A pedophile pastor of the Church of England was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment and fined Rs. 6,000/- for sexually harassing a 15 year old boy under his care in the children home founded and funded by him. He has 30 days to file an appeal, and the court has granted him bail for the period. Jonathan Robinson, a 76-year-old vicar of the Church of England, founded Grail Trust children’s home in Valliyoor, Tirunelveli which is operated using the money he collects through Grail Trust UK which was also founded by him. Even though he lived in Wales, he visited the home frequently.
The boy was admitted to the home and went to school from there even though he had a mother. The school and home are supposedly for the ‘disadvantaged’. When Robinson visited the home in 2011, he –
‘tempted, promised and assured for better education to her son, the victim and pressurized her to get transfer certificate from the school, where the victim studied; He also gave money to the victim’s mother for her expenses; lured and enticed by the promise and assurance of the petitioner she was constrained to send the minor/child victim with the petitioner’.
The boy was taken to various locations such as Chennai, Delhi and Shimla and abused there in cheap YMCA hostels. He was also abused in the home and this happened for a year. A sec-25 company Justice and Care (JAC) was informed (by whom is unknown) about the abuse and started investigating through its local sources. Its members allegedly followed Robinson when he went to Madurai, Kodaikanal, Delhi and Shimla along with the boy. Justice and Care is a UK charity which also operates in the USA and Netherlands.
+says the News Mag. Justice & Care India is Sec. 25 Company (CIN=U85190DL2012NPL233809) registered in A-16/9, Vasant Vihar, Delhi. Its + pic.twitter.com/UvHSJB2dDT
— URFD00m (@by2kaafi) March 4, 2017
Adrian Phillips, legal head of JAC, said “they had received information on the abuse of the boy and investigated it through local sources as well as British High Commission before lodging a formal complaint”. Philips was part of the drafting committee of the anti-trafficking bill that was cleared by cabinet recently but is held up due to parliament logjam. The CWC chairman at that time was one Father Joseph Johnson who is said to have passed the boy’s allegations to local police.
Robinson escaped to the UK before he could be arrested. The home was closed and the children shifted to a registered home ‘Saranalayam’ for orphans and destitute women run by Catholic Missionaries. As per Daily Star, the trust went to the high court to try to reopen the home and force the authorities to drop the investigation.
Despite the fact that Robinson was the director of the UK trust, UK Charity Commission let it off with a mere direction to ‘put adequate measures in place to manage the risk to beneficiaries’. It should be noted that “The Commission concluded that the trustees’ initial approach to the allegation, which had been reported in the international press, was not impartial” and it was found that “The trustees failed to identify the allegation as a serious incident and deal with it effectively having failed to report the incident to the police and the Commission.”
So in effect, the UK trust rubbished the claims and acted in favour of a pedophile while it claimed to provide relief for poverty ridden children.
The boy has said that-
‘while staying at Room No:154 in YMCA Tourist Hostel in New Delhi on 15.4.2011, in a single room in a single cot, Robinson made the victim to lay and hugged him and he sat on the cot, shook the private part of the victim and attempted to have sexual intercourse with him in an unnatural way.’
Subsequently, he took the victim on 17.4.2011 and made him to stay in Room No.1 in YMCA Tourist Hostel. Where also, he made the victim to stay along with him in a single room and during night hours, Robinson hugged the victim, shook the private part of the victim and attempted to have unnatural intercourse with the juvenile. Finally, leaving the victim he left for London.
After that the boy was brought back to TN and went back to stay in the trust’s home. No information is available as to who brought him back. The boy did not have money or any other way of getting out on his own/travelling. So the charges of kidnapping were added against Robinson. In 2014, the victim and his mother filed affidavits saying they were pressurized into giving statements against Robinson by the police and others. The boy denied that he was sexually abused and said that the CWC got his signature forcibly.
