Former Kincora boy speaks of ‘nightmare’ visit to notorious venue in south-west London
By Fiona O’Cleirigh | 18 May 2015
Kincora abuse survivor Richard Kerr today tells how he was first taken to Elm Guest House by a retired judge who sexually assaulted him there.
“He got a little violent, and he slapped me in a room, and other men came in. I think two or three, they did not come in all at once,” said Kerr. “My hands were tied behind my back, and I was put in a shape on the bed.”
“I think that someone took Polaroid shots.”
Kerr, who emigrated to America, has been speaking to Exaro since August 2013 but says that he has been fearful of allowing much to be reported of his experiences of sexual abuse as a boy inside and outside of Kincora boys’ home in east Belfast.
He agreed to appear on Channel 4 News last month to say that he was sexually abused at the notorious Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, and Dolphin Square, an apartment complex near Westminster. But he did not say anything in the report about who the alleged perpetrators were.
Today, he tells of his first visit to the guest house, and gives some background of the man who first took him there. He still did not want Exaro to name the man who, he says, sexually abused him, first in the north-west of England, and later at Elm Guest House.
Kerr tells how he was first abused as a young child in care at Williamson House in Belfast before moving to Kincora when he was 14.
“I was the youngest one at Kincora. They were not going to accept me in there because they are not supposed to accept boys until the age of 16 when they were able to work.”
Kerr says that he was sexually abused by Joseph Mains, the warden at Kincora who was later jailed for six years for sexual offences against boys at the home between 1960 and 1980.
“Gave me whisky or, like, scotch. That is what Joe drank. And he would tell me, ‘You have got a beautiful body.’”
“He said, ‘You could do me favours.’”
According to Kerr, he was sexually abused at Kincora, outside of the children’s home within Northern Ireland, and in the north-west of England, including bars and guest houses in Manchester and Liverpool.
“Most of these activities were done outside of the children’s homes,” he said. “The abuse starts in the children’s homes, but then the continuation of the abuse travels outwards.”
He says that he was then trafficked to London, and moulded into working, in effect, as a rent-boy for some years after leaving Kincora.
“It is not about sex for them, but more about money and control and power,” he said.
Kerr says that the barrister who had worked as a judge first sexually abused him as a 15-year-old in the north-west of England, and later brought him down to London and to Elm Guest House.
“He said that he was a judge, that he retired and he had to go to London,” said Kerr. “He had a deal with something there. We went over to Elm Guest House. That is where we stayed – out of the way.”
“I arrived there late at night. It was very scary,” recalled Kerr. “It was creepy, very creepy.”
On arrival, the barrister signed for a key to the property. “Money is paid down for three days, you received a key and a room for three days.”
He said that men used the guest house as a base to abuse boys after picking them up in central London.
According to Kerr, the barrister took him to a bedroom at the back of the guest house, before being joined by other men.
“Elm Guest House, that was a nightmare, that was a god-damned nightmare.”
He also said that MPs took under-age boys from well-known pick-up points in central London back to rented apartments at Dolphin Square for sexual abuse.
“I know for a fact that those MPs at Westminster, back in the 1980’s, were involved in this. They can deny it all they want. They can let on that they were angels. But I know, for 100 per cent sure, that they were not.”
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