Victim Reveals Concerns Many More Women Could Be Affected
A woman, who alleges she was abused by English teacher John Stewart while she was one of his pupils, has revealed concerns that more people could have been affected, after she instructed lawyers to help her gain justice regarding her experiences.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has told Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Abuse team that she was sexually abused by the teacher – who worked at St Philip Howard Catholic School and Sixth Form in Barnham, West Sussex – between 2010 and 2014 when she was aged between 16 and 19.
Once at university, she came to realise that she had been groomed. Around that time, she was informed that Mr Stewart had resigned from his position between 2012 and 2013, shortly before a disciplinary hearing was held in relation to allegations into inappropriate behaviour towards another pupil whilst outside of school.
A police investigation was commenced into his conduct in the spring of 2014, but shortly after questioning Mr Stewart committed suicide.
The woman has now called on Irwin Mitchell to help her gain justice regarding the abuse and, while she is aware of two other pupils being affected, she has revealed her concern that many more may have suffered at the hands of Mr Stewart.
Oliver Scott-Petrie, the specialist lawyer in Irwin Mitchell’s Abuse team who is representing the individual, said:
Expert Opinion“This is a truly awful case and we have heard a shocking first-hand account regarding the abuse that our client suffered at the hands of someone who was in a position of great trust.
“Her experiences have had a huge impact on her life, with her attempting suicide twice and also now struggling to form relationships with and ultimately trust men.
“While we are now working hard to help our client get access to the justice and support she deserves as a result of what she has been through, we are hugely concerned by the prospect that other people may have also been affected.
“As part of our work, we would urge anyone else affected not to suffer in silence and come forward in the knowledge that their voices will be heard in relation to this awful matter.” Oliver Scott-Petrie - Solicitor