Priest at Loss to Explain Missing Documents
By Peter Geigen-Miller
London Free Press [Canada]
Downoaded September 19, 2003
A church official was unable to explain yesterday why documents could not be found in the church file of a priest at the centre of a sexual-abuse lawsuit. During cross-examination by London lawyer Paul Ledroit, Rev. Tony Daniels said documents that might normally be expected to be put in the file were not there when he searched after legal action was launched against Rev. Barry Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.
Glendinning and the diocese are named in a lawsuit brought by brothers John, Ed and Guy Swales and their family.
The Swales are seeking damages for pain and suffering they say Glendinning inflicted on them.
The $7-million civil suit is being heard by Justice John Kerr in Superior Court in London.
Glendinning pleaded guilty in 1974 to six counts of gross indecency with children.
The diocese placed him on probation for three years and sent him for treatment to the Southdown Institute, a centre used to treat troubled priests.
Daniels said yesterday Glendinning's file contained no records after 1967.
He said he found the absence of records "disappointing and surprising."
One of the items that might be expected to be in the file is a letter appointing Glendinning to a Windsor parish after his treatment at Southdown, said Daniels, vicar general of the diocese.
A letter would normally be placed in a file when a priest was given a new posting, he said.
Asked by Ledroit if it was logical to assume the letter had been removed from the file, Daniels said it was.
He said he had no explanation why other documents were not in the file.
Asked if it was reasonable to expect a copy of Glendinning's probation order to be in the file, Daniels responded: "If an order like that came to me, I'd put it in his file."
He said he could find nothing about Glendinning in secret files kept by the diocese.
Ledroit, a London litigation lawyer, is representing the Swales family in the civil suit.
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