The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

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michael scuffil
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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:57 pm

I suppose everyone has their own response to the regime, and it depends on various things. For a start, the elite at CH was not a sporting elite but an academic elite with their posh uniforms. This filtered all the way down, and if you were on an A form and first set for everything you had status. Then there was the home background: if you came from a home that was indifferent to religion and unaware of middle-class values, you didn't take the pieties of CH too seriously, especially if you were an academic high-flier (see above). I made my contempt for team games well known (I started a joke movement for 'co-operative rugger' (without competition)), and my views on CH-style religion were also well-known. I personally experienced no bullying, and I only heard three credible reports of sexual abuse by teachers (all of whom were removed in short order by Seaman, for whom sexual purity was a crusade). I'm talking about the standard form of sexual abuse, of course. The far more prevalent form was corporal punishment, as I've said in this forum a few times before. And that was legal -- nothing specifically CH about it.
My main complaint about CH is that life became so cushy that in the end it was corrupting. It took me about four years after I left to grow up, more or less.
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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by rockfreak » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:22 pm

Alterblu, you're misquoting me. It wasn't me who said that I had an awful time of it at CH. Actually I coped pretty well all things considered. But I understand those who did have an awful time of it. My parents always said that CH had changed me although they wouldn't say in what way. So for many years I wandered around like Josef K in Kafka's The Trial with this mysterious, unknown allegation hanging over me. Only after reading Nick Duffell's books The Making of Them and Wounded Leaders did light bulbs start going on in my head. Nick (with whom I've started a dialogue on his website) is an ex-boarder and psychotherapist who treats something called Boarding School Survivor Syndrome. Co-incidentally a lady called Dr Joy Scheverian was exploring the same territory independent of Nick. And being European I imagine she had the virtue of being able to view the English class system with a clear eye. I've had it said to me that I'm emotionally contained and hard to know. To some extent I think this may have contributed to the breakdown of my marriage some years ago (although my ex and I are are good terms now). The damage can hit people later on in life, and it's taken me a lifetime to work this out.
Helen started a thread called "The Making of Them" about Nick's book. She is anti boarding schools. Michael Scuffill is pro. They both had different experiences. Nick Duffell said that when you go away to these places "neglect is normalised". You go from the unconditional tactile love of the family to which every young child should be entitled to an institution where love as such can't exist (especially in today's world of sexual suspicion) and where the best you get is support from strangers conditional on your settling down. "Come on old chap, buck up! You'll get used to it." Inevitably you will have to dive down within yourself and bury your emotions, especially your capacity to love - or even in your teens your need to rebel and test yourself against your parents - also an important part of growing up. Interestingly, one of Nick Duffell's co-workers in his groups was a guy called Rob Bland who was at CH in the early 60s. Nick is fond of quoting the saying of an Amerindian tribe: "It takes a village to bring up a child."

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by alterblau » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:25 am

I apologise unreservedly to Rockfreak for my error in wrongly ascribing the quotation and have made an appropriate changes. But I believe the other points I made remain valid and I agree with almost all of Rockfreaks’ subsequent observations.

Two additional trite, but relevant, comments are:
- boys at CH were immensely variable in all respects, including their coping strategies, and
- a CH upbringing is an excellent alternative for certain children’s home/familial situations.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by rockfreak » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:40 pm

It sounds to me as if Michael Scuffil had the good fortune of a fairly relaxed regime under Page and Killer (who seems to have been quite the opposite in peacetime). In my last year I remember Nicholas Cox saying to me that he felt he was sitting on a volcano. I too felt that for much of my time the Sword of Damocles was hanging over me, perhaps in the shape of NT Fryer. Now I did say I wouldn't upset people by mentioning him again but so much depends on your housemaster and the regime in place. Fryer had his good points but I got the impression that he came from a narrow Welsh chapel background and of course he had a short fuse. I've never got on with narrow people: only broad ones, and by this time of my life I was resenting the constraints of the school - some actual, some metaphorical. Symbolically, on the day I left in July 1960 I jumped straight off the special at Victoria and hared off down the road to the massive Picasso exhibition that was causing so much interest. I needed an eyeful of glorious swirling Mediterranean colours and forms as a corrective to the greyness of the English boarding school.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Witness No. 19 sworn in today. So a 6 week trial is looking a possibility.
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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by peter2095 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:55 pm

How depressing is that. I know there is still more to come but so far 19 people whose parents trusted the school to protect their children have had to relive an awful ordeal that should never of happened
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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by marty » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:00 pm

peter2095 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:55 pm
How depressing is that. I know there is still more to come but so far 19 people whose parents trusted the school to protect their children have had to relive an awful ordeal that should never of happened
Without wanting to a) sound pedantic or b) downplay the number of victims, the number of witnesses is not necessarily the same as the number of victims.
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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:03 pm

marty wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:00 pm
peter2095 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:55 pm
How depressing is that. I know there is still more to come but so far 19 people whose parents trusted the school to protect their children have had to relive an awful ordeal that should never of happened
Without wanting to a) sound pedantic or b) downplay the number of victims, the number of witnesses is not necessarily the same as the number of victims.

Quite so, Marty.

.... and don't forget, there may well be witnesses for the defense after the prosecution case is put.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by richardb » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:18 pm

At the early stages of a trial such as this, the witnesses will usually be: (i) those who say offences have been committed against them; and (ii) those they first complained to, friends family etc.

There may also be witnesses of a formal nature, for example giving evidence of dates when complainants were at the school.

So the fact there have been 19 witnesses does not mean 19 people giving evidence that they have been abused.

Going back to the prosecution opening suggests that there were eight victims in total.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by peter2095 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Apologies, I probably wrote that too hastily without considering the facts about witnesses that you've both raised.
If it takes 87 muscles to frown, if i frown throughout the day, can that count towards my daily work out?

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by richardb » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:31 pm

No need for apologies. We all understand the sentiment you were expressing.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by LHA » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:35 am

Genuinely surprised at the lack of press coverage so far. Gary Dobbie appears more worried than before in his picture scuttling to court.

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by lvesey » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:10 am

Yes I am. The Karim trial seemed to have much more frequent updates. (Acknowledging what’s been said previously about press attendance/interest)

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by VerisonaLaw » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:51 am

The trial seems to be progressing with a number of witnesses having now given evidence. My last attendance was the reading out of the Police interviews with Husband and I believe the first Defendant (not sure if Husband or Dobbie) has now been sworn in....?

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Re: The trial of James Andrew Husband and Gary Dobbie

Post by richardb » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm

Thanks for the update.

I would expect the jury to retire to consider their verdicts at the end of next week or the beginning of the week after.

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