Frederick Brookes jailed for ten years

He was once a pillar of the community who helped teach hundreds of children. But devious Frederick Brookes is today starting a ten-year jail term for his sickening abuse of two young girls and downloading more than 12,000 vile and abusive images.

The disturbing pictures – many of which were described as depicting elements of sadism – had to be viewed by Judge Gary Burrell QC, who described them as some of the worst he had ever been forced to see during his 30-year legal career. Southampton Crown Court heard how 62- year-old Brookes – known to many by his middle name Paul – was only brought to justice after his own wife shopped him to police last year. She had become worried and increasingly suspicious of her husband – who was working as an IT assistant at what was then Hardley School in Holbury, New Forest – because he kept plying the girls with sweets and biscuits. The court was told how both of his victims were under the age of ten. One of them was left suffering nightmares, terrified he was going to get her. Parents of the children, who were not pupils at the school, had also been totally betrayed by Brookes and they now felt like they could no longer trust anyone. The court was told how Brookes even groomed a third girl to help him take video footage of one victim as she lay helplessly naked, tied up and looking desperately uncomfortable at what he was doing. Prosecutor James Newton-Price said Brookes had met his wife in 2001 when teaching in India and she was a student. They married and moved to the United Kingdom. But when he began giving the youngsters so many sweets and biscuits she considered it unhealthy, it prompted her to ask one girl if he had done anything to her. Initially the young girl said no but later went on to reveal that he had – something that Brookes denied. Mr Newton-Price told how, after a night’s reflection, Mrs Brookes spoke to the parents of the girls and the police were informed. When questioned, Brookes admitted he had played with the children but denied touching them. He was then asked if they would find any sexual images on his computer and Brookes replied: “Oh, God, no”. Police, however, examined it and discovered sickening images had been either deleted or encrypted – but they were able to recover them.

The court heard five moving images had been broken down frame by frame to show 196 still images featuring one of the girls he had filmed tied up with a video camera zooming in and out on her. Brookes had downloaded more than 12,000 other pornographic images of children, of which nearly 1,000 were at the most serious level and involved sadism. When police interviewed him, Brookes said he needed help and was embarrassed and disgusted with himself. Impact statements from the parents of Brookes’s victims were read to the court, with one couple saying he had totally betrayed them and they found it difficult to trust anyone again. They said Brookes had fooled everyone, and their daughter was now suffering nightmares. The second girl’s parents said their daughter was once outgoing and confident but she was now too scared to sleep on her own and had become withdrawn. Brookes, 62, of Stem Lane, New Milton, admitted six counts of sexual assault and 18 charges of making indecent images. In addition to the jail sentence, he was given a sexual offences prevention order banning access to children and the Internet, he was placed on the sex offenders’ register and disqualified from working with children – all for life. In mitigation, Rebecca Austin said Brookes, of previous good character, had shown regret and remorse. She said: “He has lost everything – his wife, his job, his home. “He has also lost his good reputation and he has no friends. He has been suffering from depression and taking medication for it. He was not doing it for financial gain and has not shared the images with anyone.” But passing sentence, the judge said: “What you did to those girls was truly abhorrent. You breached the trust of their parents and your abuse has left their families quite distraught and you have damaged those children as well. You are in my opinion a parent’s worst nightmare. “It is clear from the parents you were someone they trusted, as well they might because you were a pillar of the community.” We would like to hear from anyone affected by this story or other similar abuse. Please contact us in the strictest of confidence. We act for a number of individuals who are pursuing schools for alleged physical and sexual abuse. Charles Derham crd@verisona.com 02392492472

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Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

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Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

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Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

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