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Litany of failure

By Amanda Gearing - posted Wednesday, 5 November 2014

TheBishop of Stepney gave Waddington a reference stating he was 'a devoted priest' with 'a special gift for dealing with boys'.

Waddington worked at a school in Warwick in southern Queensland, returned briefly to England and returned to Australia as headmaster of St Barnabas School in Ravenshoe, North Queensland, from 1961-1970, despite having no educational qualifications.

In 1964, Bim Atkinson, 9, was sent from a remote cattle station in far north Queensland to St Barnabas Boarding School where he gave evidence that he was brutally raped multiple times from 1964 to 1968.


A fellow student, Mark McClintock gave evidence that he was abused between 1968 and 1970.

A former teacher at the school, identified in the Report only by the code PG, also reported to the Inquiry that as a young man Waddington had committed sexual offences against him.

On his return to England in 1971 Waddington became a residentiary canon at Carlisle Cathedral and the bishop's advisor for education.

The aunt of a boy known only by his nickname 'Tweet' who was allegedly abused in Carlisle by Waddington, committed suicide in 1989.

Waddington was promoted to Dean of Manchester in 1984 where he was a governor on several school boards, including Chetham's Music School.

In the 1980s, Manchester Cathedral master of the choir Stuart Beer reported his concerns about the then Dean's relationship with Eli Ward, to the cathedral organist and choir director Gordon Stuart, who reported to the Cathedral Chapter.


No report was made to police. Waddington forced Eli Ward to resign from the choir.

The York Report found that more than three former Manchester Cathedral choirboys, Eli Ward, John Livesley, Ian palmer and others not named, were invited by Waddington to his house in York and that contact continued with them from 1993 when he retired until 2005 when he left York.

Judge Cahill found the men's evidence displayed 'a strikingly similarity in the overall nature of the alleged abuse' which she viewed as 'potentially deeply emotionally abusive as well as sexually abusive'.

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About the Author

Dr Amanda Gearing graduated with a Masters' Degree from QUT in 2012 and a PhD in Global investigative journalism in 2016. Amanda was The Courier-Mail's reporter in Toowoomba for ten years until 2007 and received several awards for her work including Best news Report (All Media) in 2002. She has written in Australia and the UK for national and state newspapers and has produced documentaries for ABC Radio National. In 2012 she won a Walkley Award for Best radio documentary for The day that changed Grantham. She also won a Clarion Award for her radio documentary A living sacrifice in 2013. Her non-fiction book The Torrent was published in 2012 and an updated edition will be published in February 2017.

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