Children’s Home and Schools hit by new allegations of child abuse
At the same time (August 2018) that Pope Francis expressed his shame at the Church’s failure to address the “repellent crimes” of sexual abuse by members of the clergy during a historic visit to Dublin, another scandal hit the news of nuns implicated in child abuse at Smyllum Park in Lanark, Scotland. According to media accounts, nuns were among 12 people who were arrested at the end of August in connection with alleged child abuse at the former children’s home, which closed in 1981. The accusations were of both physical and sexual abuse, involving “satanic” rituals, beating and punching, verbal abuse, and humiliation, and depriving children of food. It was also alleged one six-year-old boy died from a severe beating. Over 117 years, from 1864, 11,000 children passed through the doors of the Smyllum Park. An investigation into what happened at the orphanage is currently ongoing, and it is expected it will take over 12-months for a full report to be made available.
In another case in August 2018, it was revealed ten people had been convicted or cautioned in connection with child sexual offences at Ampleforth School in North Yorkshire and Downside School in Somerset; both independent schools. The sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred over a span of decades and involved children as young as seven. According to a report by the IICSA as a result of an inquiry into the abuse, the schools actively “prioritised the monks and their own reputations over the protection of children … in order to avoid scandal”, employing “a ‘tell them nothing’ attitude”. The report outlines the extent of the abuse that happened, including boys being made to strip naked who were then beaten, forcing pupils to take part in sexual acts on each other, and anal penetration. One alleged victim stated that his abuser at Ampleforth was an “an out-and-out sadist”. A victim of Fr Piers Grant-Ferris, who was convicted in 2006 of abusing 15 boys, told the inquiry he was forced to straddle a bath naked, as the monk physically assaulted him while masturbating. The victim told the inquiry that the experience was “absolutely terrifying”.
Sports Coach Jailed for 10 years for historic sexual abuse
Ajaz Karim, 63, has been convicted and given a 10-year jail sentence for sexually abusing girls in his care. Mr Karim used massage as a method to inappropriately touch his victims. All six victims who came forward in relation to the actions of the former sports teacher were of school age at the time of the abuse and hadn’t realised until later that what was being done amounted to indecent assault. Gareth Morgan from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated, “the police found he [Karim] had a history of visiting websites on his phone, which showed an interest in massage for sexual purposes, information we were able to present to the jury as part of our case. In convicting him, they rejected Karim’s innocent explanation of his actions. Karim was in a position of authority at the school and would have been trusted by the very pupils he then went on to abuse”.
The Karim case has echoes of the George Ormond scandal; children were left in the care of a sports coach who took advantage of the trust granted to him to routinely abuse those who were in his care.
Making a claim for compensation if you have been the victim of institutional child abuse
Victims of child abuse are coming forward in ever greater numbers to seek justice, in the knowledge that their experiences will be taken seriously, and there is a strong level of support and care available.
Child abuse of any form can cause considerable damage to the life of the victim, including irreparably damaged careers and personal lives, plus mental health and financial problems.
If you have been a victim of child abuse, whether physical, sexual, or psychological by someone in a position of responsibility, please get in touch with Malcolm and his team who will be able to assist.
At IBB, our personal injury team has the expertise and knowledge to advise and represent you if you wish to seek compensation for child abuse. To talk about how we might be able to help, please phone us on 0333 123 9099, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form. Any discussions you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence.