Former teacher convicted of historic child abuse at Crookham Court School

A 49-year-old man was convicted today of child abuse when he was a teacher at private boys’ boarding school in Thatcham in the 80s.

Mark Standish, also known as Alex, of Station Street, Waterhouses, Durham, was found guilty by a majority verdict of indecently assaulting a boy while he was a teacher at the former Crookham Court School.

The incidents took place between 1988 and 1989 when the victim was 14 and 15 years-old.

Standish has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on March 16.

Detective Constable Alison Bennett, from the child abuse investigation unit, said: “This has been a long and complicated investigation and we are pleased with the decision that the jury has reached in this case.

“Standish used his position of trust as a teacher to build a friendship with the boy and then over time began to indecently assault him.

“This abuse has had a long term effect on the life of the victim.

“While he has struggled to come to terms with what happened to him, Standish has gone on to enjoy a high profile career.

“I am pleased that the victim was able to find the courage to report these offences and I hope that this verdict goes some way to providing him with a degree of closure.”

Nina Maisuria, district Crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “Due to the nature and age of the allegation and the complex issues involved, we knew this would be a difficult case to prosecute.

“However, having considered the all evidence provided by the Thames Valley Police, we were satisfied that in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution was in the public interest, and made the decision to proceed with this matter.

“The prosecution team worked hard to build a strong case, which was then presented to the jury.

“The outcome today has meant justice has prevailed for the victim.”

After leaving teaching, Standish was press officer to the Prime Minister of Albania and was working for the United Nations when he was arrested.

Crookham Court was exposed on BBC’s That’s Life and three other members of staff were convicted of child sex offences after the school closed in 1989.

I would like to speak in confidence to anybody who attended Crookham Court School.

Charles Derham

crd@verisona.com

02392492472


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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