Psychotherapists are key people to help disturbed people and child sex abuse victims. There is probably no viler misuse of the profession than to masquerade as one to sexually abuse children.
Yet this is what Father Terence O’Brien did again and again at one of the country’s top Roman Catholic Salesian schools in Battersea, south London according to a Met police investigation report obtained by Exaro.
The details are available in a new book The Devil’s Advocate: Child Abuse and the Men in Black by Graham Wilmer, a sex abuse victim, who runs the Lantern Project in the Wirral to help survivors and is now a member of the new national inquiry into child sexual abuse set up by Theresa May, the home secretary. You can buy his book here and all the profits go to fund his project.
He describes O’Brien as the Salesian order equivalent to Jimmy Savile- a prolific paedophile- who died in 2000 but got away with it for years. You read the full story on the Exaro website.
But to give you an idea of just how vile he is – here is an extract from the police report ( look away now if you are of a sensitive disposition) :
“Fr. O’Brien was a prolific paedophile, who would subject children to strip naked and be massaged, masturbated and physically penetrated, under the pretext that they were being rid of bad spirits that made them behave badly. The children were brought to Fr O’Brien by their parents in the belief that he was a child psychotherapist, and could treat them for their behaviour.
“This abuse was practised on children on a weekly basis, sometimes for years. The victims were instructed never to inform anyone of their treatment, or it would not work.
“Fr O’Brien was not a psychotherapist at all, yet he was allowed to practice his trade upon the grounds of the Salesian school without question, on a regular basis.”
Now you might have thought the Salesian order which runs this reputable school would want to make amends for such damning police findings. But this is their response:
“Fr O’Brien did not at any time work from or in the Salesian College in Battersea . He did occupy Salesian property in Battersea but this was not on the school site nor was it part of the school. At no time did he conduct any of his practice from any Salesian school.
“Fr O’Brien is a subject of Operation Torva, the inquiry being carried out by the Metropolitan Police. We are cooperating fully with the police in their inquiry and unable to comment further beyond saying that there were no allegations concerning Fr O’Brien until the late 1980s and 1990s and allegations were dealt with by the police.
“In accordance with the Safeguarding policy of the Catholic Church, we do not investigate any allegation of offences against Children. These are passed to the Police.
The Salesians will, of course, cooperate fully with the forthcoming government inquiry if they are required to do so.”
After further checks I am told the house actually adjoined the school. So the main concern of the Salesians is that Father O’Brien employed as a priest and teacher by the Salesians used a house next door to the school to carry out these vile acts on pupils and children ( both boys and girls) . So it is all right as it didn’t happen technically to be on school premises. And they won’t co-operate with the inquiry unless required.
If ever there was a need for this new national inquiry – this is it. Their attitude to this is both sickening and perverse.