Dobbie's departure

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CodFlabAndMuck
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:48 pm

Golfer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:46 pm
I actually thought it might alleviate the shock to some MidA OBs if it turned out that abuse did NOT occur in MidA during term time. This would not be inconsistent with the (admittedly incomplete) press reports of the trial.
As been mentioned by others, Dobbie retained considerable loyalty from his house for the most part, even at his trial.
I could believe that MidA in term time was exempt from abuse for a variety of reasons, but I am always prepared to change my mind if the facts change.
Had I been a member of MidA I would obviously now be in deep shock that my housemaster had been a serial abuser; however it might not be quite the same if none of my MidA friends had been abused and if any abuse had taken place elsewhere, or out of term. I do understand the strength and resonance of JR's testimony i.e. Webb had abused others in the very dorm that he himself had slept. My sympathies are with him and RB. And if members of MidA were abused, and it just didn't come out in the reporting, then I am happy to apologise to any such unhappy victims.
Dobbie abused for 13 years and was never caught.
We know he didnt keep it a secret to himself.
Quite remarkable given how many other teachers were moved on.
You were a fellow House Parent at a similar time I believe, so probably had quite a number of dealings with him: meetings with the HM etc
Are you able or willing tto provide any insights?
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:53 pm

Observer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:05 pm
What are you saying?

It was considerate of Dobbie not to abuse pupils in his own house during term time?

He at least had the decency to take his depravity elsewhere?
Neither. I am trying to understand what happened.

It is not inconsistent with Richard's latest reply that the person abused in Dobbie's flat was not a member of MidA.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:58 pm

I will ask.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by J.R. » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:55 pm

Let's be careful. We are starting to go round and round in circles.

I for one am glad to see Tim back on here and I fully appreciate how traumatic it must be for him.

Northern Ireland Catholic children's care homes seems to be the latest abuse stories of today with even Nuns being charged.
Oh well, the Poppit himself is over there this weekend. He'll get it all sorted !!

Oh - Hang on a minute. Sorry. Highly unlikely.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:17 pm

J.R. wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:55 pm
Let's be careful. We are starting to go round and round in circles.

I for one am glad to see Tim back on here and I fully appreciate how traumatic it must be for him.

Northern Ireland Catholic children's care homes seems to be the latest abuse stories of today with even Nuns being charged.
Oh well, the Poppit himself is over there this weekend. He'll get it all sorted !!

Oh - Hang on a minute. Sorry. Highly unlikely.
And one of the victims has said the most important thing for him, now his abuser has been convicted, is for the Church to tell the truth

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Scazza » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:22 pm

Golfer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:46 pm
I actually thought it might alleviate the shock to some MidA OBs if it turned out that abuse did NOT occur in MidA during term time. This would not be inconsistent with the (admittedly incomplete) press reports of the trial.
As been mentioned by others, Dobbie retained considerable loyalty from his house for the most part, even at his trial.
I could believe that MidA in term time was exempt from abuse for a variety of reasons, but I am always prepared to change my mind if the facts change.
Had I been a member of MidA I would obviously now be in deep shock that my housemaster had been a serial abuser; however it might not be quite the same if none of my MidA friends had been abused and if any abuse had taken place elsewhere, or out of term. I do understand the strength and resonance of JR's testimony i.e. Webb had abused others in the very dorm that he himself had slept. My sympathies are with him and RB. And if members of MidA were abused, and it just didn't come out in the reporting, then I am happy to apologise to any such unhappy victims.
When and where was the abuse happening, Tim?

Was it happening when you were a master of Peele A in 1989 and 90 when boys from our house were going round Dobbies chaplains house drinking on Sat nights?

It was only 200yds away. On your duty nights you were responsible for my whereabouts and other vulnerable lads. Do you hold some accountability or was it the awful governance at that time? Is Poulton accountable for that? Was it just the CH way?

Was abuse happening when boys were going round Dobbies house some years later after Gladding took over as house master of Peele B, as per @Grahams recollections?

Abuse was definitely happening after Dobbie was then given a House to rule over. Who was responsible for that decision? Poulton? Sillett? Cairncross?

It would be useful to have some empathy for the weird trauma of knowing a long compartmentalised part of your life was a place of even deeper vulnerability than we imagined at the time. Some of our pals weren't so lucky. I'll suffice with a few nightmares of Dobbies terrifying 1990 grin.

I had a more eloquent reply drafted but binned it. Happy to discuss by pm if you prefer. I mean no personal disrespect. Thank God Tom Jeffers was a good man and you and Mundham were decent, albeit mostly absent as monitors and layers of bullying ran the place.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by bakunin » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:42 pm

richardb wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:09 pm
I am informed by one of Dobbie's victims that he was convicted of abuse in his flat in MidA.
Doesn't surprise me at all. This is very consistent with rumours I heard, which I thought were too unbelievable the time (1996), involving someone in Mid A
Last edited by bakunin on Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Observer » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:54 pm

JR

I will heed your note of censure and accept Tim's clarification.

Dobbie's case incites a level of contempt in me that goes way beyond the disgust I feel for the other convicted paedophiles.

His dog collar symbolised a level of trust that was available to no other member of staff and he used it with evil calculation to feed his own perverted appetites. In the process he has added to the ever widening perception that priests should never be allowed anywhere near children (and I speak as a son of the cloth myself). Over the coming years he will be the cited example of a dark period that Christ’s Hospital will struggle to put behind it.

