Monday, 8 August 2011
I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT ROGER TOOK IS DEAD
I have been informed that the paedophile Roger Took has commited suicide, at the probation house where he was living after being released from jail.
I would like to know if this is true, if anyone has any details about this please post them onto my comments.
FROM THE MAIL ONLINE
The Establishment paedophile's wife: My husband’s secret tore our
lives apartAfter 25 years of marriage, Pat Cleary discovered that her husband, a highly respected art historian, had led a double life as a paedophile – and two of his victims were her granddaughtersBy Charlotte Metcalf
Last updated at 4:07 PM on 14th November 2008
Shortly after Pat Cleary went public about her husband, Roger Took, being a paedophile, she received a letter from his half-brother.
Not only did he roundly condemn her for speaking out but he also suggested something that was truly dreadful to her: ‘There is no doubt in many minds that you must have known of this terrible sickness for a very long time and yet chose to do nothing about it, thus prolonging what might have been prevented much earlier,’ he wrote.
In February this year, Took, a respected art historian and author, was given a minimum of four and a half years in prison as part of an indeterminate sentence after pleading guilty to 17 crimes relating to child abuse.
They included molesting two of Pat’s granddaughters and the possession of 260 photographs, including 102 ‘Level 5s’, the most sexually explicit and perverted type of pictures of children.
Among files found on Took’s laptop were 742 chat logs of a sexual nature relating to children, adding up to over 1,500 pages.
Took posed as ‘Dad of 2 Superkids’ in the chat rooms and posted photos of his step-granddaughters, Grace, aged nine, and Gillian, aged 11, pretending they were his daughters.
Judge Blacksell, presiding over the sentencing hearing, referred to the chat logs as ‘unrestrained filth and depravity of the worst type’.
Pat with Roger in Ireland, summer 2004
Roger dressed as a pirate for the children, Christmas 2006
In March this year, while working on an investigative piece about her husband in the aftermath of the sentencing, I met Pat for the first time.
She struck me immediately as someone who was suffering from severe shock. Sitting in the elegant drawing room of the Chelsea home she once shared with her husband, I could barely decipher what she was saying.
She would rush into sentences, then lapse into stunned silence. She seemed unable to pronounce the word ‘Roger’, let alone talk about their relationship; his name made her feel physically sick and she insisted we refer to him as RFT.
Their home included an adjoining but separate flat which, Pat now realises, gave Took the privacy he needed to molest her granddaughters.
‘My sanity has been sorely tested. I live from day to day. His very clever, devious and artful betrayal of me, my family and friends for so many years is hard to come to terms with. The dreadful damage he has done to my darling granddaughters is heinous in the extreme,’ she wrote in her witness statement
to the court.
For Pat, it was a relief when Took’s deeds entered the public domain. She destroyed every photograph of her husband she could find, and seemed determined to move forward.
Yet with the arrival of the letter, she found herself not only being dragged back but standing accused of being complicit in his crimes.
If the missive was intended to shame her into silence, though, it was misjudged. Today, Pat has made a brave decision to lay open the intimate details of her 25-year marriage for the first time, for all to see and, she hopes, to learn from.
Pat has now moved to a small flat in West London with breathtaking views.
We sit at a table in the sunny room. Pat’s long hair is drawn back and she wears a bright shirt over trousers and sturdy boots. She sports a tiny, decorative mobile phone on a chain, a reminder that she is one of an ever-decreasing number to refuse to use a real one. Over good, strong coffee she begins to reminisce.
‘RFT was extremely secretive,’ she says. ‘Many times I joked about it. Early in our marriage he said I didn’t know him. I said something like, “Well, what’s the big secret?” but I don’t remember being too stressed about this at the time.’
The Cleary family had a second home on the Kent coast where the Tooks
lived, so the two families were friendly and Pat has a vague recollection of Took as a boy.
She met him again at a family dinner party in 1981. Pat was in her early 40s, a divorced mother of three children aged 16, 14 and 12. She was delighted to meet an unattached, attractive man in his late 30s.
