It has been widely reported this week that one Leslie Carter, a former school chaplain, has pleaded guilty to a number of offences of indecency with boys dating back to 1957.   He will be sentenced on 19 October and the judge at Harrow Crown Court warned him to expect a custodial sentence.  It’s a case that has given rise to quite a bit of media interest since it’s one of the oldest abuse cases that has been successfully prosecuted.

I have been following the case with interest as I was a pupil at Quainton Hall School, the North London prep school where Carter taught, during the time he was there.

My clearest memory of that time is that everybody knew that Carter was unsafe around boys – the parents knew it and the boys certainly did.  It’s absolutely inconceivable that what would now be called the Senior Management Team didn’t know what was going on.  Indeed, Carter landed the post at the school after he had had to leave South Africa after incidents with boys there – the school at that stage was entirely in private hands, run by an elderly clergyman who was portrayed as something close to a saint while ruling with unchallenged and arbitrary authority –  and who knows what transpired when Carter was given that job.  Those who rail today about the bureaucracy of CRB checks and the like (not that they would have picked up Carter’s offences) might do well to reflect on the amateurism on display here.  But what does seem clear is that Carter was only able to carry out his activities because the school – at every level – was willing to look the other way.

Moreover, what one remembers from the time was how Carter’s activities permeated the school.  I wouldn’t necessary call it an atmosphere of fear, or even – to use the sort of language that tabloids deploy – of evil; but there was a perpetual underlying unease around Carter, an environment of edginess and caution and perpetual wariness.  This was a school, affiliated with the Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, whose ethos was one of a hot sweet Anglo-Catholicism in which the office of priest carried an authority and power that is difficult, forty years on in a secular environment, to describe – except to say that it was wielded in full in a way that did nothing to reduce the unease.  Carter held absolute authority in a school chapel in which a Caucasian wounded Christ glared down at us from a crucifix, and in which a blond, blue-eyed Caucasian Virgin Mary, sexless but with eyes full of pain at the sin of the boys she surveyed, stared out from an alcove.  Against this background Carter told us that the Jews had suffered their legitimate punishment over the centuries for crucifying Christ.  Original sin and the fundamental unworthiness of boys was dunned into us by a man who routinely took his favourites aside and interfered with them.

Looking at the School website, I see nothing but business as usual – a Prep School seeking to set off all the triggers that such schools do to lure parents through the door.  It would get Michael Gove purring with pleasure. The Christian ethos is adjusted to reflect the much greater ethnic diversity of the school – boys from Hindu and Muslim background as well as the many Jewish boys I recall from my time there.  I am sure that the school as it is now would have all the right processes in place to stop anything like this happening in future.  But private schools are masters of spin – never apologise, never explain.  No expression of regret – why should there be? The masters and governors of that time are retired or dead, the boys middle-aged with probably a sprinkling of grandparents among them.

I have thought quite a lot about apology.  I’ve in the past been a bit sceptical about closure and apologies – I’ve been inclined to think that it can be a false gesture.  But I feel in this case that the school should be prepared to apologise, and, yes, closure is needed. In many ways my contempt is far greater for the two headmasters of the time, the staff and the governors who, faced with this disgrace, retreated into silence and inaction, than for Carter himself.  Carter is what he is and should never have been allowed to enjoy the position he did; the headteachers and governors, in my view, put boys in his way through the moral delinquencies of rank-closing and selective ignorance and they bear their share of responsibility, especially if – as I suspect (I have of course no way of knowing) – deals were done within the Anglo-Catholic community to find Carter a safe berth.  Perhaps that’s unfair – and I appreciate I’d probably feel diffrerently had I been one of the victims who had lived for decades with the trauma and shame of what this man did.

But it seems to me that a full apology by the school’s Governors is needed, and now.  It remains to be seen whether an institution which, in the affair of Carter, appeared at the time to use piety to hide their moral compromises, has the courage to respond now.


39 thoughts on “Closure

  1. Hi. Could the writer please contact me by email.
    I am a bureau editor at the Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa.
    We are trying to locate former pupils from Quainton Hall in connection with an investigation.
    Andre Jurgens

    • It seems to be the South Africans responding to this dramatic tirade of a blog. I am an Old Quaintonian living in SA and attended QHS from 82 to 90 when we emigrated.

      To the writer of this article, I understand that what happened to the victims is disgusting and may the person responsible for these crimes against the innocent, be damned to hell for eternity. However I feel your rant against a school that has created leaders and gentlemen, raised in a Christian tradition, with care and understanding, for well over a century is uncalled for. I feel this article is perhaps comment for comments sake.

