Sunday, March 27, 2011

More charges
Birmingham paedophile priest accused by three new victims
Mar 27 2011 by Jeanette Oldham, Sunday Mercury

THREE new victims claim they were abused by a pervert priest who was allowed to flee to America by the Catholic Church.

And the Sunday Mercury can today reveal how Father James Robinson, 73, was helped to leave the country when allegations were first made against him in the 1980s.

Church officials played down alleged abuse to US counterparts to facilitate his move abroad – describing the first victim’s claim that the priest had repeatedly raped him as “an unfortunate relationship”.

Anna Wheeler, a senior prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, finally extradited Robinson back to Britain to face justice.

The pervert was jailed for 21 years at Birmingham Crown Court last October after being found guilty of multiple sex offences against six boys as young as 10.

Ms Wheeler revealed two new victims had come forward before the trial and another afterwards. There will be no further prosecution, although their evidence is “entirely believable”.

She said: “One of two new victims who came forward just before the trial had previously sued the Church over his abuse. He didn’t wish to be involved in the court case.

“The other person was unable mentally to cope with the idea of court proceedings.’’

Ms Wheeler added that one other person had come forward to claim they had been abused by Robinson after he was jailed.

She said: ‘‘They have now been advised by the police that the public interest will not be served by prosecuting Robinson again, because of the length of sentence he received.

“He’s serving 21 years; he’s really not likely to come out.”

Robinson moved from parish to parish in Coventry and Birmingham between 1959 and 1983.

His congregation viewed him as a “charismatic, charming, forceful personality” – but behind the scenes he was grooming youngsters by taking them out in his sports car.

Robinson continued to work as a priest after moving to California in 1985, at a time when the Most Reverend Maurice Couve de Murville was the Archbishop of Birmingham.

Ms Wheeler has seen Church documents which show church leaders KNEW he had been accused of raping a young boy when he fled to the US.

“When he went to America there was certainly some disclosure to the American Catholic Church that there had been an allegation, an ‘unfortunate allegation that they didn’t think was really going to go anywhere’”, said Ms Wheeler.

“I think that that came to haunt them a little bit later – because that first victim didn’t go away.

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