‘Early in our marriage he [Took] said I didn’t know him. I said something like, “Well, what’s the big secret?” but I don’t remember being too stressed about this at the time’When I ask her what first attracted her to him, she sighs, ‘I do remember he had no sense of humour. But he was so interested in me. He just charmed me, and, yes, I found him physically attractive.’
Their first date was at a little Italian restaurant in Canterbury. When it came to the bill, Took was uncomfortable and there was a problem with his credit card.
Pat remembered this when Took told her father that he wanted to marry her: ‘We were in my father’s Grosvenor Square flat and my father’s face said, “Why?” He was suspicious that RFT liked the fact I wasn’t penniless.’
Pat’s father was a well-to-do chartered surveyor whereas Took’s father had inherited his family’s leather business that had gone downhill since he took
Nevertheless, on 12 July 1983, Pat married Took in London. Pat had already bought their handsome Chelsea home. ‘He married me for my money. And for
my children,’ Pat now realises.
She was never worried that Took was six years her junior: ‘My mother was six years older than my father and they were incredibly happy.’
Was she not concerned that her younger husband might want children? ‘Absolutely never,’ she says. ‘RFT’s own father seemed to have given his son little attention, so he was a bad role model. RFT always made it clear that he never wanted children.’
The first hiccup occurred when Took told Pat that he had not broken the news of their marriage to a longstanding girlfriend. ‘He was having a tempestuous relationship with this much younger woman for many years. It had a Pygmalion ring to it,’ says Pat.
She was angry he had not severed the relationship, but angrier still when Took rang from the woman’s home to say she was so distraught about his marriage that he couldn’t leave her.
‘I said if he didn’t return home that night, it would be the end of our marriage. He returned in the filthiest of moods in the wee hours of the morning,’ she says.
Pat put the incident behind her but was not entirely happy. ‘My first husband was a doctor and his work took us abroad for many years, so I found it very hard to adapt to London. It was only after we bought a home in Ireland that I started to settle down happily.’
They lived between the two places. One of Pat’s daughters was at boarding school abroad, another at university in France and Pat’s son, then aged 14, lived with her and Took.
Pat was touched by how much attention Took paid Jonathan: ‘I liked his ability
to relate to a teenage boy. He was very tuned into my son’s musical tastes.
I must have been in love with him, but saying those words now is very
Took had been director of London’s Barbican Art Gallery but resigned and in 1985 went on to found Artangel, which was to become a hugely successful institution within the field of contemporary art.
‘We were continually at art openings but he never introduced me as his wife. I put it all down to his recent bachelorhood, I suppose,’ Pat sighs.
She goes on, ‘He started complaining that his friends were too busy raising children to see him. He blamed me for losing his friends, goodness knows why.
'So we gave a few huge dinner parties, but RFT’s attention to detail was too much – everything had to be perfect, the knives and forks just so.’
Were the dinners a success? Pat laughs: ‘Not really. It was a relief when they were over!’
Only two years into their marriage, Pat was fairly unhappy with her husband’s behaviour. ‘He had a barrister friend from Sandhurst and he used to meet other women at this friend’s flat,’ recalls Pat. (Took was educated at Haileybury school and Sandhurst). ‘He used rugby matches as an excuse to go out to dinners afterwards without me.’
He even took her son to a rock concert with his old ‘Pygmalion’ girlfriend and thought nothing of it. ‘RFT seemed to have a poor understanding of what committing to a marriage was all about,’ says Pat.
‘I must have been in love with him, but saying those words now is very distressing indeed’‘Then one day he lost his cool totally. We were in the car and he started speeding dangerously and banging the steering wheel. I suppose I was asking him where he’d been again.’ It was a defining moment and Pat insisted they seek marriage guidance.
Took went to their first counselling session grudgingly and then insisted on speaking to the counsellor alone. This was against the policy of the Marriage Guidance Council, now Relate, but Took managed to wheedle private time on several occasions.
Today this haunts Pat. She has tried to find out what he told the counsellor but Relate’s records do not go back that far.
Things improved for a while but then one day, circa 1988, Pat came home to find her car gone. There was a note, without a forwarding address, saying Took had left her for a young American woman, who had applied for a job at Artangel.
