|Man Tells Court He Was 11 Years Old When Abused by West Midlands Priest
October 5, 2010
A 62-year-old man has told a court he felt "like a lamb to the slaughter" when he was allegedly sexually abused as a young boy in the West Midlands by a Roman Catholic priest.
The alleged victim told a jury at Birmingham Crown Court he was abused by James Robinson in Walsall from the age of 11 until his late teens.
Robinson, 73, is accused of a string of offences against six boys aged under 16 between 1959 and 1983 at a number of churches in the West Midlands.
He faces 22 charges, including five counts of buggery, two of attempted buggery, 12 counts of indecent assault and three counts of indecency with a child.
The former clergyman, whose full name is Richard John James Robinson but was known to parishioners as "Father Jim", worked in churches in Staffordshire, Birmingham and Coventry until the mid-1980s, when he moved to California. He was extradited from the US in August last year.
He trained at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield, and went on to become parish priest at St Elizabeth’s in Foleshill, Coventry, and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Cradley Heath.
The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Robinson told him he loved him and made him feel special, taking him out in his sports car and showering him with attention.
He told the court: "He became like part of our family, everybody loved him and liked him, he was a very popular man. I liked him and, how can I put this to you, he was my hero, I was very fond of him.
"He was a boxer, a local celebrity, it was a sort of hero worship if you like. He made me feel special, if you like, he said I was a nice looking lad and he just seemed to like me better, I don't know why. He just sort of honed in on me, I was the centre of his attention."
The man told a jury of five men and seven women he "froze" the first time he was abused by Robinson at the home the former clergyman shared with his mother.
He said: "I was like a lamb to the slaughter, I had no idea. I thought we were good friends, that's all.
"I just froze. He told me he was in love with me and I was the special one. As a boy I loved him. I probably did tell him that he was my hero. I just lay there and thought, 'Oh God, what has happened to me'. I felt so ashamed afterwards. I was totally under his control, I don't know why."
The court heard Robinson, who was ordained in 1971, abused the boy on a regular basis at a number of locations, including the cellar of the child's family home.
Asked why he remained silent about the abuse the man said: "If you said to me afterwards why didn't you run away I'd have said, 'Well, where to? Where do you run to? Who do you tell?'."
He added: "At that time, they were different times, especially being from a Catholic family, you can't even mention sex."
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