: “Amongst the staff were bullies and paedophiles who used violence as a means of controlling the boys and who took the opportunity of working in that environment to use and abuse boys in their care for their own sexual gratification.”
Mr Wright said the boys at St William’s were regularly beaten, sexually abused and raped in the 1970s and 1980s.
He told the jury of six men and six women that the abusers were “effectively immune from complaints”.
“Who would believe the word of a delinquent boy set against those of a respected teacher of a Catholic order,” Mr Wright said.
Carragher went on trial along with former chaplain at St William’s, Anthony McCallen, 69, and a former teacher Michael Curran, 62
The jury was told how McCallen was convicted of abusing two boys in the 1990s when he was also found in possession of indecent photographs of boys, some of which he took through spyholes as they showered and used the toilet.
Mr Wright told the jury how, during more recent investigations, police found photographs of boys hidden between the pages of McCallen’s books which “when viewed together establish in the clearest terms where his sexual interest lies”.
Curran has no previous convictions, the prosecutor said.
Carragher, of Cearns Road, Prenton, Merseyside, denies 50 counts of indecent assault and 12 other serious sexual offences. Curran, of St John’s House, Ecclestone, Merseyside, denies 18 indecent assaults and seven other serious sexual offences.
McCallen, of Whernside Crescent, Ingleby Barwick, denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another of indecent assault.
The trial continues.
St William’s care home sex abuse probe: Ex-staff face charges
A former chaplain and an ex-principal of a Catholic care home are to appear in court accused of nearly 100 historical sex crimes against children.
Anthony McCallen, 68, was chaplain at the now defunct St William’s children’s home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire where James Carragher, 74, was head.
Mr McCallen faces 39 counts of serious child sex offences, while Mr Carragher faces 52 counts.
Both have been summonsed to appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court next Friday.
The alleged assaults were carried out on 20 children between 1970 and 1993.
A third man, Michael Curran, 61, has also been summonsed to appear before Leeds magistrates accused of one child sex offence and one assault.
Care home boss jailed over abuse
Carragher’s attitude “defied belief”, the court heard
The former principal of a Catholic-run care home has been jailed for 14 years for a catalogue of sex crimes against boys over a period of 20 years.
James Carragher, 64, was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of abusing boys at St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton between 1969 and 1989.
Carragher, of Anlaby Road, Oxford, had been jailed in 1997 for abusing other boys at the same home.
The Catholic De La Salle Order say they have new measures to protect children.
Judge Simon Lawler QC said Carragher’s attitude “defied belief” as he preyed on the vulnerable and lonely.
He said: “It is difficult to imagine the fear they must have suffered as well as the confusion and turmoil they went through in young adolescence.
“It is, I have to say, a quite appalling catalogue of depraved conduct falling into the worst category of child abuse.”
A quite appalling catalogue of depraved conduct falling into the worst category of child abuseJudge Simon Lawler QC
The court was told that Carragher, a repeat sex offender, had been known to the boys at the home as Brother James.
A devout Catholic, he groomed the youngsters for sex with treats and affection.
His victims were told to keep details of the attacks to themselves or face punishment, while others feared not being believed if they complained.
One victim was abused while he grieved over the death of a relative. Months later the same victim was targeted mourning the loss of a close friend.
Other abuse was reserved as “punishment” for boys who had absconded from the home.
In mitigation, Mark George described Carragher as a remorseful and broken man, but the judge said he had seen “little evidence of any emotion” from him during the trial.
When giving evidence Carragher described how he encouraged boys to keep in close contact with their family and took great care and consideration in choosing appropriate punishments for the boys when they misbehaved.
Brother Sean Sellors, a spokesman for the De La Salle Brothers, said Carragher had betrayed the order.
“We totally condemn, without reservation, any action or behaviour which harms young people,” he said.
“During his trial James Carragher said that he was ashamed of what he had done and that he had failed to live up to what he professed.
“His behaviour has been a deep betrayal of the Order’s mission to the young and to the trust that was placed in him as a De La Salle Brother.