You mention the Pope in Ireland. I happen to be writing this from my holiday bolthole on the west coast of Ireland ahead of what is going to be a wretched weekend for the Catholic Church. Is it an exaggeration to say there are parallels? The behaviour of the C of E (Dobbie, Ball, Carey, et al) is every bit as shameful albeit on a smaller scale.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:17 pm

Observer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:54 pm
JR

I will heed your note of censure and accept Tim's clarification.

Dobbie's case incites a level of contempt in me that goes way beyond the disgust I feel for the other convicted paedophiles.

His dog collar symbolised a level of trust that was available to no other member of staff and he used it with evil calculation to feed his own perverted appetites. In the process he has added to the ever widening perception that priests should never be allowed anywhere near children (and I speak as a son of the cloth myself). Over the coming years he will be the cited example of a dark period that Christ’s Hospital will struggle to put behind it.

You mention the Pope in Ireland. I happen to be writing this from my holiday bolthole on the west coast of Ireland ahead of what is going to be a wretched weekend for the Catholic Church. Is it an exaggeration to say there are parallels? The behaviour of the C of E (Dobbie, Ball, Carey, et al) is every bit as shameful albeit on a smaller scale.
I find the cynical abuse of both the dog collar and trusted teacher particularly contemptible
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:31 pm

Much to ponder for me and the school, Ross. I wish I had done something to help but I didn't and that's something I have to live with.
In response to CodFlabAndMuck I would say that MidA from the outside seemed a house which was popular with the boys. In addition I had the impression that it came to have tutors who were sympathetic and sensitive, which ought to help guard against abuse by someone in power.
As a housemaster of a girls' house at the other end of the avenue I had little to do with Dobbie and we were probably colleagues rather than friends. But I was shocked at the news of his trial and conviction as I had no inkling of any such issues from MidA - one of the reasons I was pressing on whether there was abuse in the house itself.
I would add that house parents did invariably focus on their own houses as there were still 25 periods to teach as well as running the place and dealing with the myriad issues that cropped up daily.
IIRC my understanding is that the evidence of Dobbie's actual abuse of boys emerged only recently after the publicity surrounding the initial female victim, not from any disclosures at the time or at the time of his departure (which was after I had left).
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Mid A 15 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:36 pm

And continuing the theme of 'betraying the dog collar:'

That awful Chaplain who did nothing when a vulnerable, distressed victim pleaded in vain for help as graphically and harrowingly described on here.

I am no lawyer so my terminology may be incorrect but surely that Chaplain was guilty of gross misconduct under any contract of employment and thus should be deprived of any accrued benefits such as future pension rights even if retrospectively.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:43 pm

Golfer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:31 pm
Much to ponder for me and the school, Ross. I wish I had done something to help but I didn't and that's something I have to live with.
In response to CodFlabAndMuck I would say that MidA from the outside seemed a house which was popular with the boys. In addition I had the impression that it came to have tutors who were sympathetic and sensitive, which ought to help guard against abuse by someone in power.
As a housemaster of a girls' house at the other end of the avenue I had little to do with Dobbie and we were probably colleagues rather than friends. But I was shocked at the news of his trial and conviction as I had no inkling of any such issues from MidA - one of the reasons I was pressing on whether there was abuse in the house itself.
I would add that house parents did invariably focus on their own houses as there were still 25 periods to teach as well as running the place and dealing with the myriad issues that cropped up daily.
IIRC my understanding is that the evidence of Dobbie's actual abuse of boys emerged only recently after the publicity surrounding the initial female victim, not from any disclosures at the time or at the time of his departure (which was after I had left).
Thank you for sharing your memories of the time and for your candour.

And try not to be too hard on yourself
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by CodFlabAndMuck » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:00 pm

Mid A 15 wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:36 pm
And continuing the theme of 'betraying the dog collar:'
I was prepared for confirmation by Porteous and Dobbie, and confirmed by Ball.

You couldnt make it up
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by bakunin » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:32 am

"Father Porteous" sounds like a character from Father Ted. I don't remember him from my time there. Perhaps his quirk would be denying everything.

That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:17 am

Golfer wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:31 pm
Much to ponder for me and the school, Ross. I wish I had done something to help but I didn't and that's something I have to live with.
In response to CodFlabAndMuck I would say that MidA from the outside seemed a house which was popular with the boys. In addition I had the impression that it came to have tutors who were sympathetic and sensitive, which ought to help guard against abuse by someone in power.
As a housemaster of a girls' house at the other end of the avenue I had little to do with Dobbie and we were probably colleagues rather than friends. But I was shocked at the news of his trial and conviction as I had no inkling of any such issues from MidA - one of the reasons I was pressing on whether there was abuse in the house itself.
I would add that house parents did invariably focus on their own houses as there were still 25 periods to teach as well as running the place and dealing with the myriad issues that cropped up daily.
IIRC my understanding is that the evidence of Dobbie's actual abuse of boys emerged only recently after the publicity surrounding the initial female victim, not from any disclosures at the time or at the time of his departure (which was after I had left).
To follow on (rather than in way argue with) what is said here, the public revelation of Dobbie's wrongdoing was delayed until the police became involved. What was later disclosed to the police was originally disclosed to the school's child protection officer who did nothing with the information.

When the police were told what had gone on it led to the disclosures that Dobbie has been convicted for.
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