Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coventry priest abuse victim tells of flashbacks and stress disorder
Oct 13 2010 By Emma Stone

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A MAN has told a court how he suffers from flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder following six years of sexual abuse by former Coventry priest Richard James Robinson.

The 50-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Birmingham Crown Court he was first abused by the 73-year-old former clergyman during the 1970s when he was ten. He said the assaults continued until he was 16.

He claims the abuse took place after Robinson, who was the priest at the man’s local Catholic church, befriended his family.

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 during the early 1980s.

Yesterday, under cross examination, the man was asked by defence barrister Rachel Brand QC when was the very first time he claimed Robinson touched him in a sexual way.

He replied: “The first time he ever touched me in a sexual way I was ten years old and was sat on my mother’s settee.

“It didn’t last forever but it wasn’t a brief thing – about ten minutes, while he was drinking his tea.”

Mrs Brand then asked: “Your 1985 statement (to police) made no reference to this very first incident. How are you able to recall the incident 25 years afterwards, but are unable to recall it in 1985 when you first made the statement?”

The man, who served as an altar boy as a child, replied: “Over the last couple of years I have undergone fairly intensive psychotherapy, and psychological intervention to deal with my post traumatic stress disorder.

"My diagnosis is chronic post traumatic stress disorder with disassociation.

“Disassociation includes amnesia and repression.”

He added: “I have been having access to treatment, which is a form of hypnotherapy. Prior to this treatment I haven’t been able to look at parts of my life without having panic attacks.

“This treatment has allowed me to look at those areas of my life. “One of the most powerful memories from this treatment was this very first molestation.”

The trial continues.

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