“Our hearts go out to those who were victims of abuse and to their families in this case,” he said.
Carragher was sentenced earlier this month but reporting restrictions were lifted after prosecutors decided to offer no evidence against three other defendants.
11th August 2006
De La Salle Order sued by 140 men in care abuse caseCatholic teaching order faces unprecedented claims for damages over the sexual abuse of boys
BY CHRISTINA FARRELLTHE DE LA SALLE Order in Britain is facing what could be the most extensive claim for damages ever filed in a sex abuse case in this country.One hundred and forty men are suing over the countless acts of alleged physical and sexual abuse which they say they suffered at the St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, which was run by De La Salle brothers.Solictors acting for the men say that a brutal regime was allowed to run unchecked for 30 years and physical abuse was “widespread”.Some of the cases involve rape, which carries compensation upwards of £50,000. The men were aged just 10 to 16 years when they were resident at the home. Around 2,000 boys are believed to have passed through the doors — referred by both local authorities and Catholic children’s agencies.
The home was closed in 1992, when the scale of the abuse became apparent, but there is continuing anger among victims that their allegations of abuse were initially unheeded. Many of the boys were emotionally and behaviourally disturbed and needed a loving, caring environment but claimants allege that they were the victims of systematic assault, often under the threat of violence.
Brother James Carragher, principal of the school. is currently serving a 14-year jail sentence for abusing the boys who were entrusted to his care. He had already been given a seven-year jail term in 1993 for other offences of sexual abuse.
A judge said it had been “as bad a case of gross breach of trust as one can imagine”. Det Supt Richard Kerrnan, the detective investigating the case, described Carragher as “the most evil of men”!
The men are understood to be suing three branches of the De La Salle Order, the Diocese of Middlesbrough in which St William’s was located, the Catholic Children’s Welfare Society and the Middlesbrough Diocesan Rescue Society.
In some cases the boys are said to have raised the alarm and told officials what was happening, but they said that their stories were not believed.
A former resident, Graham Baverstock, who spoke to the Yorkshire Post, said that he used to run away and he informed social workers but he was sent back to the home.
He said the perpetrators of the abuse targeted the weak and the vulnerable.
Brother James “always went for the most vulnerable kids”, he said. “The ones he knew didn’t have any family or people who would come to see us.”
David Greenwood, who specialises in child abuse at the Wakefield-based solicitors Jordans, said his clients’ lives had been blighted by the experiences at St Williams. He has insisted that the claimants are not seeking financial compensation for its own end but want justice and a recognition of the wrong that has been inflicted upon them.
He said a disproportionate number of the men were now in prison.
“Abuse played a part in damaging young people’s lives, he said. “The claimants I see are grown men. Often they are in tears giving statements, often they are reluctant to come for ward in the first place because of feelings of shame and worries about how their families are going to react to them.”
Mr Greenwood said that, in his view, the level of detail provided by the men indicated that there were very few false claims and that, he added, “was a view shared by the police”.
The De La Salle Order was founded by St John Baptist De La Salle who was born to wealthy parents in Reims, France, in 1654. After ordination he recognised the need to educate the poorest children and established wide-ranging reforms of the French educational system. He founded the De La Salle Christian Brothers — a lay organisation — to assist the mission.
Today the order teaches over 900,000 children in over 80 countries of the world in both independent and state-assisted schools.
Lasallian spirituality, based on the charism of the founder, is built on the four pillars of faith, compassion, prayer and practical action.
Its inspiration is the compassion shown by Jesus in the gospels. Jean Baptiste De La Salle was canonised by Pope Leo XIII in 1900 and he is the patron saint of teachers.
A De La Salle spokesman said: “At the moment we are really not allowed to say anything. Legal proceedings have started, but we’re not absolutely certain of all the claims because they haven’t all been served to date.”
He added: “We don’t want to interfere with justice. The order just wants justice to be done.’
“THE DE LA SALLE Order in Britain is facing what could be the most extensive claim for damages ever filed in a sex abuse case in this country.
