Peter Hamilton-Leggett, 48, of Old Station Lane, Yelverton, Devon, was jailed for eight years at Swindon Crown Court after admitting 54 sex offences against boys as young as eight

A former teacher who sexually abused numerous schoolboys was caught with the help of the Friends Reunited website. Peter Hamilton-Leggett, 48, of Old Station Lane, Yelverton, evon, was jailed for eight years at Swindon Crown Court after admitting 54 sex offences against boys as young as eight. Some of the former pupils were contacted by police using the Friends Reunited website. The court had heard that Hamilton-Leggett had twice before been the focus of police investigations into alleged sex abuse but it was not until one man came forward in 2002 that the catalogue of horrific offences carried out, at two public schools in Wiltshire and Berkshire in the 1970s and 1980s, was uncovered. The court heard that one of the schools - the Old Ride Preparatory School in Bradford-on-von, Wiltshire - had since closed but detectives used the Friends Reunited website to contact former pupils. Detectives investigating the case then found they had opened the floodgates, resulting in 19 former pupils pressing charges against their old science master. Prosecutor Don Tait QC said Hamilton-Leggett had started abusing pupils in his care during his first teaching position at Old Ride School in 1970 when he was 26. He took a short break to study at Reading University but the abuse carried on at Lambrook Preparatory School in Bracknell until 1985 - a total period of some 15 years. Mr Tait outlined the pattern of how Hamilton-Leggett would first gain the trust of the boys, luring them to his room after "lights out" with promises of playing space invaders on his computer, sweets and even giving them beer on one occasion. After becoming their friend, the abuse would start. He used a variety of methods, one which became known as "the bravery trust game" in which the teacher would run his hands down the boys' bodies until told to stop. The boy he was abusing would be treated as a favourite but that treatment would abruptly stop if they resisted or refused him.


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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