Abuse Survivor Speaks Of Relief After Former Teacher Who 'Ruined His Life' Sentenced

John Patton Sentenced To Three Years And 11 Months In Prison For Sexual Offences Against Three Boys In 1980s

16.03.2015

A man who was abused as a schoolboy at the home of his language teacher has spoken of his relief at seeing his attacker jailed for a series of indecent assaults against teenage boys and says he is now determined to move on with his life with the help of expert abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.

John Patton pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against 15-year-old boys in January 2015. Judge Peter Carr sentenced him to three years and 11 months in prison at Warwick Crown Court, Leamington.

The judge said there was a significant breach of the trust placed in Patton by his pupils and that parents are entitled to expect their children to be safe at school.

One survivor, known only as Chris to protect his identity*, was abused at Patton’s home while he was a pupil at Kingshurst Comprehensive, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham. 

The abuse he suffered had a significant impact on his education and as a result he was forced to give up his dream of becoming a teacher. He has also attempted to take his own life as a result of the painful memories he has of the abuse he suffered.

He is now working with specialists from IM to secure a settlement to fund access to the help and support he requires to cope with the terrible ordeal he suffered at such a young age.

Tom Fletcher, a specialist abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing Chris in his legal action, said: 

Expert Opinion
Those who suffer sexual abuse as a child can be hugely affected and their experiences can have the impact on the way people develop as adults and how they live their lives, as we have seen in this case.

“In our work we deal with a number of survivors of abuse who have been targeted by people who they are supposed to be able to trust. Chris has been extremely courageous to speak out about the abuse he suffered and we hope his case will encourage organisations to ensure every possible measure is in place to protect vulnerable individuals.

“Unfortunately, we deal with a number of survivors of sexual abuse whose lives have been destroyed at the hands of their abusers and, though everyone’s needs are different, the majority of people suffer long-term effects and need professional support and therapy to help them.

“We are now representing Chris and hope to secure a settlement to ensure he is able to access the therapy and support he needs to come to terms with what happened and make progress with his life."
Tom Fletcher, Associate

Chris, 49, said: “The abuse I suffered as a teenager ruined my life. I’m relieved that he pleaded guilty and now faces time in prison for what he did to me and some of his other pupils. I can finally start to move on with my life knowing that everyone now believes me.

“I completely trusted Patton as my teacher, but I now know that the attention he showed in my education was a form of grooming. The abuse I suffered made me feel dirty and I thought everybody knew what had happened to me, which had a massive impact on my everyday life. 

“I struggled to focus on my education after the abuse and I was eventually asked to leave college, which meant my dream of becoming a teacher ended. I’ve struggled to maintain meaningful relationships and have tried to take my own life as a result of the painful memories I have.

“I hope that by speaking out others who have suffered abuse at the hands of people in a position of trust will feel they can come forward and that it is possible to see justice done. I struggled to come to terms with what happened to me throughout my life, but my overall feeling now is relief and I’m looking forward to moving on with my life and putting this ordeal behind me.”

 

*Chris is not his real name. He cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Our child abuse solicitors are committed to pursuing cases to the best possible outcome, without causing any additional psychological trauma to those affected. Call 0370 1500 100 to talk confidentially to someone about making a claim or visit our Abuse & Criminal Injury Claims page for more information.