      As for the article in the SA Sunday Time issue the 16th October 2011….. I will say that when I viewed the article yesterday, I was devastated. I have spent many hours now researching the subject and QHS has my full support if for only 1 reason… If bias blogging and shabby reporting of a 40 to 50 year old case (no matter how despicable to hear or stomach), costs one prospective pupil the opportunity to spend their formative years at QHS, it truly would be a shame.

  2. Well, you are entitled to your view – I am simply writing what I remember. I should emphasise that I was not one of Carter’s victims; but I was certainly a victim of the endemic culture of bullying at Quainton Hall in the 1960s and 1970s, which seems to me to have been all of a piece with the culture that I believe was prepared to turn a blind eye to Carter’s behaviour.

    The Quainton Hall School that I remember was not a happy place. The point about the moral climate at that school was that one could easily be persuaded that one’s unhappiness was one’s own fault and was something isolated – it was only years later, as an undergraduate at Oxford, that I was able to talk about that unhappiness with others who had experienced it and to realise that I was not alone, and that the fear and unease went so much wider. If only that solidarity had been available at the time …

    I much admired the way in which the South African victim who blew the whistle on Carter expressed his determination not to let Carter ruin his life. The best riposte is to live well; in the case of the moral evasions and dishonesty of the Quainton Hall School I remember, that has meant living freely, in defiance of the mind-forged manacles of religion and moral hypocrisy that seemed to me to be the defining ethos of that place. If my atheism and socialism have been essential features of my life, perhaps I owe that to Quainton Hall. But I know that people were wounded by that place, and still feel the pain. And I believe that the school should have the moral courage to apologise for that.

    Politically, I am concerned that the current British government is holding schools like Quainton Hall up as a model for the mainstream education system. Granted, it was a place of academic excellence. But – in the time I was there at least – it was a place of rottenness, fear, hypocrisy and abuse. The state schools to which I sent my own daughter were immeasurably better places.

  3. Serenus
    I have tried for two days to answer your succint, beautifully crafted if Quaint(on) english commentary but this box seems intent on Closure each time I reach a conclusion.

    You have certainly made your Mark, whom I think will find a new dimension to “disgust” as 3 more victims come forward to delay sentencing and should reconsider his views on Bias blogging and Shabby reporting.

    Do not admire a victim who did not have a ruined life from this incident–it was probably journalistic licence about determination anyway. Simply matter of fact, press delete and move on.

    If anything the responsibility of this sorry episode taking 50 years must rest on the shoulders of Carter’s Cape Town headmaster/priest who told the victim’s father it would not be wise to destroy a boy, with what was probably a little fantasy , and the career of a “fine man”
    This headmaster to leave the school suddenly a couple of years later under a cloud, precipitating conjecture, rumour and a sudden divorce as he left to start a coffee import enterprise.
    And no Carter did not leave “because of incidents with boys there(Cape Town)” This opportunity was lost in February 1958.The culture was Anglican or have you not read the guardian of December 3rd 2010 with reference to Dr Rowan Williams alleged comments on the Roman Catholic church.

    If in reporting this for several reasons as an adult 50 years later, the victim can save one prospective pupil the ignominy of fending off a
    priest with malicious intent and more, then if it costs an opportunity it is no shame not to spend their formative years at such an

    The Cape Town St Georges Grammar School stopped all communication from the headmaster’s office after the MET visit in November 2010 and a December 3rd 2010 e-mail disclosing Carter, the 1957-8 headmaster/priest handling of the matter and detail of the incident so you be the judge of this as a rant, bias
    blogging and shabby reporting.

    Closure, apology you say is a false gesture–a gesture unmade cannot be conceived as false and a record not made cannot be referenced but like the falling pine in a dark forest the falling still occured.

  4. I am an old Quantonian who was at the school between 1953 and 1962 prior to Carter’s arrival. However I knew Carter very well from the Confraternity of St Francis and also the Scout Group. At no time was I ever aware of him being reported for anything that could stick. I am surprised that this successful medical professional who is now 66 and obviously had a very successful career wants now 54 years after the event want Carter to suffer a prison sentence especially as he is now extremely frail and is 84. Why didn’t this David Smith (not his real name I understand) come forward so much earlier – why did he wait until he was 59 years before contacting the police. I do not condone what Carter has done and admitted to – but I certainly do not agree that the school should be criticised and he certainly should not go to jail.

    • You could say I am not David Smith but the real Dale, who did not wait 54 years but tried for 54 years to get somebody to listen.