Pat suffered a breakdown, which worsened when she found out Took was considering starting a family. The affair raged on for a few months until the woman returned to America and Took wanted Pat back.
Their first reunion was at My Old Dutch on Chelsea’s King’s Road. ‘Halfway through our pancakes, RFT turned to me and said, “It’s all your fault,”’ recalls Pat, ‘and accused me of failing to meet his sexual needs.’
Ever resilient, Pat brushed this off as a defensive male cliché and took him back. ‘But I still can’t walk past that place without feeling nauseous,’ she adds.
Many women would find it impossible to understand why she stuck with marriage to a man who treated her so badly, and when I ask her why she put up with the affairs, she says: ‘When I first married, I was very young and idealistic and married for life. I was devastated when it broke down.
'The second time around I just wanted it to work and I’d have done anything to keep it going. And I was in love.’ Did she turn a blind eye then? ‘No, I’m a suspicious person by nature but I chose to forgive and move on.’
After they were reunited, Took insisted on taking a business degree – a decision Pat was against. Nevertheless, she paid for him to go to business school but they soon began leading separate lives: ‘He was going out to student parties. He never invited me.’
Then, only about 18 months after their reunion, she found a photo of a scantily dressed young Asian woman, in a provocative pose. Pat had had enough and began divorce proceedings.
Roger Took and Pat at a wedding in 1998
She was in Ireland when, a few months later, Took simply walked up the track to their cottage. ‘He looked so forlorn and sad that I just melted,’ says Pat. ‘I still loved him. I couldn’t really imagine life without him.’
For all his past infidelities and unreliability, Pat thought that if they made some changes and she rearranged their financial affairs, the relationship could work.
I press her again to explain why she persevered with a marriage that was
already in crisis two years into it. Why on earth did she take her husband back yet again?
‘I was very afraid he might commit suicide if I didn’t,’ she explains. ‘After we were married for some time he told me that he had tried to commit suicide over a young woman who had turned him down some years previously.
'The scars on his neck and wrists were very prominent and it didn’t sound like a cry for help but very serious. My children remember me often saying, “I can’t say that to him – he’s far too fragile.”’
Took was no longer at Artangel and was looking for something to do. ‘He was mad about fly-fishing and wanted me to fund him to go to an expensive fishing lodge in Russia, but I wouldn’t,’ Pat says. So Took planned the first of many trips to the Kola Peninsula in Russian Lapland, almost inaccessible to outsiders. The trips became the basis for his well-received travel book, Running with Reindeer.
When Took became fluent in the language and started using a Cyrillic keyboard, Pat became incapable of deciphering documents, letters and e-mails. ‘Once things were in Russian, I was in the dark.
'Russia, with its lack of infrastructure for dealing with paedophiles, I realise now was the perfect place for him to abuse children,’ Pat says.
It is worth noting that when police raided Took’s home they found a locked case containing a large bundle of photos of naked young Russian women, believed to be prostitutes, one having sex with Took, and clippings of children’s hair.
Also, one of the chat logs on Took’s laptop described a scenario in which he plied a Russian prostitute with alcohol till she passed out so he could turn his attention to her nine-year-old daughter. He described with relish how he twisted the terrified child’s arm, prior to raping her.
Often Took was away in Russia for months at a time, researching his next book on the medieval fur trade. His behaviour was changing. ‘He had long diverted his sexual desires away from me,’ says Pat. ‘I tried and tried to talk about it but he just wouldn’t discuss anything personal.’
Despite that, he remained a romantic when it came to their wedding anniversary, with cards he drew himself and exquisitely wrapped gifts.
The Tooks still made a point of spending Christmases together and in 2006
they reunited in London with Pat’s daughter, Anne, her husband and their
Took gave Pat a dressing gown. ‘It was horrible – black, very heavy, like a man’s and cheap,’ recalls Pat. ‘I see now that the guilt must have started to kick in. How could he have gone on giving me presents under the circumstances?’
During Christmas lunch, Took disappeared then burst back into the room dressed as a pirate. In Ireland, he had often played pirates with the children but this time he was unrecognisable with his make-up, painted moustache and bandana.
