Some of you may be aware that Father Robert MacKenzie is currently being held in custody in Inverness on charges of assault relating to his time at Fort Augustus and Carlekemp. Fr Robert, now in his eighties and in poor health, was a monk at Carlekemp until it closed when he moved to Fort Augustus and took over the Calder (Junior) housemaster position.
Fr Robert’s solicitors are asking if there any OBs who are willing to provide a character reference on his behalf. The events around Fort Augustus, which have appeared in the press and have been reported to the Scottish Child Abuse Enquiry, has disturbed many OBs. Yet there are many OBs whose memories and lives were not tainted by these allegations and events and who would be happy to report honestly their experiences at the schools. They are entitled to report on their positive experiences. This does not detract in any way from the memories and experiences of those who suffered at the hands of specific individuals and whose lives have subsequently suffered. Our legal system considers both sides fairly and those who have experiences on both sides of any argument are entitled to report honestly and without recrimination. It would be an unjust system which only allowed one party to provide their evidence.
Therefore, any OBs who wish to provide a character reference on behalf of Fr Robert is invited to contact his solicitors. When contacting the solicitors, please state which years you were at Carlekemp/Abbey;
Craig Wood Solicitors Ltd
23 Academy Street
Inverness IV1 1JN
or to contact the corbie website directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separately, if there are any OBs who have photographs of Father Francis Davidson and are willing to share them with Fr Robert’s solicitors, they are welcome to pass these on through the corbieweb email address above.