Gordon Rideout – Verisona Solicitors instructed to represent

Verisona have been instructed to represent an individual who alleges that they were sexually assaulted by Gordon Rideout.

We seek to speak to others who may be able to assist in our enquiries.

Canon Rideout has received a jail sentence of 10 years at Lewes Crown Court after being convicted of two attempted rapes and 34 indecent assaults on 16 boys and girls in Hampshire and Sussex in the 1960s and 1970s.

The majority of the 36 charges related to offences carried out at the now-demolished Barnardo’s children’s home Ifield Hall in Crawley when Canon Rideout was an assistant curate at nearby St. Mary’s Church, Southgate. The jury heard how many of Canon Rideout’s victims were too afraid to report his behaviour for fear of being beaten and, even if they had, a child’s word was not likely to be believed.

Rideout, now 74, was also convicted of four charges of indecent assault on two girls at the Middle Wallop army base where he was a Padre at the site’s St Michael's Church.

Despite a court martial in 1972 and police investigation in 2001, he continued to be employed by the Church. He was Chaplain at Moira House School in Eastbourne until 2003, Chairman of Governors at St Mary's Special School in Bexhill until 2009 and at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne until November 2011.

Nigel Pilkington, Head of the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit, said: ‘As an assistant curate and then chaplain, Gordon Rideout was in a position of trust which he systemically abused, indecently assaulting the vulnerable youngsters that he met over a number of years. He was able to wander through Ifield Hall and the gardens, even visiting children when they were sick and alone in bed. One victim recalled how the children would hide under their covers when he came into their dormitories.’

Charles Derham, Specialist Child Abuse Solicitor for legal firm Verisona, comments ‘Canon Rideout is one of several priests to whose alleged misdeeds the Church of England has turned a blind eye over the years and it should no longer shun its accountability to the victims.’

‘Considering the number of establishments he worked for, it is likely that many more victims have yet to come forward. None of us can begin to imagine the impact that this has had on their lives and it is right victims should be entitled to compensation for the physical and mental injury inflicted upon them.’

‘Rideout’s catalogue of abuse was closely connected to his position of trust as a Canon for the Church of England. This gave him the opportunity to abuse, which is likely to make it fair and just to impose liability on the Archdiocese, which would have exercised control and provided duties, making the relationship akin to an employment contract.’

‘Further culpability may lie with other organisations responsible; the management of Ifield Hall, schools where Canon Rideout was permitted access to vulnerable children and the local authorities in their general duties of care towards children in their areas.’

‘The findings of the investigations carried out by local authorities, police and military over the years, as well as any records available about complaints, need to be carefully considered in order to unravel how this man could have been left in a position to abuse for such a long period of time.’

We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life. If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

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

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

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.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

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.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


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