The children were scared. The joke fell flat. I ask Pat how she reacted. ‘I fussed over the pudding,’ she says. ‘I tried to pretend it wasn’t sinister.’
In February last year, Pat was leaving for a holiday in the Dominican Republic with her two daughters, grandson, aged eight, and granddaughters, aged nine, seven, six and four. Took was busy planning his next Russian trip so everyone was surprised, and not altogether pleased, when he joined them.
Anne’s daughter, nine-year-old Grace, had a school project to complete and Anne asked Took to help her with it, a decision she has never stopped berating herself for. Took and Grace spent a lot of time alone in the hotel bedroom.
Anne and her daughters were the first to leave after the holiday. At the airport Grace was very agitated and broke down when she gave her mother a $100 bill that she had hidden in her bag. It was from Took, to pose for photographs.
Grace eventually told Anne that Took had been abusing her for as long as she could remember.
It is testament to
Pat’s close relationship with her children that they do not blame her and have rallied round her, supporting her determination to
speak openlyAnne called the police immediately when she arrived home and they told her on no account to tell Pat. They needed to catch Took with incriminating evidence and it was essential not to alert him beforehand.
During the six weeks that followed, Pat was deeply worried, imagining from her daughter’s tone that she was having marital problems. They were the worst weeks of Anne’s life – and of her sister Jennifer’s.
By now, all Pat’s children knew that Took was a paedophile. To this day, Jennifer suspects Took of abusing her mentally and physically disabled daughter, Cathy, when she was as young as three and unable to walk. She will never know.
Took was finally arrested at Luton airport in April last year. Pat sees now that he deviously and brilliantly used his dalliance with young women to mask his interest in children. So distracted was she by his various affairs, she never thought to look beyond them.
Now she knows Took led a double life, complete with different passport and
false ID as Paul Schischka – creepily, his mother’s maiden name was
I wonder what it must feel like to know that your husband has sexually abused your children’s children on your watch. I hesitate to use the word ‘guilt’ – and rightly, because Pat becomes angry when asked if she feels guilty. ‘I didn’t know!’ she says.
It is testament to Pat’s close relationship with her children that they do not blame her and have rallied round her, supporting her determination to speak openly.
Pat also feels lucky to have the wonderful support of her friends when some people, such as Took’s half-brother, have berated her for speaking out. One even suggested she should be a ‘good, tactful wife’ and reproached her for being ‘jealous’ of her ‘younger rivals’.
It is this kind of response that makes Pat so determined for the public to know what really went on.
The terrible pictures found on Took’s laptop were of real children, and Pat’s main reason for coming forward is to alert people to what ‘just looking’ really means and can lead to.
Pat urges zero tolerance for a ‘secret’ within a family. She has learnt to fear and loathe secrecy.
When Took was arrested, some people who knew her pretended nothing had happened, averting their gaze or crossing the street to avoid her.
She was appalled that people expected her to keep her story hidden after all she had been through. ‘I’ve had enough of secrets for one life,’ she says.
© Charlotte Metcalf 2008. All names except those of Roger Took and Pat Cleary have been changed
Roger F. Took is an art historian, museum curator, author and convicted child sex offender who has lived in London, Ireland, and Russia. In the course of his career, he ran several museums in England, was a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and a former director of the Barbican Art Gallery. He attended Haileybury College, Sandhurst and the Courtauld Institute. He married in 1983. In 1985, Took founded Artangel, an institution within the field of contemporary art. In December 2003, Running with Reindeer: Encounters in Russian Lapland, Roger Took's detailed description of life on Russia's Lapland and Kola Peninsula, was published in hardback. This book was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Took was most recently acclaimed as an expert on the mediaeval Russian fur trade.
In April 2007, Took was arrested for paedophilia-related crimes, and in February 2008 was jailed for a minimum of four and a half years as part of an indeterminate sentence for 17 crimes relating to child abuse.
Artangel, which commissions work from international artists raging from sculpture to film, was founded in 1985 by Took as a privately funded initiative . It was taken over by James Lingwood and Michael Morris in 1991.
