School in sex abuse case ends control by clergy

Southern Daily Echo, UK/January 10, 2012

A school where a Hampshire monk sexually assaulted a young boy is to end 200 years of control by the Roman Catholic clergy.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Father Richard White, from Hyde, near Fordingbridge, was last week jailed for five years after being convicted of gross indecency and indecent assault against a pupil in the 1980s.

The 66-year-old had preyed on a boy interested old books, by luring him to the monastery library, which was usually off-limits to students. He sexually touched the youngster and forced him to take part in sex acts, paying him 50p per time.

That came after he had already been banned by the school from teaching younger boys, but again bosses at Downside School in Somerset failed to tell police, instead sending him to monastic communities across the country.

It has emerged two other former teachers at the £26,000-a-year school have also received police cautions as part of an ongoing police investigation into abuse there, and the school has now announced "a major restructuring of governance", giving control to an independent governing body.

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