This week a retired teacher has stood trial accused of the historic abuse of three of his former pupils.
Anthony McNally is facing four charges in relation to offences carried out during his course of employment at Derby Grammar School and Woodhey High School, Ramsbottom.
The ex- teacher allegedly carried out indecent assault upon one pupil when giving her a lift home from a party, and other during a school trip to the Lake District.
Geoff Whelen, prosecutor, stated that the ‘abuse took place under the auspices of the Defendant’s teaching responsibilities and was therefore a gross breach of trust.’
In response, the Defence has argued that there are flaws in the accounts of 2 of the complainants, stating that their previous statements made in 2000 do not match the current allegations.
The female complainant came forward in 2000 after hearing of the allegations made against McNally on the radio. It is argued by the Defence that one of her allegations against McNally was missing from her recent account.
News of the proceedings has come not long after the trial of Piers Le Cheminant, who faces charges for sexually abusing over 15 young boys, many in front of their class mates, at Oakwood Preparatory School and Salisbury Cathedral School.
It is reported that Cheminant would use his role as sports supervisor to inappropriately touch young pupils whilst they were getting changed, rub soap all over them and force them to swim naked, amongst other things. He would also engineer time alone with the pupils, where he would ask them to get undressed and then rub their bodies inappropriately.
Some incidents were carried out ‘under the cloak of discipline’, for instance, smacking the children’s bottoms for ‘messing around.’
In 1980 Cheminant was asked to leave Oakwood school after a complaint by a pupil was brought to the school’s attention. He left his employment not long after and now argues that this was a mere coincidence as he was considering leaving teaching before the incident.
Fern Russell, prosecutor, told the court- ‘he was a popular teacher. He had that degree of charm it seems and he was able to foster an apparent relaxed closeness with the pupils that you may feel he used to facilitate offending.’
Indeed, this is seen all too often in teacher-pupil abuse cases. Offending teachers often get close to the pupils, proceeding to abuse their authority, position of trust and the respect that has been gained.
Fortunately, there are legal routes to redress for survivors, who may be entitled to bring a civil claim or apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation where there has been a police investigation/ conviction. Many civil claims in these cases proceed as vicarious liability cases against the employer of the teacher.
The priority in these cases is to ensure that those affected by abuse within an educational setting are able to access support, which can help them to come to terms with their experiences. The specialist abuse department at Farleys have unrivalled experience in this area. In the pursuit for compensation, our experienced solicitors will always consider the ways in which the Client’s past, present and future has been/ will be affected by the abuse. This ensures valuable resources are secured for survivors to enable them to move on with their lives.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher, we are available to help and assist. Our dedicated team tirelessly support hundreds of survivors throughout the process, treating every case with the sensitivity, confidentiality and integrity that each deserves.
Contact us in confidence on our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, by email or by using the chat function below.