 Running with Reindeer: Encounters in Russian Lapland
Hardback coverIn the 1990s, Roger Took decided to visit and write about Russia's Lapland and Kola Peninsula because there was so little known about the area. He prepared by taking a crash course in Russian and getting some arms training. He studied maps and the history of the area, people and Soviet occupation.
In December 2003, Running with Reindeer: Encounters in Russian Lapland was published in hardback. Written in a travelogue style, Took begins the book detailing the events of his first trip to Murmansk (often referred to as Russia's Lapland) as the first traveler to the area in 70 years, and later details of the interior of the region. He explains the desolation of post-Soviet north villages and the details of everyday life there of both the indigenous and non-indigenous settlers, expressing a "combination of respect and shock at their dismal lifestyle." Breaking the law, Took ventured into restricted areas, often getting caught, in order to give the reader an understanding of this vanishing native culture, its endangered ecosystem, and the dynamics of its cultures.
The Daily Telegraph reviewed the book as an "almost encyclopaedic account of northern travels". A 2004 article in the Canadian Journal of History reviewed it as "quite an extraordinary book", but continued on that "the final sections of the work prove to be ... highly disappointing." The book was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 2004.
Took met a wealthy painter, Pat Cleary, at a family party in 1981. Their families had been associated for decades. Despite her father's concerns that the financially struggling Took was only interested in marrying her for her money, the couple wed on 12 July 1983 and lived in Cleary's affluent Chelsea, London home. The extended family from Cleary's first marriage consisted of a son, two daughters and eight grandchildren. With both of Cleary's daughters in school in other countries, her teenage son was the only child residing with the couple. Cleary was "touched" by the attention paid to her son by Took, who had repeatedly made it clear that he wanted no children of his own.
Soon after their wedding, Took's wife learned that he was still seeing a woman with whom he had shared a tumultuous relationship for many years. This woman was much younger than Took and distraught over his marriage; one evening, he called his wife to tell her that he could not leave the woman. Faced with an ultimatum to return home or end the marriage, Took arrived home in the early hours of the morning in a bitter mood. The couple put the incident behind them and soon purchased a home in Ireland.
The couple soon began marriage guidance through what is now known as Relate and despite being against policy, Took managed to have sessions alone with the counselor. Things improved for some time but in the late 1980s, Took left a note for his wife letting her know that he was leaving her for a young American woman and the couple split. Although Took expressed a desire to "start a family" with this new woman, a few months later he told Cleary he wanted her back. Despite blaming her during their reunion, saying she failed to meet his sexual needs Cleary took him back. Things were good for the next year and a half but then Cleary found a photograph of a young Asian woman in skimpy clothes and a compromising position. Fed up, she left him and initiated divorce proceedings.
A few months passed before Took again told his wife that he wanted her back. Optimistic that they could make it work, the couple reunited. Cleary also feared that he might commit suicide if she didn't give their marriage another chance — he had attempted suicide over rejection from a woman in his youth, leaving deep scars on his neck and wrists — and she had always considered him to be a "fragile" man.
Following his departure from Artangel in 1992, Took asked his wife to fund an expensive fly-fishing trip to Russia. She refused so he began his trips to Kola Peninsula in Russian Lapland instead. Over the years he became fluent in Russian and began to use a Cyrillic keyboard. This prevented his wife from reading his documents, letters and e-mails. Away for months, Took showed no sexual interest in his wife. Despite this he continued to make romantic gestures on their wedding anniversaries with cards he would make himself and elegantly wrapped gifts. In 2006 he forgot, instead of the usual, Took returned from Russia and was shocked that his wife was not impressed with her gift; an antique spigot that he prized.
 Child sexual abuse caseIn February 2007, their 25th year of marriage, Roger Took joined his family for a trip to the Dominican Republic. On their way home, one of his stepdaughters found a $100 bill in her daughter's luggage. She questioned her daughter about where she got it and was told that Took gave it to her so that he could photograph her. She eventually confessed that she had been sexually abused by Took "for as long as she could remember". The mother alerted the police and a six week investigation was launched during which Took was unaware that his family knew what had been happening.
