Chennai St George School Boys Sexual Molester-Patrick Matthews Freed

CBI delays action, UK man accused of child abuse set free

Arun Ram, TNN, Jun 18, 2010, 05.51am IST

CHENNAI: Patrick Matthews, the 63-year-old Englishman who was arrested in 2007 in the UK for allegedly sexually abusing several boys of a residential school in Chennai, has walked free, thanks to Indian bureaucracy’s delay.

A UK court on Wednesday let off Matthews, since India’s ministry of external affairs and the CBI, the Indian wing of Interpol, slept on a request from the Child Abuse Investigation Team of Gloucestershire Constabulary to allow a video deposition of the victims in India.

The case was dismissed citing a UK law that gives only ‘reasonable’ time to investigators to collect evidence while considering a person as an accused. Matthews was accused of abusing at least four boys in the age group of 10 to 14 years between 2003 and 2006 when he worked as a volunteer teacher at St George Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School.

The UK Crown Prosecution had sent an ‘international letter of request’ dated April 28 seeking permission to make the victims in Chennai depose before the Bristol crown court through video-conferencing. “The letter went back and forth between departments and we didn’t get a response from India,” Nigel Hatten, detective sergeant of Gloucestershire Constabulary, told TOI over phone. Matthews had joined St George School in 2003 through Batemans Trust, a UK-based NGO.

Chennai child abuse accused arrested in UK
on 02-08-2009 21:50

Patrick Matthews, a 62-year-old UK national accused of sexually abusing several boys of St George Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai between 2003 and 2006, has been arrested in UK.

A four-member team of Gloucestershire Constabulary was in Chennai for two weeks in June interviewing children and staff of the school, besides collecting evidence from a beachside retreat in Kovalam, near Chennai, where Matthews allegedly took the boys to.

After interviewing 14 children and 16 adults, the team concluded that Matthews, who worked as a volunteer in the school, had sexually abused at least nine students.

The UK-based Batemans Trust, through which Mathews had come to the school as a volunteer, had filed a complaint alleging that he sexually abused students at the school.

Matthews, who was arrested in the UK last year following a tip-off from Batemans Trust in 2007, was let out on bail since there was no evidence to link him with the alleged incidents.

The Crown Prosecution of the UK, through the Interpol had sent a letter rogatory on 28 November 2007 requesting permission for Gloucestershire Constabulary detectives to visit India to interview the victims and collect evidence.

It looked like Matthews would walk free when the Indian authorities delayed permission even after a reminder from the UK authoritises on 14 January 2008.

A couple of months later, the UK team got the nod and sent the four-member team in mid-June to Chennai under the Sexual Offences Act, 2003. The Act gives special powers to the state to prosecute its national who commits a sexual offence even outside the country.

During a preliminary inquiry conducted by the local police, some of the victims had said that Matthews, who doubled up as a tuition assistant and a cricket coach, used to take them to his room and sexually abuse them.

A report sent by CBI, the Indian arm of Interpol, to the UK authorities on 3 April 2007 said Matthews had repeatedly “misbehaved” with at least four boys of the boarding school. When contacted, the school authorities said they asked Matthews to leave the premises as soon as the first complaint came in.



3 Responses to Chennai St George School Boys Sexual Molester-Patrick Matthews Freed

  1. Children of a lesser God
    Two sickos made news in this state this week. While one pervert made himself an object of ridicule, the other exposed how lax the police is when it comes to the safety of children. So lackadaisical that a Dutch paedophile, who was arrested in 2002 for preying on children and abusing five of them in the Mahabalipuram orphanage he ran, was back in business after jumping bail. It’s because of a tip off from Interpol that he has been arrested — seven year later — for uploading child porn. And he still wants bail but so far has been refused by the courts while porn CDs continue to tumble out of his cupboard in his residence at Choolaimedu.

    Also called William Heum, he was so comfortable here that he had even sought Indian citizenship. So confident was he of not getting caught that after jumping bail in the Mahabalipuram case, he moved to Choolaimedu less than 50 kms away to victimize more children. How he had managed to stay or rather overstay on a tourist visa is a telling reminder of how casual our authorities are — paedophile or terrorist, everyone is welcome to Incredible India.

    Heum wants to go back to Netherlands while police here argues that unless action is taken against him for crimes committed here, they cannot deport him. After letting him walk free seven years ago, the police should let him go back to his country where he will at least be made to pay for his crimes. In January this year the UK police who arrested a 62-year-old British national, Patrick Matthews, on charges of sexually abusing several boys of a boarding school in Chennai over three years from September 2003, got no help in nailing him from the Chennai police even one year after his arrest.

    A report sent by the CBI to Interpol-UK on April 3, 2007, said Matthews was a volunteer with a UK-based charity, and had come here to teach at a school where he repeatedly “misbehaved” with at least four boys. That included molesting them at a retreat in Mahabaliupuram. In fact this heritage town is dotted with orphanages where travelling sex offenders from abroad reportedly congregate.

