Keith Ruby, of Axbridge, Somerset, convicted of 16 counts of serious sexual offences against a teenage boy dating back to 05/06

Police described Ruby as "a manipulative man"

A teacher recently jailed for child abuse was first accused of being a paedophile more than seven years ago, the BBC has found. Police say Keith Ruby, 36, could not be charged in 2006 because the victim felt unable to give evidence. The BBC's Inside Out West programme discovered North Somerset Council had "concerns" about how the school dealt with the allegations at the time. Sidcot School said its safeguarding procedures were "completely compliant". Ruby, of Biddisham Lane, xbridge, Somerset, was convicted in January of 16 counts of serious sexual offences against a teenage boy dating back to 2005/06 and jailed for 10 years. He left Sidcot School in January 2005, eight months before the allegations of abuse were first brought to light. In a statement, the school, in Winchcombe, Somerset, said: "t the school, we hold our duty of care to students as paramount and have cooperated at every stage with the authorities in their investigations. "Our safeguarding procedures, both now and at the time of these incidents, are completely compliant. "We are confident that the school offers the greatest possible protection to its students and that the school has a justified reputation for the excellent quality of its pastoral care, where our staff work tirelessly to protect and nurture the welfare of students. " et h Insp Richard Kelvey, of von and Somerset onstabulary, said: "Unfortunately at that time the victim in this case wasn't in a position in his life where he could fully disclose what had happened to him and the evidence available at the time was insufficient for Keith Ruby to be charged and prosecuted with any offences." The allegations against Ruby, made by pupils, were first brought to light by former colleague Andrew Counsell who passed them onto the school and then the police. A spokesman for North Somerset Council said it had concerns about the way in which the school had dealt with those allegations. "We made these concerns known to the school. Advice was given regarding the importance of following child protection procedures and child protection training was also provided for staff," he said. he school said Mr Counsell did not give them enough time or information to investigate the claim properly before going to the authorities. After raising the allegations, Mr Counsell went on to make unfounded claims against the school and was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct. 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.


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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