Man Suffered Mental Health Problems Following Abuse By Geoffrey Oborn
A man who struggled with mental health problems after he was abused as a child by a teacher has urged survivors to not suffer in silence, after legal experts secured a settlement regarding his ordeal.
Antony Wilkinson, originally from Biddenden, Kent, but now lives in Shrewsbury, was one of three people who suffered at the hands of Geoffrey Oborn in the early 1980s.
Oborn, a former teacher at Homewood School in Kent was found guilty of indecent assault and gross indecency at a trial at the end of 2017. The then 79-year-old of Cranbrook, Kent, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail.
Following the conviction, Antony, now of Shrewsbury, instructed specialist abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him gain civil justice regarding his experiences.
Now, after the legal experts secured him a five-figure settlement from Kent County Council regarding what he went through, he is calling for others affected by abuse to come forward and ensure they get the support they require to try and come to terms with such experiences.
Expert Opinion“Antony’s life has been completely turned upside down by the horrendous abuse that he endured a number of years ago, with the experiences taking a major toll on his mental health.
“While nothing will ever change what happened, we hope this settlement will prove to be a welcome step forward. We also hope that the conclusion of this legal case helps him look more brightly to the future, with the funds ensuring he can access any ongoing support he requires.
“A case of this nature is a reminder that those affected by such problems should not hesitate to seek help and support at the earliest opportunity. Their cases will always be handled with the utmost care and sensitivity and the priority is to ensure they can get any assistance they require.” Tom Fletcher - Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling sexual abuse cases
The abuse that Antony endured left him struggling with a range of different issues, including depression and suicidal thoughts.
He said: “It is hard to put into words how much the abuse has affected me through the years and it is has been a long and difficult road attempting to come to terms with what happened.
“It was incredibly daunting to speak out at first but it soon became apparent that people were around who could support me and treat everything sensitively. That helped hugely and it shows that people should feel more confident about coming forward on such matters.
“While nothing can make up for what happened, I now want to try and look to the future rather than concentrating on the past.
“Others affected by similar issues should not suffer in silence. Structures are now in place which will ensure your voice will be heard, while you will also be able to get vital help as you look to move forward. Speaking out can be tough, but doing it can be so important.”