    It could be anyone
    Child abuse is a silent terror inflicted on innocent children by sick adults. This year, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has registered 31 cases of child sexual abuse while last year, 24 were notified. It must be the tip of the iceberg because even as the media highlighted 56-year-old William Heum’s shocking activities over the last 30 years, a bike rider dragged an 11-year-old, whom he had offered a lift, into a park in Nandanam to molest but had to flee after his victim’s cries for help brought the police there.

    “Most of the crimes are committed by family members, neighbours or persons known to the victim,” says CWC chairperson Dr P Manorama. A few days ago, a 15-year-old girl, who lived with her mother on a platform at Egmore Railway station, was raped by a relative. Although the girl was willing to go to the police, the mother stopped her fearing ‘repercussions’, says Manorama.

    When about 100 volunteers braved a Sunday rain to take out a rally against child sexual abuse, the message they sent out is that the government should come out with a comprehensive law to stop child molesters. “The awareness level is growing in the city. But everyone – friends, family, neighbours, teachers, professionals and government, should act before abuse occurs,” says Vidya Reddy of the Tulir Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse. Tulir has been lobbying with the government to amend laws and punish the abusers. “We only look at rape as a crime but there are hundreds of children who are tormented through other forms of sexual exposure,” she says.

    Just how easy it is for sex offenders to go scot-free is illustrated by the fact that the child helpline started by the state’s Department of School Education (DSE) received only 34 complaints of abuse by teachers since 2006. People’s March, an NGO, received eight complaints of sexual abuse, which included two cases of rape by schoolteachers, last year alone. “Most people are not forthcoming. Such complaints rarely get registered,” says D Rajendran, joint director of the DSE. And the reason is there for all to see – such complaints don’t lead to commensurate action. Eight teachers got transferred and three got suspended. And that was the sum total of penalty for wrecking the lives of minors!

    Apparently any kind of authority is no help in guarding their kids, and that is why Chennai’s mums are networking with mothers of their children’s school friends and from their apartment complexes to take care of their children. So whether it is a picnic at the beach, tuitions or school programmes, mothers are chaperoning a gaggle of kids rather than sending them with a driver. “I trust other mothers to do the chaperoning when I am busy and in return I play chaperone when they are busy,” says Priya Krishnamurthy. All for one and one for all!

    Peccadilloes of Priests
    When Kareena Kapoor liplocked with then boyfriend Shahid Kapur, almost everyone with a mobile phone watched the MMS with voyeuristic delight. At least Kareena was a star – read that PDA (public demonstration of affection) is something people expect from her and her ilk – and was in a relationship with Shahid even if the couple had to put up with nudge-nudge wink wink from all and sundry. But now people are aghast, even scandalized at the latest MMS doing the rounds in the holy town of Kanchipuram. Apparently it’s a must watch on every teen’s list, not surprisingly, because of the preachy lectures on morality they have to endure.

    As it is, the Kanchi mutt is yet to completely shake off the murder allegation against the Shankaracharya and now a priest having sex in the sanctum sanctorum of the Machcheshwara Peruman temple in Kanchipuram — and that too with a succession of women and perverted enough to video-record it. As one of the characters on the sitcom “Everybody loves Raymond” says: “Holy crap!”

    Devanathan, 35, the chief priest has a wife and two teenage daughters, all of whom he compelled to go underground after the MMS started becoming the blockbuster all teens were watching. The police caught up with him this week after the Madras high court rejected his bail application forcing him to surrender before a Kanchipuram magistrate. And now his lawyer Tamil Selvan has come up with a disingenuous defence: “We are talking about a case on the basis of a news report. No one knows when and where the imagined incidents took place, and if the video was captured on a mobile phone and if so, whose phone is it.”

    Talk about bluster in what seems like an open and shut case. It appears that Devanathan – who performed archanas and poojas in between his alleged orgies – apparently encountered a malfunction on his mobile phone, on which he was recording his peccadilloes. There were 19 files in all — which means 19 separate cases — that ran for 90 minutes (even Paris Hilton only recorded one sexual encounter per scandal) that, going by the calendar on the wall, were recorded in June, July and August this year. He took the faulty mobile phone to Senthil Kumar of Krishna Radios, say Kanchipuram police. “After repairing the phone, Senthil was checking whether all applications on the phone were in order when he stumbled on the salacious video,” says the police. Senthil, who has been arrested, did what any voyeur would do. He recorded the video, returned the phone, and then made several copies of the video which began flying off the shelves. Who would buy an X-rated video in which the star was a half-balding priest? Well, you’d be surprised. And that’s how a priest became a porn star and Senthil became a producer.

  2. Mahesh says:

    Christian Pastors all over do this.

    Protect Indian Children mainly at Goa and Mahabalipuram.

    Is Sonia behind in protecting this RAPIST Christian Priest

  3. Eric Miranda says:

    I like your post. I came across your site while I was in the process of doing some studying using google. Just felt the urge to say I liked your site and to keep on doin what you’re doing. Dont forget.. enjoy the journey, don’t put too much emphasis on the destination. Smell ya later, Eric Miranda

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