Expert child abuse solicitors at Irwin Mitchell have secured substantial settlements for three victims of sexual abuse, committed by a teacher in the 1970s. Two clients were awarded the sum of £75,000 each, and a third client was awarded £45,000.
The three men all attended the same boarding school between 1970 and 1977, where they were sexually abused and assaulted by an assistant housemaster. In around June 1972, the abuse was reported to the headmaster of the school and it emerged that a number of other boys had also been abused. The housemaster admitted one incident at the time and the school dismissed him without making any reports to the police or the children’s parents.
They felt unable to report the abuse to the police at the time it happened. In 2009, one victim ('Steven') contacted the school and made a request for his records. When he received these files he found out that the perpetrator had admitted “sexual play” with a young boy whilst employed by the school.
Having consulted the file, Steven went to the police. The police took a statement from him and the housemaster was located and questioned, but denied the allegations. The police proceeded with the prosecution and the housemaster was charged with indecent assault against Steven and another man, who had also been abused as a pupil. The housemaster was convicted of indecency with a child in August 2011. He received a custodial sentence and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
After seeing newspaper reports of the conviction, two other victims both contacted the police and a further investigation took place. The housemaster was charged with indecent assault against them and was found guilty at the trial which took place in April 2013.
The three former students contacted Irwin Mitchell and they were advised about making a claim against the school.
We obtained evidence from medical experts who assessed our clients and prepared reports. The school admitted liability and confirmed that they weren’t going to raise the delay in coming forward as an issue at trial. We acquired witness statements from family members and employers to show the school how the abuse had affected our clients, and on that basis we were able to negotiate settlement of the claims without the need for the cases to proceed to court.
All three clients are very pleased with the settlements they have received and intend to use the money to help them rebuild their lives with their respective families.
Natasha Fairs, a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Child Abuse team, represented them. She said: "These men found the courage many years after the abuse to contact the police and have their abuser convicted for his crimes. They then acted promptly to secure compensation and this allowed us to investigate the claim to obtain admissions of liability from the school and secure compensation to allow them to obtain the treatment they need and move on from the abuse suffered”.
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