The scale of child sexual abuse in England and Wales is being exposed by evidence from thousands of victims, with cases being passed to police at a rate of 100 a month by the public inquiry set up following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk’s chief constable and head of the national coordinating unit Operation Hydrant, said his team was expecting to be given 30,000 reports of new child sexual offences by the Goddard inquiry, and predicted the rate of referrals of allegations of abuse would increase.

The chief constable said that given the trajectory of the number of reports, police would be investigating about 200,000 cases of child sexual abuse by 2020, giving an insight into the extent of child sexual abuse in Britain over many decades.

Bailey added: “It is fair to say I am surprised by the extent of abuse being exposed, it is shocking. In trying to get a message across to the public about the scale of this, it is important to remember that behind each of these figures there is a victim.

“We are seeing a significant rise in the number of referrals each month from the Goddard inquiry, and these allegations relate to abuse in a range of institutions from the church, to schools, the scouts and hospitals.”

Justice Lowell Goddard is running 13 investigations into institutional abuse, which include inquiries concerning Westminster, the Catholic Church, Church of England, and Lambeth borough, and concerning grooming and sexual exploitation in Rochdale, Devon, Cornwall, Oxford and Rotherham, and at the Medomsley detention centre in Durham.

Another 12 investigations will be pursued during the inquiry. Most of these 25 investigations will lead to public hearings.

Gabrielle Shaw, chief executive officer for the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: “We have lifted the lid on a hidden problem, now survivors are coming forward in large numbers. These people were failed by institutions in childhood. They deserve to be heard now. Why were signs of child abuse ignored, unrecognised or unreported? The insight survivors have is vital in shaping how our institutions protect children in future.”

On Thursday, the Goddard inquiry opened new offices in Manchester as part of its nationwide “truth project”, which invites victims of abuse to give detailed testimony of their experiences. In many cases these experiences have stayed unspoken about for decades.

Two thousand victims have already contacted the inquiry to give details about experiences of child sexual abuse, and about 600 have already indicated that they would give their full testimony to the truth project.

In Australia where a royal commission into child abuse is being held, the numbers of people who have come forward has surpassed predictions. Bailey said that the same would be true of the Goddard hearings.

Referrals to Bailey’s team on Operation Hydrant stem from allegations made by victims contacting the inquiry and through the investigations being carried out by the inquiry team.

“These referrals are allegations which are new to the police,” said Bailey. “Where there are criminal investigations they will be passed to the relevant police force. What we are seeing is that the face of crime has fundamentally changed and it means we have had to move our resources to crimes against the vulnerable [and concerning] child abuse, adult abuse and rape.”

The huge increase in reports of child abuse to the police – a rise of 80% between 2012 and 2015 – was continuing, Bailey added. Police forces across England and Wales investigated 70,000 cases of child sexual abuse last year and 25% of the investigations were into non-recent abuse.

The chief constable said that the rise in investigations was due not just to increased reporting but to more children being abused, with the internet acting as a facilitator for paedophiles to contact children. He has commissioned research in an attempt to establish whether this is correct.

The enormous draw on police resources of these investigations comes as a severe spending squeeze on police budgets continues.

Last week Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, issued new guidance to remind police that her lawyers would not make charging decisions in relation to dead perpetrators, implying that police were not aware of the ruling that the dead could not be charged with criminal offences.

Bailey defended the police from criticism. “It is vital that the police investigate allegations of child sexual abuse thoroughly and proportionately, whether the alleged crimes took place last week or many years ago,” he said. “Victims who report abuse by someone who is now dead have the same expectation that their allegations will be taken seriously and that they will have recourse to justice. Police also need to determine whether the alleged offender may have worked with others who are still alive and could pose a risk today.”

He added that age was no bar to people committing child abuse, citing examples of cases in which men in their 90s were under investigation for abuse.

This week, Theresa May, the home secretary, spoke out against those who said police should only concentrate on current crimes. “Perpetrators must never be allowed to think that their horrific acts will go overlooked or go unpunished … Victims and survivors … deserve to be heard now, just as they should have been years ago, and they deserve justice, just as they did then,” she said.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) — by Brian Mark Hennessey

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) — by Brian Mark Hennessey

The Mirfield 12 Group of child aspirants to the priesthood, (referred to as “Comboni Survivors” henceforward in this article), who have made historical allegations of sexual abuse that was perpetrated by clerics of the Comboni Missionary Order against them at their seminary boarding school at Mirfield in Yorkshire in the 1960s and 70s, have committed themselves to seek “core participation” at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The Inquiry has also become commonly known as the “Goddard Inquiry” after the appointment of Justice Lowell Goddard of the New Zealand Judiciary as the Chair-person. The format of the investigation will be broken down into a number of groupings, one of which will examine abuse in institutions of the Roman Catholic Church.