      May Carter now suffer the apprehension, anxiety and abject fear of the 12 year old he intimated he would throw overboard in mid-Atlantic because he had objection to his demand of “drying” him after his first bath at sea, a night after he stripped two boys to bare backsides, beating them each for 20 minutes because they were “naughty”.
      Serenius got it right–Carter left the Cape town School and was attached to the Household of the Archbishop Joost De Blank in 1962, before reappearing at St Q only in 1968

    • Sorry Adrian, I am not David Smith but you could say I am the real Dale.
      Frail old man, my uncle is 88 and still climbs Table Mountain, rides his bicycle to a hospital to do a medical practice’ banking, fixes his lawnmowers, living alone and has just painted his house without help. Any attorney would advise his client to “look the part” and creep into the dock as dishevelled as possible.
      May Carter feel the apprehension, fear and abject anxiety as the 12 year old he intimated he would drop overboard, miles into the Atlantic if he did not get what he wanted the second night at sea in 1957. The first night he stripped 2 not yet teens to bare backsides and beat them each for 20 minutes almost drooling as he proclaimed, “your bottoms look like bright red tomatoes”. That was only the first night of six weeks.
      In Southafrica what he eventually did would fall under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 32 of 2007 and be a charge of RAPE.
      He quickly pleaded guilty to lesser charges at Harrow. Nobody waited 54 years but it took 54 years for somebody to listen.
      After being contacted by a UK reporter the School Headmaster in CT expressed “Shock and Sorrow” a month ago but has chosen to completely ignore an e-mail to his secretary’ office dated December 3rd 2010.
      Serenius got it right again.
      Pity we cannot attach a photograph because it was not an 84 year old reported but a man the same age of early 70’year old active, destructive and convicted CapeT own paedophiles, with memory of that huge monstrous, fit 30 year old.
      He has no remorse but he must now think of these things as he has more defences than defenceless 12 year olds, at sea and in a foreign country, 6000 miles from home with no form of even glacial communication home, no funds because he took traveller’s cheques, cash and all else to have total control. What he did not take was a diary, a notebook, parents letters and artefacts, backed by the memory of an almost savant who spent a life in academic medicine with the most recognized of flamboyant and intellegent Cape Town Surgeons and Physicians.
      There was only the intention of preventing the same befalling anybody else with this geriatric paedophile nearly 8 years ago.
      What Crown and Cop decided for his fate was their indaba.
      He may still have time to think on what he has done–and there was a scout troop he started too but some of us fought back against his Dib Dib Dib–one can only hope he has.
      Attend the sentencing next Tuesday and see the extent of perversion and then think of maybe 50 more, so intimidated by replies of this nature and what people may think so that they did nothing for 50 years.
      Tried to follow the redundant “wants and now wants” supra but the answer is simple: There has never been any “wants” for prison– that is entirely up to a very diligent, hardworking MET, prosecutor and one of the wisest Judges seen so far.
      Only “wants” was to open the door for others to come forward and also prevent further damage by this calculating, patient, predator because it took him many months to test the waters for affluence to allow payment for his “educational tours”–that they were. His were not crimes of opportunity but crafted with skill and guile.

      If you care to read about the original descriptions of Paedophilia by von Krafft-Ebing in 1886 and Cohen as recently as 2002 you will see that they specify psychopathy in a large number: no anxiety, narcissism, no remorse.
      Forget initially that this report in 2004 was made because of learning after 40 years of a suicide of a best school chum because he had grave doubts of his worthiness and masculinity after years of serial abuse in a boarding house.
      Forget for a moment but only a moment the Jewish boys in New York, raped in a mikvah.
      Forget the endless debates on whether actual physical touching or only desire and thoughts are harmful, just read Wikipaedia, then put yourself on the stern of a mailship, held by a threaning priest on the second rail as the phosphorescence flashes
      behind and the throb of the propellors thumps beneath, only to return to the claustrophobic inside cabin with 18 ihches between double bunks and the constant insiduous touching of giant in a black, ancient sour smelling sweaty suit and only then will you earn the right to write as you do.

      Alas a little late to save others.
      I reserve my judgement on the Cape Town school, the Clergy and those who protected Carter for so long.

      Serenius got it right, so did the MET.


  5. At least we now know who the professional and successful medical practioner is who waited until he was 59 before bringing this matter to the attention of the UK Police. I certainly do not condone what Leslie has done and he should have been punished for what he has done. But why wait for so long ? I knew Leslie very well back in the 60’s and 70’s before I moved to Cape Town. When this case was brought to my attention over here in CT I did not even recognise him he was so decrepid and frail. I do appreciate your side of the story but despite all your problems at your most important age I understand you have become a very successful medical professional in CT. I find it odd as a professional why you did not raise the matter earlier or you may have done but nobody listened or was prepared to listen. Do you really want him to suffer at the hands of other prisoners which at his age will certainly kill him. I appreciate you want him to suffer what you went through but is this the right way forward. I have several friends in the UK who went to QHS in Harrow – some feel he should be punished others like myself feel he should be punished but not with a prison sentence. WE have provided letters of mitigation for the judge to consider when sentencing one of which is from another judge. I know people who knew Leslie in Cape Town that are connected with the Cathedral and they are very suprised about what has occurred. I know you must feel very angry at this time and quite understandably – I would if I was in your position and quite frankly I cannot begin to understand what you and your friend must have gone through when you were 12. Hopefully you have grown up and had a very successful medical career in Cape Town and presumably at the age of 66 you must now be retired. Can you not please see yourself being a little lenient at this stage. I am certainly not a close friend of Leslie’s but does he really deserve a prison sentence at the end of his life. Indeed they have pardoned Nazi war criminals at his age – he has given up his holy orders which must be important to him as well as signing the sex offenders register – there is no chance that he will ever have any close association with boys again Very best wishes Dickie may be we should get together ??

