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Lawyers Welcome Verdicts As More Former Staff Members At Christ's Hospital School in Horsham Found Guilty

Expert Abuse Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Hope Verdicts Encourage Other Survivors To Come Forward


James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

Expert abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say they hope the fact that two former staff members from a top private school in West Sussex have been found guilty of sexual offences against pupils proves the authorities will take action and will encourage other survivors of abuse to come forward and seek help,

James Husband, 68, of Wigginton in York, was convicted of one count of rape and five charges of indecent assault on a girl at Christ's Hospital School in Horsham.

The school's former head of house, Gary Dobbie, 66, formerly of Hereford, but now of Albi in France, was convicted of 15 counts involving multiple offences against six boys and two girls as young as 12.

Hove Crown Court heard that the abuse took place between 1990 and 2001.

Tom Fletcher, an expert abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“We see a lot of cases, like this one, throughout the country in our day to day work. The experiences of many of our clients have had a huge impact on the rest of their lives, with many struggling with the psychological effects of what they went through.

“What the guilty verdicts in this case show is that if you suffered abuse at school by a member of staff, then please do be brave and come forward because you will be believed and the authorities will take action.

“It can sometimes be the case that the pupil always sees themselves as the pupil and fears that the person in authority will be believed above them, but this is not the case."
Tom Fletcher, Associate Solicitor

Christ's Hospital School has a history of abuse, with three other former members of staff at the school previously convicted after police investigated complaints made by 22 former students. 

Peter Webb and Peter Burr were both jailed after admitting committing offences at the school between the 1960s and 1980s. Ajaz Karim, a sports coach at the school, was found guilty in April of assaulting six girls between 1985 and 1993 and is due to be sentenced in August.

Tom added: 

Expert Opinion
“The number of teachers that have been convicted of abusing former pupils at the school is concerning and we would urge anyone to not suffer in silence and come forward if they suffered similar while attending the school.”
Tom Fletcher, Associate Solicitor

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in abuse cases.