The formulation of the Inquiry process had a rocky start within the Home Office. This is not particularly surprising given the very broad range of institutions which had failed in one way or another in managing historic cases of child abuse. Mark Murray, a leading member of the Comboni Survivors, participated in Home Office Meetings during this difficult process. He was not alone – as many groups of Survivors were dissatisfied at the initial, concentrated objectives of the Inquiry which favoured extensive participation of the major public institutions at the expense of Survivors – and the Government was forced by public opinion to have a re-think. The resultant balance of the re-adjustments made is still regarded as unsatisfactory by many Survivor Groups – but slowly the views of Survivors, who want a greater level of participation even now, are still being pressed. The Comboni Survivors are confident that the Inquiry will make further adjustments in favour of Survivors – who are the ones who have suffered severly at the hands of institutions’ neglect – rather than focusing the Inquiry specifically and almost exclusively upon those very same institutions. The Survivors must be heard extensively and loudly.

Besides the difficulties that have and are being experienced in achieveing the right balance of the Inquiry so that all participants can be satisfied at the end of the day, there are many detractors who are both vocal and negative. Some claim, rather extraordinarily in a cart before the horse attitude, that we should have the recommendations from the Government now, before the investigation. They pour scorn on the claims of Survivor Groups over the extent of the abuse and they suggest campaigners to be obsessive panic-mongerers who are “corroding” child/adult relationships”. They pour scorn also on the Inquiry itself which, they suggest, is not about justice, but about therapy. The Comboni Survivors do not agree with these views, but they counsel the Goddard Inquiry that the final format agreed between the Inquiry, Institutions and Survivors must demonstrate beyond doubt that the balance of the Inqury is finely set so as to silence, unremittingly, their detractors.

As a group, the Comboni Survivors welcome the Inquiry and wish it well. They are committed to the Truth Project, the participation in which they regard to be a moral duty for the future understanding and the benefit of Government and Institutions which have the need of formulating both policies and practices for the protection of the Nation’s children.

They believe also that core-participation for Survivors must be extended, because institutions that have failed in the past will continue to fail in the future. That has been the experience of the members of the Comboni Survivors to this day. The Comboni Missionary Order, after half a century of failings, are as resolute today as they were in the past to refute the initial historical reports made to them, cast doubt on the veracity of Survivors’ allegations, deny dialogue and refuse apologies. They have adopted a policy of total silence in the belief that their silence will give them the security of perrenial unaccountability. This is both un-Christian and deplorably un-just to Survivors. The Comboni Survivors look to the Goddard Inquiry for the total accountability of the Comboni Missionary Order Institution that has unjustly maligned them in a manner that amounts to both re-victimisation and hierarchical discrimination.

Goddard Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse – also known as IICSA

A new category has been added to the Blog.

The category comes under the heading the ‘Goddard inquiry.’

This Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA( will investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

The Inquiry, more commonly known as the Goddard Inquiry will:

– identify institutional failings where they are found to exist;

– demand accountability for past institutional failings;

– support victims and survivors to share their experience of sexual abuse, and make practical recommendations to ensure that children are given the care and protection they need.

The Inquiry is independent of government.

The Inquiry is led by Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard, who is supported by a Panel, a Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel, and other expert advisers.


If there are people who were abused as children by the Comboni Missionaries, and want the Comboni Missionaries – also known as the Verona Fathers – to be questioned and held accountable for the childhood abuse they suffered, they can contact the Goddard Inquiry direct by using the link:

…or you can make contact through the Blog.


CSA Inquiry begins. A personal view, by Frank McGinnis.

CSA Inquiry begins. A personal view, by Frank McGinnis.

