5th December 2012Dear Mr Fleming,Thank you very much for your recent correspondence to us, the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg.We are truly saddened and shocked by your plight. Please rest assured that we take child projection issues very seriously.We understand that you have people working on your behalf at the present time and wish you well.Yours sincerely,Sandra Von Esebeck and Elizabeth Graybrook (Joint Chairwomen)On behalf of the committee of the British Ladies Club of Luxembourg
I just wanted to inform the entire world that I am still awaiting an official response from the BLC concerning paedophilia and specifically Les Woodhall. Silence is not good.
I see that you performed at the Lycée Hubert Clement in Esch in 2011. Is this right? Do you really think it’s wise that you perform in places where there are boys that would possibly lead you into temptation? I am sure it’s all their fault anyway since they are the ones that probably seduce you, right? You just can’t help yourself. I don’t think that was wise Leslie. Here is a picture of you at the play.
I am sorry Les but every time I see a photo of your hands bad memories come to mind (I am sure that’s the case for many men/boys now). I still remember what they feel like.
I just wanted to update everyone that I am still waiting for an official response from the BLC of Luxembourg concerning paedophilia and more specifically Leslie Woodhall and his enabling wife Linda.
This is the letter that Les sent me in 1999 after I confronted him in his house in the presence of his wife Linda. I know there are people in the English-speaking community in Luxembourg and Germany who doubt Les’ crimes but this is his confession to me. Like I said before, people have known about his crimes for years, including his wife Linda.
My name is Robert Fleming. I grew up with British parents in Luxembourg. I was sexually abused by Leslie Woodhall from 1989-1990. I was 11 years old when this happened. This happened shortly after my father committed suicide. I will not go into how his abuse to me has tormented me for years and how the effects of the abuse have changed me but let me tell you it was life-changing. It is not something you can just stop thinking about and “get over” – it is soul changing and devastating. I am not saying that healing is not possible, it is. However, it requires excruciating work, including revisiting the past and coming to terms with what really happened.
I am writing to you because I know you have a large influence in the English-speaking community in Luxembourg. I assume that a lot of you have kids of your own and would do anything to protect them. I want to apologize for the tone of my last letter to you. I do know that what happened was a generation ago, and that none of you that are now on the committee were involved with the BLC when this happened. I also know that there are now robust investigations being performed in the UK concerning childhood sexual abuse. Luxembourg has a statute of limitations for sexual abuse (age of victim’s majority + 10 years). I have contacted the Luxembourgish police about Les and am in the process of filing a report so that they will at least have something on file about him. I have also contacted the Daily Mail in the UK this week and know they have read my story.
I do not want to equate you with those who were on the committee who remained silent for years and ignored what was going on. The culture was different then and people just avoided talking about subjects that are so dirty and painful. I know you are not responsible for that and I am sorry that I came across as judging you for something that you had nothing to do with. I am writing this letter now to ask for your help to change the course of the future for our children and the English community in Luxembourg.
First and foremost, there needs to be dialogue concerning sexual abuse and it cannot be treated as a taboo subject. Statistically 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. This is frightening, and for some people it may mean that they have to confront issues in their own pasts.
Secondly, I am urging you to exclude Les from all BLC functions. Allowing his presence states that the BLC supports him, and if there happen to be children present it would be near criminal to have him in attendance.
The UK is currently investigating all kinds of child sex abuse and possible cover ups in the wake of the Jimmy Saville disaster. Les’ crimes cannot be minimized and I know for a fact that I am not his only victim. Paedophiles who molest boys typically never stop and on an average have around 150 victims in a lifetime. The 2 things that typically stop a serial paedophile are: 1. they get caught and go to prison or 2. they die. I know Les may say that he no longer molests boys, but I would not be fooled. Paedophiles are master manipulators. Even if he had stopped, that would not excuse his crimes against his past victims, myself included. What he did was wrong and there is no excuse for it.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the BLC needs to have an official statement regarding this issue, addressing the following: disassociating themselves with Les, as well as those ladies/families in former leadership at the BLC who knew of and kept silent about his crimes; declaring that the BLC refuses to turn a blind eye to the subject of child sexual abuse, and is wise to the realities of it. In doing so, the BLC could at once condemn sexual predators in general, and Les in specific publicly, while at the same time bringing themselves into a gracious light as being advocates for children, as wise mothers and educated women.
In essence, it can be seen as an opportunity to be heros for your own children and of those who are presently being abused. After all, none of this is about me or Les, but rather the kids who you undoubtedly love and want to protect. Be that hero for your children.