Victim to sue church for counselling – not compensation

By Christine Lavelle

A MAN who claims he was raped by a priest is to sue the Catholic Church – for counselling.

Christopher Williams, 30, says he was abused by a churchman for five years during the 1990s, which started when he was only eight years old.

His abuser has since died, and Mr Williams claims he is not suing for compensation but to get the counselling he needs to get his over the ordeal.

The action comes after Pope Benedict XVI apologised to the victims of sexual abuse.

He expressed his “deep sorrow and shame” over the abuse scandal during his four day visit to the UK, almost two weeks ago. Continue reading

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Care home staff to be vetted after sickening sex attack

By Rory Reynolds

FULL background checks are to be carried out on all care home agency staff after a temporary worker carried out a sickening sex attack on an elderly patient.

All agency staff working in Edinburgh care homes will now be vetted after Kenyan immigrant Joseph Sinja – who had no qualifications and little training – was jailed for six years and eight months for the shocking attack.

Sinja subjected the 76-year-old woman to a vile sexual assault – while she held onto her walking frame.

She was later found shocked and in pain by another care worker, saying that the 32-year-old had “done things that her husband wouldn’t do”.

Speaking at Sinja’s sentencing, his lawyer described his client’s only training as “four days of following someone round”. Continue reading

Claims coach had girl’s period cycle on calendar

mitch dolphinBy Paul Thornton

A GYMNASTICS coach marked his star teenage pupil’s menstrual cycle on his calendar during a four-year campaign of sexual abuse, a court has heard.

Mitchell Dolphin, 51, kept notes of the young girl’s periods and even asked her mum if he could adopt her, it was claimed.

Mr Dolphin denies 22 charges of lewd and libidinous behaviour and sexual assaults on 14 girls and a boy who he trained at the gymnasium he ran in Loanhead, Midlothian between April 1986 and last year.

Giving evidence at his trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday) a girl who Mr Dolphin trained said he bought her gym equipment and took her to his home alone after sessions.

She said he would lay with her on his couch and move her against him and kiss her neck, as well as forcing her to sit on his knee while he drove her to competitions.
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Building boss jailed for “systematic” abuse

By Paul Thornton

A HIGH-FLYING construction boss has been jailed for five years over the systematic sexual abuse of two young girls.donald mcdonald

Donald McDonald, 65, abused the youngsters – who had been left in his care – over the course of three and a half years.

McDonald – who was described as holding a “senior position in the construction industry” – performed sickening sexual acts in front of one of the girls, who were aged as young as seven when the abuse began.

He also performed sexual acts on both girls at a flat in Edinburgh’s Citadel Court during the early 1990s.

And  at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he was jailed for a total of five years after a jury had earlier found him guilty of lewd and libidinous behaviour following a two week trial last month.

Continue reading

Record number of kids call Childline over sex abuse claims

By Karrie Gillett

DESPERATE children in Scotland are speaking out about sexual abuse more than ever before.

Worrying new figures have revealed that the number of calls from kids to a charity helpline has nearly doubled in the last three years.

And the shocking statistics reveal that 127 cries for help to Childline regarding sexual abuse are made by children under seven years old.

The figures from the NSPCC show that a record 2,849 children were counseled about sexual abuse in the last three years – the highest number in the charity’s 18-year history.

The service said that recent storylines in TV soaps had helped to make more children aware of what sexual abuse is.

Elaine Chalmers, head of ChildLine in Scotland said: “We believe calls have gone up partly because of awareness campaigns targeted at children like the NSPCC “Don’t Hide It” campaign.

“Child sex abuse storylines on programmes such as Eastenders also encourage children to speak out.

“As a result, more children now understand what sexual abuse is and are increasingly willing to turn to ChildLine for help.”

The telephone lifeline-– which has 14 bases around the UK –  is currently able to answer two-thirds of the 2.3m calls it receives every year.

Last year, the NSPCC launched a three-year appeal to raise £50m to expand the 24-hour service with the aim of ensuring every call gets answered.

The latest figures are a great cause for concern as they show an increase of 49 per cent in calls made about sexual abuse since the last figure of 1,908 in 2004-5.

Across the UK, the charity said 13,237 calls about sexual abuse were made to ChildLine – an increase of 53 per cent over three years.

And of this figure, the majority of children were being abused by someone they knew well – with 59 per cent claiming they were suffering at the hands of a family member.

A further 29 per cent said they had been sexually abused by someone else known to them, and of the thousands of children counselled, 61 per cent were aged twelve to fifteen.

Ms Chalmers added: “Every day, ChildLine receives dozens of harrowing calls about sexual abuse from children, some of whom are very young indeed.

“Children phone to talk in confidence about suffering different kinds of sexual abuse, the vast majority of the abusers being people they know, either within their families, or the wider family circle.

“ They dare not speak about it, or ask for help, for fear of the consequences. Many of them have been threatened or intimidated into silence. ”

The charity said the need for the helpline service has never been more obvious with the rising demand in kids who feel ready to speak out.

The NSPCC Child’s Voice Appeal hopes to raise enough funds to introduce new technology and more trained volunteers to man the phone lines.

Esther Rantzen, ChildLine founder and President, said the service urgently needed to be expanded so that every child could receive help.

She said: “These tragic calls come from children who have found the courage to ring a ChildLine counsellor. Yet there are many children whose cries for help cannot be answered because ChildLine simply does not have enough resources to answer every call.

“Our nightmare is the child who plucks up the courage to ring, fails to get through, and never dares try again.

“As a ChildLine counsellor, I have experienced first-hand these heart-wrenching calls from children who feel utterly alone until they make the call, I know the hope we provide these children literally saves precious young lives.”