I welcome the news that Judge Goddard’s Inquiry is finally able to commence. I should stress that my welcome is not a triumph of my optimism over realism. The British Establishment is funding the investigation into, what will primarily be, it’s own behavior. (He who pays the Piper calls the Tune). That other institutions will be scrutinised is of particular interest to ourselves who at various times attended the Verona Fathers seminary at Mirfield. I especially welcome the following:

The Inquiry wants to hear from anyone who was sexually abused as a child in an institutional setting.
The Inquiry will actively encourage victims & survivors to come forward to testify at public hearings. (anonymously if required)
The Inquiry wants to hear from anyone who reported abuse that was then not properly acted upon.
Institutions whose actions are called into question will be required to disclose relevant information & provide witnesses.
The Inquiry will investigate the role/advice of insurance companies in the handling of reports of their clients abuse. (I suggest that the Catholic Church Insurance Association have much to consider in this area).

It may be that this Inquiry will succeed in convincing our priests, politicians, entertainers and law enforcement agencies that sexually abusing children is wrong. That they should need such enlightenment shall no doubt remain a mystery to the rest of society.

Comboni Missionaries to be Compelled to Appear at Abuse Inquiry

Comboni Missionaries Abuse Enquiry

Religious Orders, where clerical sexual abuse took place, are to be included in the remit of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. This is to include the Comboni Missionaries, formerly known as the Verona Fathers. They will be compelled to appear.

There was a worry that, because they don’t report to the Bishop, the Comboni Missionaries could not be forced to appear in front of the committee.

However, that has now been shown to be unfounded. There will be statutory powers to compel all those living in England and Wales to appear before the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse.

International Cooperation Used

This would exclude those living in Scotland and other countries. However, other powers to compel based on European or international cooperation could be used when individuals were outside the inquiry’s jurisdiction.

This would mean that that those that live in England like Father Martin Devenish and Father Robert Hicks could be compelled to appear befor the Inquiry.

I’m sure that Scotland has good enough relations with England to allow Father john Fraser to be compelled to appear.

Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse

As a fellow EU member, I’m sure Italy would have no objections for the Inquiry to compel Father Enrique Sanchex, Father David Glenday and Father Romano Nardo to appear.

The Comboni Missionaries, in the form of Padre Enrique Sanchez, have said that Father Nardo is not mentally fit enough to come to the UK to answer questions from the UK police, who accuse him of abuse.

However, it would be much more difficult for the the Comboni Missionaries to turn down a request for Fr Nardo to appear before the panel. Better proof of his mental state would be needed.

It looks as if the wheel will finally be coming full circle and the Comboni Missionaries are going to be confornted about the sexual abuse of boys as young as eleven by their priests and for the cover up, going to the very highest levels of the order.

Comboni Missionaries Will Appear before UK Sex Abuse Enquiry

Father Martin Devenish

According to a new article from the Liverpool Echo, Father Martin Devenish of the Comboni MIssionaries has pledged that every member of Misioneros Combonianos will agree to appear in front of the Home Office enquiry into child sexual abuse.

Father Devenish told the Liverpool Echo “Every member of the Verona Fathers who is fit and able will be prepared to appear at the inquiry if asked to do so. However, it is regrettable that those from whom we all most need to hear, the alleged abusers, will not be able to appear because they are deceased or, in one case, medically unfit.”

Father Enrique Sanchez

The ‘medically unfit’ person refers to Father Romano Nardo, who is accused of serious sexual abuse by Mark Murray, an ex-seminarian at the Comboni Missionaries seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire. Father Enrique Sanchez, the Superior General of Missionari Comboniani (the boss of the order) refuses to hand Father Nardo over to answer questions about it to UK police.

The claim is that the atrocities that Father Nardo encountered in Uganda has affected him mentally so that he cannot answer questions from the UK police.

Father Enrque Sanchez told Mark Murray, by letter, that they brought Father Nardo home after 27 years in Uganda after his accusations against him. He also assured him that Father Nardo would be kept in a Comboni Missionaries home for the sick in Verona and would have no acccess to children.

Misioneros Combonianos

According to Mark Murray, who had been a Brother out in Uganda,  Amins’  atrocities took place decades before Father Nardo was brought home. Indeed he was brought home immediately after the abuse accusations.

If he he was mentally ill, or unstable, it begs the question why the Comboni Missionaries left him in a position of responsibility in Uganda for so many years. They had a duty of care to him.