  6. Look at this once a week and hope the box is not covered with popups when I write!
    Interesting polemic but maybe my clarity is not clear enough. Too much supposition. With all respect please read my latest again, it seems to have been skimmed over.

    If you are in CT, remember that the headline News and Fotos of Appleton, Father Xmas, Thornton and the ECape Bishops detailed they were were all well into their 70’s. So was Carter in 2004.
    Yours is a minority opinion, there is not one e-mail that is not congratulatory that others have now been freed to come forward but his latest vectims are totally shocking.
    One ponders whether the legally forced anonymity does not go a long way to protect the perpetrator.
    If you have ever dealt with these predators the penumbra of their efforts is so far reaching with guilt of even their perpheral families seeking solace in asking forgiveness of the “victims” when they are greater victims themselves inso many ways and can be reassured that the victims have far greater sympathy for them as they suffered more disingenuous, duplicitous decption than any “victims”.
    Interesting that you have jumped to the conclusion that the writer is whom you claim and avery succesful reired medical practitioner who wants a gaol sentence and Carter to suffer.
    It was on the advice of one of CT’s greatest Teachers and discussion with one the most senior Judges, who actually mentioned “public duty,” that this matter was presented.
    No “punishment” nor “suffering” was asked for nor pursued. It was about prevention and do not forget the boys in the NY mikvah were raped by senior old men as peripheral to a ritual religious cleansing–according to reports those old men still in office and involved with young children.
    There seems in the tone of Adrian that there is intimation that this was sought
    nor so forget about the Nazis. Still have the artefacts and ID tags.

    Do not know anything of wanting him to “suffer”

  7. Maybe this block is annoyed we have wandered far from the thread of the original by Serenus on “Closure” and keeps closing me down!

    There seems in the tone of Adrian that there is intimation that this (retribution) was sought by the victim (there are actually the original 3 between 2004 and 2010 and now 3 more known who have probably suffered even greater tragedy and will certainly be consulted). The victims statements to the MET are very adamant that no vengeance was sought and this is a matter of court record and Carter’s Barrister asked for other unprivileged documents from the MET.

    There is no reason to be “lenient” as it is not my affair–as you address the writer directly Adrian.

  8. To continue………………..
    Only the Judge can now decide, based on what is presented by police and prosecutor.
    My and my wife’s work was with children, her father a guest of Hitler and his mob for four years and suffered for the rest of his days, refusing to consider a return to Germany in 2005 –“I walked out of Dachau once and never want to walk out of there again”–so forget about the Nazis because I look at aluminium ID tags and writings and with the greatest respect do not believe those of us who were not there should have any joy, opinion nor right at even the least important SS guard being pardoned. This has no place in comparison with Carter.

    In CT, after the alleged boarding house abuse, one hosepipe fatality from a Mini exhaust in 1966 was one too many and if the paedophilic 3% of the general population are asked to answer for the tragedies (there is no euphemism for this) they may have caused, so be it.

    The Holy Orders–what a hypocritical farce, as Serenus thread points out (we’re back there again at last)–were always debated in their sincerity and the sex offences register signing a sine qua non.
    It comes as no surprise about the surprise of your associates associated with the cathedral.
    So was at least one other I had discussion with who was approached on a later mailship trip who refused him–that potential victim much older–remarking how “polite and civil” he was–so was Ted Bundy, in Carter’s case a valid comparison.

    Personally I would not petitition the judge even if it were my business as this matter is not about Carter but those victims still to present their evidence, those who agonize about coming forward and here we must mention the opinion that this is “brave” but that is debatable, those who live with what he did but can not come forward because of fear of some guilt or loss of image, machismo at what transpired and those who protected Carter.
    We must not forget that the questions are always presented by the examining officers to victims as to any complicity, inducement or later conspiring to participate. Not all have an adequate retort or emotional defence.

    We must not forget that between 1962 when Carter “left” St GGS he was for time with CT Archbishop Joost De Blank before suddenly making a periscopic appearance at St Q after nearly 6 years, then able to surface again on a clear sea.

    As I am not a retired angry medical practitioner, although I have worked very hard with children I do not have time to meet and doubt that we would have common ground but appreciate your offer.
    Considering what has and is still to transpire in my opinion I would be very reticent to admit to knowing Carter too well.
    The countenanced yolk and that sort of thing……….

    Insidious he was, charming he was but he was also a determined predator, with a single minded purpose in his initial gentleness, abusing his position of power in a contrived (his) sexual situation which he was allowed to reinvent at St Quainton’s.
    In South Africa the Law is very clear about abuse of power and authority over a (child) victim and this case most vile in loco parentis and relative safety with the mores and lack of communication of the 1950s.

    Unless you have had recent face to face contact with Carter and discussion with his wife, family and victims think hard about Carter being decrepit and the degree of frailty and need for mitigation.

    Fortunately at this juncture it has nothing to do with any incorrect perception of suffering, leniency or what is deserved as it is entirely reliant on Judge White making his decision.

    From one whose grandmother lost 5 siblings in the great British invention at Koffiefontein concentration camp in 1901(before Adolf, Herman and Heinrich) and to balance that, whose great uncle died as a Chaplain in Dellville Wood, in a last heroic act:

    Serenus has it so correct about private schools being the masters of spin, never apologize, never explain—with the CT Headmaster now claiming there is no record of Carter’s misdemeanour.
    Because it works for the system to have no record. The Nazis only failing being their meticulous ruinic scripts presenting all detail to poor Airey Neave and his fellows for prosecution.
    In Carter’s case he and his clergy cronies did not expect documentation from so long ago from a victim but sadly there was no pen and paper in Nazi camping facilities. Maybe that allowed some Nazis a pardon.

    I apologize again, apart from your admonishing from an incorrect premise Adrian you have not been clear on my writing of 5 days ago.

  9. I have read this news reports and subsequent comments with great sadness. I was not a pupil at Quainton Hall by my two boys attended the school until we emigrated to Australia in 2009. Can I say for the record that the Quainton Hall School described by the contributors bears no resemblance to the school my sons attended. The bullying and abusive culture described does not exist today. The former headmaster – Mr Bannister presided over a wonderful school, with dedicated staff who gave outstanding love and support to their charges. The academic performance and culture of the school was second to none. Whatever evils may have existed in the past – please let no reader or contributor think or believe that they reflect the modern Quainton Hall.

  10. Malcolm,
    I am so happy for you.

    You sound like an earlier generation of parents and Carter’s closest until the victims Revelation.
    Those in the UK laid charges but for logistical reasons not the initial SA victim reporting Carter. It took decades for those Quainton H victims to disclose their experience.
    One is not sure if in your Australia there is the same lack of internet as my greatgrandfather experienced before emigrating from Hobart in 1895 but there are myriad sites of clerical abuse, legislation changes forlimitations and the churches latest stand on priest discipline. Take care.
    Let us wait for Tuesday and the Harrow court decisions.

  11. Dickie Dale

    I have no idea what point you are trying to make. I do not know Carter or any from that generation. I am simply posting to say that the current school and its staff are very different from what went before. I have nothing further to add.

  12. 3.5 years for how many victims, for how many years. He has to survive to ponder his actions.

    This is for Glen and others who did not survive those of his ilk.


  13. I welcome Malcolm’s comments. I was at QHS between 1953 and 1962, my father taught there from 1970 – 1972 and there was no bullying in those days or years. QHS has an excellent reputation and always will. As I have said on many occasions I certainly do not condone what Carter has done. Reading your rants over the last few days I really wonder whether you are of mentally sound mind. I don’t even believe that you are the real victim from St George’s Grammar School..

  14. I cannot of course speak for the way Quainton Hall is run now – but I can assure you that in my time there from 1965-74 there was most certainly an endemic culture of bullying. I know because I was on the receiving end of it, and I know others who were too; I can only say that it was a school in which a lot of boys – a minority, I am sure, but a decent number nonetheless – spent their days in an environment of fear. Frankly, I do not know whether anyone connected with any school can say with confidence that there was no bullying there – the experience is too general. I certainly know contemporaries who took years to expunge the effects of the routine bullying at that school.

    It appears that sentencing has been deferred yet again. As I said in my main piece, my concern is far less with retribution against Carter than in ensuring that the institutions that turned a blind eye to his activities, and thus allowed him to continue, are called to account.

