John Clark accused of 26 indecent assaults but is this a case of mistaken identity?

John Clark, now 79, has pleaded not guilty to offences alleged to have been committed against four pupils while was the music director at the preparatory school. He is charged with 24 counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery. The defence does not contest that the abuse of the four boys took place, but has raised a strange defence claiming Clark was not the abuser. A rather unusual approach, it seems, by the defence is that they allege the four independant complainants all simply have the wrong man. It has been put to them they they were abused but by a now deceased former member of staff Laurie Paine, the assistant organ master who during the course of his employment at Aldro School was was caught with another boy before being fired from his job. hese four brave individuals have come forward and are trying to obtain closure and justice for the sordid and horrific crimes that they suffered, but are met with a spurious claim by the defence of mistaken identity. With reflection on the huge number of individuals Verisona Law have spoken to regarding abuse as a child, we cannot fathom that four independant witnesses can all have the wrong man. We simply believe that the defence are hoping to muddy the waters enough to cast doubt on the case. A distasteful approach that hopefully does not succeed. If you or a loved one have been 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.


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

"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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