Took was arrested at Luton airport in April 2007, following the police investigation during which 742 logs from chat rooms used to boast about a child rape and murder were discovered. Took denied this, saying it was merely a fantasy. Police also recovered 260 images from Took's laptop. 102 of them were graded as "level 5s", which means they contain images of children being penetrated, tortured or both. Police raided Took’s home where they found a locked case which held a large bundle of photographs of young Russian women. The women who were naked and one of whom was having sex with Took, are believed to be prostitutes. The case also held clippings of children’s hair.
Took was given an indeterminate sentence by Judge Henry Blacksell QC who believed he "posed a danger to all children." He eventually plead guilty to a total of 17 charges, including sexual assault on a child under 13, inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and making and possessing indecent images of children. Judge Blacksell had reviewed thousands of pages of evidence, was visibly shocked when he told the court, "It is unrestrained filth, depravity of the worst kind." He was sentenced to nine years, but was eligible for parole after four and a half. He was also banned from working with children under the age of 18 for the rest of his life. Took has appealed his sentence.
According to Charlotte Metcalf, Took's charm, social status, academic reputation and credentials served to "cushion him from condemnation". His case received little publicity and he enjoyed support from former colleagues. During sentencing Judge Blacksell who stated that he had no doubt that Took suffers from an illness, took into consideration 23 letters of support and three character witnesses who spoke at the hearing on behalf of five people. He was described as a "gentle, kind, caring man who has enriched the lives of many over many years". Those who spoke were his older half-brother, John Michael Took; the Reverend Adrian Gabb-Jones and Matteos Los a schoolfriend from a Greek shipping family.
Metcalf, Charlotte (July 9, 2008). "The Establishment paedophile: how a monster hid in high society". Spectator.co.uk. Retrieved on August 10, 2008.
Metcalf, Charlotte (July 9, 2008). ". "Married to a paedophile"". Alternative link to Times article (cite 9)
1.^ Roger Took mini-bio. PerseusBooksGroup.com. Retrieved on 10 August 2008.
2.^ a b (2004). Artangel case study (PDF). AEA Consulting, p. 1. Retrieved on 10 August 2008.
3.^ a b c Metcalf, p. 1 and 3.
4.^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4717208/So-who-is-behind-Artangel.html The Telegraph 24 April 2011
5.^ a b c Fishlock, Trevor (27 February 2003). "Book review: Reindeer - but not as we know them ". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 11 August 2008.
6.^ a b c Theiss, Nola (1 July 2005). "Book Review. Allbusiness.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2008.
7.^ About this book. PerseusBooksGroup.com. Retrieved on 10 August 2008.
8.^ a b c Round, John (December 2004). "Running with Reindeer: Encounters in Russian Lapland". Canadian Journal of History, p. 1. Retrieved from FindArticles on 11 August 2008.
9.^ Cook, Thomas (2005). The Thomas Cook Travel Book Awards Ceremony. thomascookpublishing.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2008.
10.^ a b c d e f g h i j Metcalf, Charlotte (9 September 2008). "Married to a paedophile". The Times. Retrieved on 9 October 2008.
11.^ Metcalf, p. 5.
12.^ a b c d Metcalf, p. 2.
13.^ a b c d e Global News Feeds (15 February 2008). "Wealthy Academic Locked Up For Child Abuse". bignewsday.com. Retrieved on 10 August 2008.
14.^ Metcalf, p. 1.
15.^ (16 February 2008). "Paedophile Jailed". The Times. News In Brief, p. 4. Retrieved on 10 August 2008.
16.^ Metcalf, p. 8.
17.^ Metcalf, p. 7.
 External linksTelegraph (June 2009). "An art historian and author failed to win his court battle for a £500,000 divorce settlement from his multi-millionaire former wife because he sexually abused her grandchildren".
Daily Mail (Sep 2008). "Married to an upper-class paedophile: How members of the Establishment refused to accept my husband's depravity".
Woman's Hour (July 10, 2008). "The damage that living with a paedophile inflicts on a family". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved on August 10, 2008.
Murray, Jenni (July 13, 2008). "Nothing beats a good sex scandal". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved on August 10, 2008.