Edward English, notorious Mount Cashel abuser, arrested by Vancouver police

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

November 24, 2023

By Ryan Cooke

No charges filed at court yet, English declines comment

Edward English, who was once sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing boys at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, has been arrested once again.

CBC News has learned English was arrested Wednesday at his home outside Moncton, N.B., by members of the Vancouver Police Department, with RCMP New Brunswick acting as an “assisting agency,” according to that police force’s media relations officer.

English was arrested in connection with allegations of sexual abuse involving two students at Vancouver College — a Catholic boys’ private school — in the 1980s, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. English was not in custody when reached by CBC News on Thursday morning.

“I have no comment on that,” he said repeatedly.

Charges have yet to be laid at the provincial courthouse in Vancouver. A clerk told CBC News it can take several weeks, or sometimes months, for charges to be sworn at court after a person has been arrested and released. 

Not the only investigation

English was transferred to the Vancouver area after he confessed to molesting children at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in 1975. The Christian Brothers, police and government officials struck a deal to avoid charges if English and another man were sent out of the province.

A lawsuit in British Columbia alleges six abusive Christian Brothers were sent to Vancouver and Burnaby schools between 1975 and 1983. More than 100 former students of those schools now say they were abused after those transfers were made.

While English is currently embroiled in a Vancouver Police Department probe, he’s also under investigation by the RCMP in nearby Burnaby related to his time teaching at St. Thomas More Collegiate, another Catholic boys’ school. 

The complainant who launched that investigation is one of the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. In a sworn affidavit, the man — known only as John A. Doe — said English repeatedly molested him during his time as a student at St. Thomas More Collegiate.

CBC News has previously interviewed two men who alleged they were sexually abused by English during their time at Vancouver College in the 1980s.

English called a ‘coward’ and ‘sadist’ by judge

Of all the men convicted of crimes at Mount Cashel, Edward English received the stiffest punishment.

The judge who presided over his trial in 1991 eviscerated English in his sentencing decision, calling him a “coward” and a “sadist who does not deserve to be called a Christian.”

“I have been in the law now for 30 years, and this is my 11th year as a judge and about my 85th jury trial; and I should say this has been the worst trial I’ve had to preside over,” Judge Gerald Lang told the courtroom. 

“I had wished and hoped that Brother English would have said that he was guilty and that he couldn’t help what he was doing and ask for forgiveness and show some remorse.”

English did his time at a federal prison in New Brunswick. He remained in the province after serving eight years. He currently lives on a small country road outside Moncton.