Another schoolmaster found guilty – Philip Batten

For regular readers of my blogs, you will know that one typical characteristic of child abuse cases is the amount of control and calculation that is significant when it comes to covering up these horrific crimes.

This was certainly true in one of my latest cases and you can read more about this in the Surrey Mirror that quoted me as the lawyer representing 11 victims subjected to sex acts by a former school master, Philip Batten, in shared dormitories where walls were described as “paper thin”.

It would have been more than obvious to other students and perhaps even the staff that such abuse was happening, but, none of the victims reported the abuse at the time. This just goes to show the amount of control this individual had and how scared the pupils were of speaking out against him. One victim said when giving evidence that the school “must have known” about what was happening.

Philip Batten was an English and Drama teacher and house master at Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate, Surrey between 1971 and 1984. During that period, he groomed and sexually and physically abused school boys that were in his care.

The abuse carried out on the boys did not only include various counts of sexual assault, but he was also guilty of attacking boys with pieces of wood and a blackboard rubber. His secret mission of vile abuse continued for 11 years, but the consequences of his crimes have remained and affected his victims to this day.

The now 70-year-old was convicted on Tuesday 18th May and was found guilty of 14 charges of rape and indecency with a child and cruelty to a person under 16 years. It took the jury just four hours to reach a unanimous verdict. This adds to his previous guilty plea to 28 charges of sexual abuse and neglect. He was subsequently sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.

It can be hard to think that any amount of time or compensation can put right such horrific crimes and the victims, who are now in their 40s and 50s, will never get back their childhood. However, seeking justice can also help obtain specialist therapy and bring a sense of closure.

If you have been affected by a similar event, either recent or historic, then you can contact the Abuse team at Verisona Law who can help you to sensitively resolve your case.

Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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