Ronald Wotton a terminally ill 73-year-old jailed for five years for historical indecency offences

Primary school pupils made themselves sick with washing up liquid to try to avoid lessons with a teacher who sexually abused them in front of the class, a court has heard. When one child complained about Ronald Wotton to the headteacher at the Roman Catholic school in County Durham, the head did not believe the allegation and made the pupil apologise to the abuser. Judge Howard Crowson, sitting at Teesside crown court, jailed the terminally ill 73-year-old for five years. Wotton, who uses a wheelchair, admitted 17 counts of indecent assault, three counts of indecency with a male and one of indecency with a child over a 12-year period from the late 1960s. He was allowed to retire in 1980 when a new head, who could not ignore the mounting allegations against Wotton, took over. Judge Crowson told Wotton, of Park Lane, Murton, Seaham: “You were sadly operating at a time when, to most of the adult public, it was inconceivable for this type of offending to be committed by a teacher.” 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. Individuals may be able to pursue the school in respect of a civil claim for compensation.


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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