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Four Ex-Teachers At Christ's Hospital School Charged With Historic Sex Abuse Offences

View profile for Malcolm Underhill
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The community of Horsham, West Sussex is in shock after it was announced yesterday that four former teachers at Christ’s Hospital School have been charged with historic sexual abuse of pupils.

The incidents took place between 1980 and 1996.

Gary Dobbie, 66, is charged with seven counts of indecent assault on a male, one count of attempted indecent assault on a male and three counts of indecent assault on a female.

James Husband, 67, is charged with five counts of indecent assault on a female and four of rape, and Ajaz Karim, 62, is charged with nine counts of indecent assault on a female and one of attempted indecent assault on a female.

Peter Webb, 74, is charged with six counts of indecent assault on a male.

The four men will appear at Crawley Magistrates Court on 9th August 2017.  All are in their late 60s and 70s.[1]

Christ’s Hospital School was founded in 1532 and is famous for its Tudor-style uniform.  Former pupils include William Nye, principle private secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the comedian Holly Walsh, and John Snow, who played cricket for Sussex and England in the 1970s.

Growing number of allegations and prosecutions involving child abuse in private schools

These latest charges add to the growing number of sexual abuse allegations, charges and prosecutions being made against current and former staff of some of the UK’s top private schools.

  • In June 2017, a member of staff at Hall School Wimbledon was interviewed under caution about an alleged indecent assault.[2] 
  • In 2014, writer Alex Renton came forward with a devastating article in The Guardian detailing abuse he suffered at the hands of Masters and pupils at Ashdown House.[3]
  • It has been revealed that several top private schools, including HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh’s old school, Gordonstoun, are being investigated by the Scottish child abuse inquiry.[4]
  • In February 2017, Patrick Marshall was convicted of the abuse of ten boys in the 1960s and 70s while he was employed first at Windsor Grammar School and then at St Paul's School in Barnes, south-west London.[5]

Over the past ten years or so, hundreds of pupils from elite private schools have come forward about the abuse they received, not only at the hands of teachers, but fellow students, during their boarding school days.

Many teachers who were found to be abusing children at a particular school were quietly dismissed from their position.  Claimants have reported that perpetrators often moved onto other institutions, and were able to abuse more vulnerable children over a number of years.[6]

Claiming compensation for physical and sexual abuse at boarding school

For the victims of sexual abuse, the feelings of shame can be overwhelming.  However, more and more ex-pupils are now coming forward, bringing compensation claims for abuse received at the hands of Masters and fellow pupils.

Rebuilding your life after suffering abuse can be a long, lonely, painful journey.  Many victims struggle to form meaningful personal relationships and hold down employment.  Because the abuse occurred at such elite institutions, some of those who suffered abuse are also concerned about how their peers will react to them bringing a compensation claim.

At IBB Solicitors, you can be assured that any discussion you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence.  When instructing us, you can be confident of receiving calm, professional, discreet advice alongside robust representation.

Our personal injury team, led by Malcolm Underhill, has the expertise and knowledge to advise and represent you if you wish to make a claim following sexual or physical abuse received at school. To talk about how we might be able to help, please phone us on 0333 123 9099, email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or fill in our contact form.  Any discussions you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence and handled with the utmost sensitivity.

The information contained within our Blog Articles is provided as general information only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice or seek to be an exhaustive statement of the law and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. For further details, please see our terms of use policy.

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