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West Midlands Police
UK News

Diocese: It's possible abuse case wasn't dealt with correctly

by Aaron James

It's responding to allegations from a child abuse victim, who has claimed a policeman tipped off the archdiocese about a paedophile priest before he was arrested, which enabled them to send him abroad to cover up his activities.

According to the BBC, the victim accused an officer of giving documents regarding James Robinson to the Archdiocese of Birmingham, prior to his arrest.

The victim claims the Archdiocese of Birmingham then sent James Robinson away in 1985, first to Ireland and then the United States.

Mr Robinson was eventually sentenced to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing boys in 2010, 25 years after the victim alleges the archdiocese moved Mr Robinson away.

Birmingham Archdiocese has said it is possible the case may not have been handled correctly, but that child protection has improved dramatically since the 60s, 70s and 80s when James Robinson was abusing children.

West Midlands Police has said it is investigating the victim's claims.

The victim told the BBC that the officer: "... passed on documents prior to the arrest of James Robinson to the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham and subsequently Robinson was spirited away, first to Ireland and then to America, given a stipend and simply told to stay out of the way.

"Given the fact that most of these priests were serial abusers why was it that the church kept on moving them from one parish to another hiding them?

"What we have here is the same thing that happened in Rotherham where those in power and in authority simply failed in their duty of care."

Jane Jones, head of safeguarding in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, told Premier: "The case of James Robinson is an old case, and it's possible that things weren't dealt with in the past as they would be now.

"The Church cooperated fully with the extradition process for James Robinson.

"These days we have very robust systems in place, and in fact the Catholic Church has had those systems in place since 2001.

"We've made huge efforts to show that it's possible to speak to somebody who isn't judgmental, who is prepared to listened, and will genuinely do what is required of them.

"I think the crucial thing about the Church is that it's accepted that things haven't always been right, sometimes matters may not have been dealt with as they should have been then, or as they would be now, but there's a genuine desire to do absolutely everything we can to make sure that good practice is in place, that those who are vulnerable are supported, and hopefully we can move on to be what we should be."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speaking to Jane Jones:

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