It was understood that Robinson might have tried to tamper the evidence by the fact that the counsel who appeared for the mother of the victim appeared for Robinson 2 years later. Since Robinson didn’t appear for the trial court proceedings, a non-bailable warrant was issued and a red corner notice was issued. Justice Kirubakaran of the Madurai bench ordered in good faith for the red corner notice to be withdrawn so that Robinson can come to Bharat to face trial. The non-bailable warrant also was recalled and the first thing he did on coming to Bharat in November 2015 was to file an ‘advance hearing petition’. While dealing with this case, Justice Kirubakaran put forth some queries to the government.
1.Whether the details are available with regard to the number of children abused in various parts of our country (if so year wise and state- wise details are to be given)?
2.Whether foreigners are sexually abusing children in the guise of giving good education and adoption?
3.What are all the steps taken to prevent the foreigners to have access to children taking advantage of their poverty?
Alas, he didn’t explicitly mention the FCRA nature of such crimes or the specific religion these foreigners and their NGOs belong to. He further suggested that the central government should consider castration as a punishment for child abusers in addition to punishments under POCSO, IPC, Juvenile Justice Act etc.
A welcome move from the Ministry of Women and Child Development has asked the Ministry of External Affairs to enact strict visa rules to prevent those who have a history of child abuse and habitual offence from entering the country. It would really make a difference as in 2011-12 alone, 66 British nationals in Bharat pleaded their consulate for help in child sex abuse cases as per a Hindustan Times report.
Here is a list of known cases of pedophile UK nationals:
1) Derek Slade – Headmaster, Anglo-Kutchi Medium School, Gujarat.
2) Jonathan Robinson – Ex-Vicar of Church of England & Founder, Grail Trust Child Care home, Tirunelveli.
3) Patrick Matthews – Volunteer and sports tutor, St. George’s Anglo-Indian School, Chennai.
4) Allan Waters and Duncan Grant – former British Navy officers who ran Anchorage Orphanage in Mumbai.
5) Robert Dando – Baptist Minister who was arrested in the U.S. on child sex charges. He worked with a children’s charity in Goa.
6) Paul Meekin – Principal, Trios International School, Bangalore.
7) Richard Huckle – notorious pedophile who raped Malaysian children varying from 6 months to 13 year old, counting upto 200. He visited a Christian home in Bengaluru but the home denied that anything untoward happened when he was there. He told the staff that he had visited orphanages in Hubli, Chennai and Vellore.
8) Murray Denis Ward – Visitor, National Association for the Blind; sexually abused 3 blind children.
Duncan Grant too is said to have visited the Grail Trust home. But when he did so is unknown. The victim told the JAC person who interviewed him about the time when he went to Kodaikanal with Robinson where his friend Duncan and two others joined them. News18 further reported that ‘The boy also said that Jonathan used to sleep with another boy. Sometimes, he took five or six boys to the terrace and slept with them. But the boy said, “at those times he did not abuse me, but I don’t know if Jonathan had abused the other boys.” ‘.
In 1996, Robinson took a 14-year-old boy Durai to Wales for his 100 mile trek to collect funds for Grail Trust India. The South Indian boy was going to school in England at that time and accompanied Robinson on his walk. Grail Trust lost its registration in 2013 when TN government cracked down on children’s homes after a huge number of reports of missing children were filed. Infrastructure of homes, tallying number of children registered with the ones present in homes, and verifying profiles of the inmates were some of the things that were checked during the crack down.
Grail Trust admits children aged between 6-16 which clearly falls in the 4/14 window of evangelicals, and 70% of the inmates are Hindus. One more point to be paid attention to is ‘education’. What is common to all the offenders above, ones from foreign countries and many more local ones, is that they are associated with schools or orphanages/homes that take in poor kids whose parents want them to have better educational facilities and a good chance at succeeding in their life.
We Bhartiyas consider schools as the temples of knowledge. What would happen to the kids, the future pillars of Bharata Varsha, if they get abused there and scarred for their lives? Can parents decide to not send their children to school as there is a monopoly in the field of education which is one of the main causes of such incidents? Can they decide to homeschool their children? I think it would be disregarding the law as children have the Right to Free and Compulsory Education.
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