Paedophile Monk Who Paid Schoolboy 50p Each Time He Sexually Abused Him Is Locked up

By Rebecca Seales
Daily Mail
January 4, 2012

Jailed: Richard White pleaded guilty to abusing two boys at Downside, a Roman Catholic public school

Cover-up: Downside School was aware of the allegations against White, but failed to contact the police even after he confessed they were true

A paedophile monk who forced a schoolboy to take part in sex acts and paid him 50p each time has been jailed for five years.

Richard White, 66, was finally jailed yesterday after evading justice for more than two decades - because monastic authorities and the parents of one of his two victims hushed the matter up.

White, a Benedictine monk, abused pupils while a geography teacher at Downside, one of England's leading Roman Catholic schools.

Taunton Crown Court heard that he was warned about his behaviour after molesting one 12-year-old boy, but instead of contacting the police the Benedictine abbot of the monastery attached to the school simply stopped him from teaching younger students.

He went on to indecently assault a second boy over the course of several months when he was aged 12 and 13 in 1988 and 1989.

Robert Duval, for the prosecution, said that White lured the pupil, who was interested in old books, to the monastery library, which was usually off-limits to students.

There he sexually touched the boy and forced him to take part in sex acts, paying him 50p each time.

He was discovered after other pupils at the independent Catholic School in Stratton-on-the-Fosse near Bath, Somerset saw the boy had extra money to spend at the tuck shop and he admitted how he had come by it.

Astonishingly, the police were not told even when the matter was again reported to the monastic school authorities, and White himself told the principal what he had done.

Instead the former British Army soldier, whom the court heard was repressing his homosexuality at the time, was dismissed from his teaching post and sent to monastic communities across the country over the next 20 years, a move designed to keep him away from children.

After the News of the World ran an article about the scandal, the boy's own family obtained a court injunction to keep him out of any further reports before removing him from the school.

Despite the publicity, no complaint was ever made at the time to the police and White's offending was only brought to light when police investigating another teacher at the school for child pornography offences found a file in school records detailing what he had done and contacted the second victim.

He attended court to see White jailed and afterwards praised the police and his partner for giving him the 'confidence' to come forward. He said he thought the monk's sentence was 'appropriate.

'I'm not the only boy at Downside who was abused,' he said.

'I hope this will highlight to the school that it needs to address the risks associated with religious orders running educational establishments without the appropriate safety nets.

'Downside has a poor history of child abuse and the reason for the original statement (to police) was not to convict Richard White but to protect the 1,500 children at Downside School.'

White, of Fordingbridge, Hampshire, sat in the dock with his head bowed throughout proceedings.

He admitted five charges of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with a child, relating to the second boy, at a previous hearing last November.

He also asked for four offences against the first boy, who has never made a complaint to police, to be taken into account.

White's conviction is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the English Benedictine congregation, after monks from the religious order's communities at Ampleforth, Ealing and Buckfast were also jailed for sexual offences against children.

Father Richard Yeo, the former Abbot of Downside, recently stood down from a Vatican inquiry into sex abuse at Ealing Abbey in west London, following concerns about the order's record in dealing with child abuse cases.


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