He was also pictured saying a concelebrated mass in 2008 and was spotted at carnivals in Verona. Surely he could, then, answer a few questions from the UK police.

Equivocating Like Jesuits

However, it is good to hear that they will appear before the panel, even if Vather Martin Devenish has said that all those who are “fit and able” will appear. One wonders who that would exclude. One wonders if the Comboni Missionaries would think that those in positions of authority at the time and who are accused of covering up the abuse would be “fit and able” to appear as some of them are now in their eighties.

The Comboni Missionaries are an offshoot of the Jesuits and we all know what Shakespeare said about equivocation and Jesuits.

We shall see what the ‘fit and able’ means!

However, if the committee has full powers, they may not have a choice. The UK Government outrank the Comboni Missionaries in the UK.

See the Liverpool Echo article Fresh Hope for Catholic Abuse Victims

Comboni Missionaries (Misioneros Combonianos) may face Statutory Enquiry over Abuse

Comboni Missionaries (Misioneros Combonianos)

The Comboni Missionaries, known in Spanish speaking countries as Misioneros Combonianos and in Italy as Missionari Comboniani, are likely to face a Statutory Enquiry into the sexual abuse that took place at Mirfield, Yorkshire in the UK in their seminary there in the Sixties and Seventies by Father John Pinkman of Liverpool, Father Domenico Valmaggia from Como and Father Romano Nardo from Italy.

This would mean that priests like Father Martin Devenish, Father John Fraser, Father David Glenday and Father Robert Hicks could be forced to appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Indeed Comboni Missionaries abroad, like Father Enrique Sanchez and the Paedophile priest Father Romano Nardo, who is hold up at the Mother House in Verona in Italy, with no access to children, may be asked to appear as well as Father Enrique Sanchez, the Superior General of Misioneros Combonianos.

Father David Glenday of Dundee

Misioneros Combonianos highest ranking priest, Father David Glenday, is now in a senior position in the Vatican. He has access to Pope Francis. He is from Dundee in Scotland, originally.

Although there is no suggestion that he was, in any way, involved in sexual abuse, he was head of the order in the UK, Father Provincial, in the UK and head of the whole order, the Superior General, in the nineties around the time that Mark Murray first complained about being sexually abused by Father Romano Nardo.

He also went to the Comboni Missionaries seminary in Mirfield at the same time as many of the boys who were abused and who reported the abuse. As a Dundee man, Father David Glenday may find it even more difficult than Father Enrique Sanchez, to refuse to attend an enquiry into sexual abuse by the Comboni Missionaries at Mirfield to answer questions as to what he knew about the sexual abuse and the cover-up.

Father Romano Nardo

There’s a possibility, too, that the serial abuser, paedophile priest, Father Romano Nardo, could be the subject of an extradition order as an outcome of the committee’s findings.

Said Home Secretary Theresa May “An inquiry into historical child abuse should be able to compel witnesses to give evidence,

The panel still has no chairperson. Theresa May had previously left the decision as to whether there would be statutory powers to a new chairperson. However, this statement seems to go further than that.

Mrs May had previously said the inquiry could become statutory if that was requested by the person leading it.

Said Mrs May: “The overwhelming message I’m getting from those that I have been meeting, survivors and survivors’ representatives that I’ve been meeting, is that it’s important to make sure that we do get this right.

“I’m very clear that the inquiry should have the powers of a statutory inquiry.”

Statutory Powers for the Enquiry

This is something for which campaigners have been calling. Labour MP, Keith Vaz, asked if it was now accepted that the Committee would have Statutory Powers to call witnesses.

Mrs May replied “The message I am very clearly getting is that this is an inquiry that should have the powers to compel people to give evidence and to enforce.”

Instant Karma’s Gonna Get Ya

This is very good news for those seeking the truth about sexual abuse at the Comboni Missionaries Seminary in Mirfield and very bad news for Misioneros Combonianos and those who have shielded, or are shielding, paedophile priests.

There are even men who were abused as boys at the seminary at Mirfield who became part of the cover-up. They will be forced to attend the enquiry too and forced, under oath, to tell the truth. They are on the wrong side of history.

We live in interesting times. One feels the word Karma coming up. Another expression that comes to mind is ‘what goes around, comes around’.

One also feels is that time is running out for the Paedophile priests of Misioneros Combonianos and those who have protected and shielded them for some long. The time and tides are against them.