Priest's Treatment File Erased
The Record Could Have Alerted Parish Officials of Barry Glendinning's History of Sex Abuse
By Elaine Smith
London Free Press [Canada]
Downloaded September 18, 2003
Rev. Barry Glendinning's parish file was purged of any record of his treatment at a treatment centre for clergy, a London priest testified yesterday in London Superior Court. "There was a (1974) report from Southdown (Institute in Aurora) that we were instructed had a lifespan of six months, so it would have been destroyed in 1975," said Rev. Tony Daniels, vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.
Glendinning underwent treatment at the institute after pleading guilty to gross indecency in 1974.
Glendinning and the diocese are each named in a $7-million lawsuit by the Swales family. John, Ed and Guy Swales and their family are seeking damages for the pain and suffering caused by their childhood sexual abuse at Glendinning's hands.
Daniels's admission appeared to surprise the Swales' lawyer, Ed Ledroit, who ascertained Glendinning's probation order wasn't in his file either.
Both documents would have served as cautions to officials in the parishes where he later served. Glendinning's probation order specifically forbade him from working with adolescents for a period of three years.
There was also no record of an incident that allegedly occurred while Glendinning was a student at St. Peter's Seminary in the 1950s.
A fellow seminarian told the court in June he'd seen Glendinning necking with another seminary student and had reported the incident to school officials.
Daniels said such documentation would be in Glendinning's seminary file only if, after investigation, it was deemed to be true.
But he didn't call either Glendinning or his accuser a liar.
"There's a third alternative," he said of the man's testimony. "He was mistaken in what he saw."
Daniels returns to the witness stand today. Glendinning will also be called to testify in the coming days.
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