Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Inquiry calls into abuse complaints on Caldey Island

The monk Brother Thaddeus Kotik who has since died.

There are calls for an independent inquiry into allegations of historical sexual abuse at an abbey on Caldey Island off Pembrokeshire.

It's understood six women were paid compensation following claims against a monk - Thaddeus Kotik in the 70s and 80s. But it's feared there could be more potential victims.

Police say they did receive reports of historic sexual abuse but could not proceed with a prosecution because the monk died in 1992.

Now a support group, Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, says an independent investigation should take place and the abbey should apologise.

More: Police confirm Caldey Island child abuse claims

It is feared Kotik abused others who have not come forward.

Six women have received an out of court settlement, after claims they were abused by the monk Father Thaddeus Kotik when they visited the island as children in the 1970s and 80s.

Three of them shared their experiences with Australian journalist Amanda Gearing:

The effect of the abuse on these women has been particularly severe - partly because of the threats made against them which separated them from their parents.

The offender told them that if the children reported what was happening their parents would not want them anymore and would leave them on the island with him

– Journalist Amanda Gearing
Caldey Island Abbey. Credit: ITV Wales

It is claimed Brother Thaddeus Kotik groomed, and sexually assaulted the children of families staying on the island and although they spoke out at the time, no formal action was taken.

It wasn't until almost thirty years later the crimes were brought to the attention of the police. By that time, Kotik had been dead for two decades.

Dyfed-Powys Police told ITV News that "Appropriate professional support was offered and the matter was drawn to a close."

Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that in 2014 and 2016 it received reports of non-recent sexual abuse that occurred at Caldey Island with the named offender being the deceased Thaddeus Kotik.

These reports were recorded as crimes and victims contacted by police. During the investigation, information was obtained to confirm that the perpetrator was deceased and therefore a prosecution was not possible.

Dyfed-Powys Police always encourages anyone who has suffered abuse to come forward and report it by calling 101.

– Dyfed Powys Police

The Children's Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, says although action should be taken, it's too early to call for an enquiry.

"I've been in contact with the National Catholic Safeguarding Advice Service and also have written directly to the abbey on Caldey Island to seek reassurance that they are following the Catholic churches national safeguarding policies and procedures on child protection."

The victims believe they're not alone. and that Kotik - who lived on the island for 45 years - abused others.

ITV News has contacted Caldey Abbey for comment but has not yet had a response.

More on this story