Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 16:02 UK

'I'll never forget being abused'

James Colhoun
It took years for James Colhoun to be able to confront his abuse at the age of 14

James Colhoun was abused at the age of 14 by Colin Macdonald during a residential trip. Here, he recounts the experience and talks about his "sick" abuser.


I was away with a group of 10 to 12 children when I was abused.

After the first and second nights a lad approached me and asked if I would swap tents with him. I think this lad had been in a tent with Colin Macdonald.

At first I said no, but on the third day the lad approached me again and I was happy to swap.

Later that evening I was attacked by Colin Macdonald.

He is a sick man, a genuinely sick man and he was targeting deaf children intentionally

I was absolutely shocked at what had happened and I remember the following day I just couldn't make sense of the experience of the night before.

I remember we had walked quite a long way to get to the ferry back to the mainland from the island we were staying.

One of the lads who was on the ferry at that point looked quite emotional and distressed and said he wanted to return home.

I said to him 'we only have one more night at Glencoe Cottage'.

It was at that point I made the leap that it looked as though he had gone through a similar experience to me. However, neither of us mentioned it to each other.

'I was fearful'

When we arrived at Glencoe Cottage we agreed we would buddy up and I remember being in a sleeping bag and we pulled the zips all the way to the top in order to prevent being abused by Colin Macdonald again.

We then returned to our homes - I never mentioned it to my parents, as I was very fearful.

It was also difficult for a deaf person to talk about a subject like that.

It does appear that members of the deaf community kept it to themselves - the sharing of this experience came only three years ago.

Colin MacDonald [Pic: Ciaran Donnelly]
Macdonald was found guilty of 10 charges of abusing children
I have spoken to some people and their experiences are truly horrendous. Some of these people had much worse experiences than myself and my heart goes out to these people.

But it was always inside me that I should say something - the years between 14 and 25 were particularly hard for me.

Then when I was 34 I went to a deaf club in Birmingham and I bumped into none other than Colin Macdonald.

I approached him and I could see he was very uncomfortable. I said to him 'what you have done to me, I will never forget'.

I did think that I might be the only person who had experienced this. But later I found out there were many victims of Colin Macdonald and that is when I spoke out.

My motivation for speaking out is to make sure that no-one goes through what I went through.

Deaf children are an easy target and Colin Macdonald knew this.

I think there could have been 100 victims of Colin MacDonald.

He is a sick man, a genuinely sick man and he was targeting deaf children intentionally.



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