Last month, a priest who used to work at St John the Evangelist church in Horsham, was jailed for sexual assault on a 15-year-old boy.

Father Anthony White was found guilty of sexual assault and two charges of indecent assault against 15-year-old boy, Toa Qazi, between 1992 and 1993.

Mr Qazi had been brought up in a catholic home and believed that “priests were the most trustworthy people”. Being brought up in a catholic home also meant that wrongdoings should be punished and, after being caught stealing some money in the collection plate, his mother decided that Mr Qazi would be punished by doing a few jobs around Anthony White’s house. Mr Qazi had always trusted priests and never suspected anything could go wrong, he trusted Mr White and the priest broke that trust.

Mr White took advantage of Qazi on multiple occasions, he plied him with drink and then raped him. He also verbally abused and punched him. Mr Qazi had no choice other than to keep going, even though the sexual abuse continued to happen as nobody believed that a priest could act in such a horrible way.

Feeling stuck and thinking that no one would believe him, he decided not to come forward with his story. This ruined his life and affected his emotional state, scarring him for life. He started drinking and taking drugs in the hope of forgetting his trauma. After all this time, Tao Qazi has decided to come forward to report the priest, hoping that maybe bringing awareness to the matter will allow things to change.

Here at Farleys we keep hearing of more and more cases of abuse which have occurred in both religious and educational settings. These are environments in which you trust adults to look after your children but unfortunately that trust is broken all too often. Thankfully there are legal routes you can follow if you have ever been victim of abuse. Our main priority is to make sure that survivors receive an adequate compensation, ensuring they are able to get the help they deserve.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a religious leader or teacher, we are available to discuss this with you. Our dedicated team support hundreds of survivors throughout the process of bringing a civil claim, treating every case with sensitivity, confidentiality, and integrity.

Contact us in confidence on our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, by email, or by using the chat button below.