  15. So, I am one of the QHS victims – and was in court today.

    At least 3 additional victims were in the public gallery who disclosed their abuse privately but did not come forward. The judge did not mince his words. 6 of us – our lives gravely affected – not just by the degrading sexual abuse but by the control and manipulation which instilled fear and destroyed our trust in human kind. As the judge said, “you thought you’d got away with it and have had led a fulfilling life while your victims suffered mental pain for decades”. Jailing a bone cancer suffering frail 84 year old for 3.5 years who will not live to see out his sentence and who will no doubt not be enjoying his welcome to the sex offenders wing of Wandsworth nick was a step the judge did not take lightly – it was a death sentence – the clanking of his chains as he was sent down, amplified by the speakers on maximum volume so he could hear proceedings, was poignant.

    Sadly, our identities are confidential – shame, given that if it was disclosed who 3 of his victims were it would cause horror – as it did in court. Not to mention the full extent of the sexual abuse suffered by some victims which were allowed to lie on file unproven.

    My guess – the victims ran into hundreds……

    The man was an evil paedophile with whom justice caught up just before it was too late. He destroyed many of our lives, his own family and with the blind eye philosophy of QHS destroyed the reputation of the school – a school which to this day has not uttered a single word of apology to any of us. QHS of the 1970s may be a different place to today but then again I’m not so sure……..

    To the apologists who think he’s too old to go to jail, I say see how you’d feel if it was your kids. Don’t you ever dare to take his side over the victims.

    May Carter rot in hell and never again see the light of freedom

    • I remember your name and I live in South Africa now. Its a great pity all the names weren’t given out in court. (My name has been changed so that I remain confidential !!) Why did you not come forward earlier ? I certainly do not condone what he has done but I do not agree that a jail sentence was appropriate – I wrote a letter of mitigation to the judge as well as a close friend of mine who is a judge (although Judge White would not have known that)

    • As an after thought now that Leslie has been convicted, I do agree that QHS through the Shrine of Walsingham , its owners and governors should unreservedly apologise to those abused by Carter. Although the current headmaster would not have even known Leslie, the Headmaster responsible for hiring Leslie, Peter Milner (who is still alive as far as I know, should also personally apologise to those who suffered under Leslie. I did not know that Leslie is dying of bone cancer but in any case he should not have received any jail sentence. THat’s my own personal view and I can certainly understand those abused who appear very angry. Nazi war criminals did not receive jail sentences and these crimes cannot be considered anywhere near nazi crimes.

  16. My father taught at the school in the 70’s (my name is confidential as well) and there was certainly NO bullying when I was at the school in the 50’s and 60’s. I do not agree that Leslie got any jail sentence. Why did you not come out earlier why did you take so long to contact the police. I will be tracking Dickie Dale down in Cape Town – he’s a winp and a nobody !!! You daren’t expose yourself Dickie – will you !!!

  17. Adrian

    I suggest you get buggered when you were 7 years old, get threatened with expulsion if you divulge anything, suffer (in my case) 3 years of abuse that ran into tens of occasions, harbour the secret for years and have to live with the guilt and shame of what he did all my adult life. Carter continues to show not one second of remorse. And you have the gall to say this man should walk free simply because he is now old and not as bad as a Nazi. Do let me rape your children and ask for your no doubt forthcoming mercy. What sort of do-gooding creep are you?


  18. PS Why do you think any of us left it so long to come forward: (1) It is personally harrowing to re-live the experience; (2) at the outset no one knew if anyone else would come forward to build a believable case; (3) a dgree of adult maturity is needed to be comfortable being outed and discussing the matter in public; (4) society’s disgust and desire to see justice done to paedophiles has change dover the years

    As the judge said “Carter had letters of support – they were from people who knew one side of him, they DID NOT know the whole man”

  19. Stephen.

    You are a brave man and I admire you intensely. When the letter came that MET wanted my help after nearly ten years they could–and maybe you saw–take all my childish diary, notes, pictures, anything.

    As you say about the other 3 –HORRIFIC. There is nothing more to say because I have said it all above.

    Had always wanted to have contact with you and a maybe DC R will give you my e-mail. Sadly all I have written is true, the Nazi thing,lived withat for years. You were threatened with expulsion the CT school has the same attitude.
    Know a m

    • Dicky dale

      If you asked dc r to pass my details on to you I’d be happy to be in contact – you’ve probably figured out who I am- as indeed would the rest of the victims. We had a distinctly therapeutic group beer last night, although sadly our club is losing its exclusivity factor!

  20. If only they had listened as we tried. Forget those that threaten to “track (you) down” and make puerile comments about “nobody”, really exposes so.
    Even on this blog no alias is safe and tomorrow I will be phoning my buddy Gerhardt at VIP Protection, maybe my son, the Microsoft susidiary computer genius. Do not rise to threats in the public domain easily.
    Tiresome this repetitive “why did you wait so long”. who actually cares but you justified your reasons so well.
    I did not wait so long but only when MET letter finally came about you could we move forward with my written and factual evidence. Thanks.
    Talk to DC R we must have contact–she can get any permission you may require.

  21. Serenus,

    Dont know why Stephen’s latest has not come up here. Glance in and out as I answer all the supportive e-mail. It is in your “comments”.

    My sincere thanks for this blog, as an academic and former UCT Dept Head (nobody!) with a family of leading legal and clergy (true!)professionals and UK publisher of note–sorry Whig–I appreciate the quality and informativeness of your writing beyond this now tedious subject.

    More than that I could not get to UK Court, initially had another dose
    of mild kidney failure and dont fly. I have already mailed the Met to get Stephens e-mail. Thank you for putting us in touch inadvertantly.
    Tomorrow Ian Evans writes in the Cape times.
    Really think I must put you in touch with my son to sort out this bloody thing closing all the time! u have my mail address.
    Regards RD (Really my name)

  22. Todays report in the Johannesburg Star points out that Carter’s wife threw him out of their Warminster home after the latest allegations.

    ‘nough said.

    My wife would have used the 357 magnum

  23. To the writer of the original blog
    I read your article about Carter and confirm everything you say about Quainton Hall being the horrendous place you describe. Me and my two brothers were at the school in the late 60s and 70s and I witnessed the actions of Carter and unfortunately know two of his victims, chosen to be his ‘favourites’. I can confirm that this has caused immense pain throughout the years and ramifications beyond those he directly abused. Quite frankly, I think Carter’s sentence is too short for all the pain he caused and he deserves to die in jail. I am only sad he was able to enjoy 40 or 50 years of freedom, which is something he has denied his defenceless victims.

  24. I have only very recently been reading about the Carter case. It came as a shock that I was not the only boy being abused. I have given a statement to the Police today about the damaging events that coloured my childhood at Quainton Hall School. I was a pupil right through the school, from the days of Fr Mont Eyden to Mr Peter Milner. I was on the receiving side of Fr Leslie Carter’s sexual attentions. However it was Mont who affected much more sexually both in the school, at his home in Sevenoaks and in his house in Italy. I too was in the Confraternity and the Scouts remaining involved with the school many years after I left there as a pupil.
    Mont has died, Leslie is very ill and there is no mileage in following things through to further prosecution. I would be interested in knowing if there are other men out there who were abused by Fr Eyden. I was severely bullied by a parent not to tell anyone about the abuse I was getting at QHS.I have now spoken about it for the very first time. I left the school in 1970 only to find myself once again preyed upon my a teacher in my new school. The Police have asked me to give another witness statement about this second ordeal. It took place in Buckinham College School, just down the road from Quainton at a time teachers from QHS had moved to teach at Buckingham College. Please be aware that my name has changed for obvious reasons while I continue this conversation. Please reply.

    • Max, thank you for this – I appreciate that it must have been difficult for you to write. I never heard of any specific allegations against Eyden but, thinking back, it doesn’t surprise me; I remember his displays of affection for certain boys. I have also been aware that there has in recent months been a string of cases involving allegations that priests abused boys in their care in that period in the North West London area and it makes me wonder whether something far more pervasive was at work here.

      I had thought – and hoped – that Carter’s conviction would have provided the end of this affair. It is deeply sad to hear that it has not.

  25. I was at QHS from 63 to 70 and was never aware of Carters predilections. I am very happy to attest to the culture of teachers bullying pupils who were not the brightest of the bright and i can remember a child being tied to a chair with a sign DUNCE around his neck, and this for spelling mistakes. My recollections are that behaviour like this was common, as was belittling and humiliation.

    This may have been typical of many schools at that time, which certainly does not excuse it, but it took me many years and much hard work and pain on my behalf to come out the other side – and i would have been well into my 40’s before i felt finally free of that poison.

    As for “Monte” i have clear recollections of being stroked on the back of the legs prior to being hit there. I was a reclusive child at that time having learnt early to fly under the radar and i remember clearly avoiding him. You would not have got me on a scout camp for all the tea in…… whether that counts as abuse – to be frank – i have no interest in pursuing.

    I would like to express my support for those who have revealed this sordid period. The lapse in time is no barrier to justice for them and my respect and best wished go to them.

    I have used an alias as i really do not want to delve any deeper and I only came upon this as it was pointed out to me quite by accident.

    • I was at QHS from 62 to 67. There was a culture of bullying in the school which I luckily managed to avoid. Eyden, with his missing finger, hooked nose and swirling priest’s cassock, frightened the hell out of me. I was a particular favourite of his -he called me ‘terrible Davy’ – and regularly I was summoned to his study with its weird traffic light system for a game he called Oranges and Lemons. This was a scripture test between the two dunces of Scripture to decide which one was due a beating with his slipper (an evil device with leather taws on the sole). I invariably lost and he proceeded to lay me over lap and, after stroking and fumbling while breathing heavily and murmuring, whacked me on the thigh three or four times. This was in the days of short trousers. This happened many times and I dreaded it.
      I also remember him drying us after swimming in the classroom – there were no changing rooms in those days.
      He was a strange man and even despite the cruel private school culture of the times, he crossed the boundaries. He hid behind his piousness and religious zealotry as cowards do.
      My identity has been changed.