One hundred and forty men are suing over the countless acts of alleged physical and sexual abuse which they say they suffered at the St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, which was run by De La Salle brothers.”
21st November 2012 in News By Jennifer Bell, Crime reporter
A CATHOLIC brotherhood which supplied teachers to a Catholic children’s home in East Yorkshire can be held legally responsible for the sexual abuse of boys, leading judges have ruled.
About 170 men – including victims from York – are seeking damages after alleging they were abused as children at St William’s in Market Weighton which provided residential care and education for boys, aged 10 to 16, with emotional and behavioural problems.
The home’s former principal, Father James Carragher, was jailed for 14 years in 2004 after admitting abusing boys in his care.Compensation claims on behalf of former pupils were first submitted in 2004. St William’s was owned by the Diocese of Middlesbrough but many of the staff were members of the De La Salle Brotherhood, a Catholic order of lay teachers.
In 2010, the Court of Appeal found that only the diocese was liable for the abuse in the UK’s biggest historic child abuse compensation case, covering a litany of sex crimes at St William’s over a 34-year period.
It is the argument over liability which prompted the diocese’s appeal to the Supreme Court – an appeal which a panel of five Supreme Court justices upheld today.
They concluded that legal responsibility should be shared between the welfare society and the brotherhood. The decision means individual claims can now be examined by the courts.
“A CATHOLIC brotherhood which supplied teachers to a Catholic children’s home in East Yorkshire can be held legally responsible for the sexual abuse of boys, leading judges have ruled.
About 170 men – including victims from York – are seeking damages after alleging they were abused as children at St William’s in Market Weighton which provided residential care and education for boys, aged 10 to 16, with emotional and behavioural problems”.
Prosecutors may bring charges over alleged sex abuse at Market Weighton care homeSaturday, January 26, 2013
PROSECUTORS are considering bringing charges of sexual abuse against four former members of staff at an East Yorkshire children’s home.
Detectives investigating decades of sexual abuse at St William’s care home in Market Weighton have asked Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers to decide whether any new charges can be brought.
Abuse claims: St William’s care home in Market Weighton.
The allegations – which relate to dozens of victims and include rape and sexual assaults – are against four former members of staff.
Senior investigating officer Colin Andrews, who is leading Operation Reno, said: “There are a large number of files for allegations of serious sexual offences that are, at this time, against four former members of staff and they are with the CPS.
“I do feel there is significant evidence of serious sexual abuse but whether or not they are prosecuted is not our decision. It is a matter for the CPS, taking everything into account.”
The Mail revealed yesterday how the investigations into 53 offences at the home have collapsed after dozens of victims withdrew their complaints.
All of the victims who have pulled out of the criminal investigation are seeking compensation in a civil claim.
Operation Reno is the third police inquiry into sexual abuse at the care home, which closed in the 1990s.
Mr Andrews said detectives will see more alleged victims of abuse next month.
“What has happened has not stopped the investigation,” he said. “It may have made it more difficult, but we are continuing to see victims and gather intelligence and put files to the CPS.
“There is no doubt at all that people were seriously sexually abused there and the vast majority of victims are genuine victims who have suffered harm.”
James Carragher, a former principal at the home, is the only person ever to have been convicted of sexually abusing pupils.
Mr Andrews said: “I acknowledge there has only been one member of staff convicted but I have never come across anyone who does not accept there was serious sexual abuse taking place there.
“There is no doubt in my mind that some of the children there suffered at the hands of some members of staff. What we are trying finally to do is find out what the truth of it is.
“The issues surrounding St William’s have gone on for many years and we are trying, once and for all, to bring it to a close for all concerned and try to exorcise the ghost of St William’s, if we can.”
Prosecutors are also considering allegations of perverting the course of justice against a “small number” of victims.
Mr Andrews said: “One or two of the four members of staff the allegations relate to have made complaints that the victims have told lies or embellished the truth in their complaints to gain greater compensation payouts.
“It is only right that we look at these. I believe the majority of these people are genuine victims who have suffered horrendous sexual abuse. However, there are one or two cases that cause us concern and these have gone to the CPS.”