Former Coventry Altar Boy Tells of Abuse by City Priest Richard Robinson

By Emma Stone
Coventry Telegraph
October 14, 2010

A COVENTRY man told a jury he was systematically abused by ex-priest Richard James Robinson while an altar boy at a city church.

Giving evidence at the trial of Robinson, the man who is now 42 alleged the former priest first abused him when he was 11.

He said the abuse began when he had been invited into the presbytery at St Elizabeth's Road, Foleshill.

He said: "The invite was to have food and a drink I viewed it as him being kind as I had done a good job as an altar boy.

"I didn't think anything untoward would happen."

He added: "He got very, very close to me, as I was sitting on the settee.

"He put his arms around me and assured me everything was going to be okay and there was nothing to worry about. He kissed me on the face and exposed himself."

The witness, who is the fourth person to make abuse claims about Robinson during the trial, went on to claim the former clergyman then abused him for the first time.

He told the jury the abuse soon became a regular occurrence and lasted for more than two years.

Richard James Robinson, known to many as Jim or Jimmy, denies 22 counts of sexual abuse.

Last year he was extradited from California to face the charges.

The charges relate to four alleged victims between the late 1950s and the mid-80s before and during Robinson's time as a Catholic priest.

Robinson served at a number of churches in the Midlands area, including St Elizabeth's Church in Foleshill.

Yesterday at Birmingham Crown Court, the alleged victim told the court Robinson treated him to football matches, gifts and holidays, including a two-week holiday to California. He maintains the abuse continued throughout.

Speaking of the trip to California, he said: "Robinson would come into my room every night...He would wait until the couple (we were staying with) had gone to bed and went to sleep for the night and he would come in."

Asked what was going through his mind during the alleged abuse, he replied: "By that time it had been going on for two years it was my routine. I don't know what was going on at the time. It was my normality, I guess."

Asked why he never spoke of the abuse at the time, he said he was frightened and didn't think anyone would believe him.

The man also told the court Robinson attempted to keep in contact with him by letter and phone after he had moved to a new parish.

The trial continues.

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