  26. Pingback: Mental health and Brighton and Hove politics | Notes from a Broken Society

  27. I was at QHS between 1967 and 1975. I was not abused by Carter but must have been on his shortlist. I was selected for the choir and remember occasionally being invited to his house with a few other boys for sweets. I also had to share a tent with him and several boys on a trip to Walsingham, and to make my first confession with him. I remember boys singing songs about Carter in shared knowledge that he was a paedophile. Although he always gave me the creeps, I didn’t find him the most disturbing figure at the school. That was Peter Milner, by far. I also remember boys being abused verbally and physically by a female teacher for failing to eat the disgusting lunches we were served. On one occasion a boy vomited up his lunch and was forced to eat the resulting mess from his plate. The result was to instil total fear. The system of school prefects was also designed by Milner to encourage boys to inform on others and to wield arbitrary power. A horrible place.

  28. I was at Quainton Hall between, I think, 1964 and 1969. Carter was my form master in his first year there. Farter Carter, we called him.
    As others have reported, many of us were aware that he was not a man to be trusted in any way. There was gossip that he had been ‘in some sort of trouble’ before coming to the school, but nothing more specific than that. He could be vicious, but in that sense he was completely unexceptional in the school. Violence was just part and parcel of the way the school operated. The teacher most feared was a man called Fraser, but Smith and Ghaleb were fearsome, too. Board rubbers would be thrown at boys’ heads, ears were sadistically twisted, boys’ hair would be pulled so hard that the boy would topple over to the floor still trapped in his old-fashioned desk (the kind where desk and seat were joined). One boy in my class who suffered extremes of anxiety and pulled out his hair was forced to wear boxing gloves to stop him pulling out his hair. Teacher (but we called them ‘masters’) violence of this kind was completely normalised: it would never have crossed my mind to talk to my parents about it.
    Presiding over all this was the headmaster, Father Montague Eyden. I got my first beating from him at the age of 5: my crime was refusing to eat my peas at lunchtime. Over the years, the beatings came regularly. They took place in his office at lunchtime. And you had to queue up along with other offenders and wait your turn for punishment. If your crime was negligible (such as a low score in a spelling test) you could get the spanking out of the way quite quickly. But if you were a more serious offender, you would be sent to the back of the queue, to be dealt with last. Punishment ranged from a few slaps with his hands, to a cane, to what we called ‘the pointy slipper’ (which another person has already mentioned). The blows would be struck either on the offender’s hand or, bending over, on the bottom, and, for serious offences, with your shorts down to your ankles.
    It never crossed my mind that this man’s behaviour, as far as the beatings were concerned, was anything other than normal. But my naïve mind felt very uncomfortable when it came to swimming lessons. As ‘David jones’ recalls, Eyden would often insist on drying us after swimming lessons. We had to change back into school clothes in the classroom. Eyden would pick a boy, usually just when he’d taken off his swimming trunks, tell him to come to the front of the room, and dry his hair. I found that much more humiliating than the beatings.
    Abuse was endemic.
    Carter got away with it for a long time. By 1979 / 1980 (when I saw him on a street in Brighton), I knew that he’d left QHS, I had heard that he had been defrocked and his paedophilia was an open secret. Many people, including Eyden (who didn’t die until 1988), must have known what Carter had been up to. He could only have got away with it for so long because people like Eyden had a vested interest in keeping quiet.
    Like Peter (above), I’d like to express my support to those who suffered more than I did.

  29. I was one of his victims. I was a pupil at QHS from 1961 to 1970. You will find my name on the list of head choirboys in the chapel (if it still exists – I don’t know).

    I have the greatest respect for the poor chap whose life was so messed up by Carter’s filthy habits that he went to the police and set in chain the events that led to Carter’s eventual arrest and prosecution.

    I write this some eight years after Carter’s imprisonment. I do not know whether he is still alive but I suspect not. His eternal fate will be decided when he meets his God, whomsoever that may be.

    One good thing about QHS was that John Frazer (may he rest in peace) taught us the essentials of English grammar. My English teacher at Merchant Taylors’ said that he could recognise a former QHS pupil by the quality of his command of our language.

    I remember Phillip Kerr and Neil Schofield, who were the same age as my younger brother. I believe that I know who Peter is.

    If anyone else is of a mind to initiate a class action against the trustees of the charity who own and profit from QHS, do please feel free to contact me. It’s time that they atoned for their part in this cover-up.

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