Southampton abuse ‘guilty’ plea saves the trauma of court for his complainants

As part of Operation Marmion, an initiative led by Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes and Hampshire Police, a further case has been uncovered of historical sex crimes that were carried out at a Southampton children’s home.

Marmion is part of a national campaign for an ongoing review of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and abuse cases, specifically in relation to a series of investigations between 1997 and 2013. Evidence is currently being re-examined from various child protection specialists from four councils in Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It has been working to uncover several cases of child exploitation and outstanding missing persons cases.

The latest fruits of Marmion’s labours is the successful conviction of two men, who were charged with carrying out a string of sex offences in the late 80s and early 90s against boys at the former Thorold Road children’s home, which closed in 2009.

As part of Operation Marmion in February, the two men, Stuart Thomas Murdoch and Jack Jones, appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, which they were successfully charged with.  The charged offences include gross indecency and indecent assault

More recently, 56-year-old Jones, who is from York, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of child sex offences as well as indecent assault on a male at Southampton Crown Court in March. The saving grace from his plea, was that it saved those who were brave enough to come forward from the distress and trauma of reliving their experiences in court, which is what can often happen in the case of a not-guilty plea. In these instances, investigations can be much more wide-reaching and can involve victims themselves giving evidence and in most cases coming face to face with their abuser.

With his guilty plea, the case relating to Jones means those who have already suffered need not put themselves through any more unnecessary trauma. He will be sentenced later in the year.

If you have been affected by anything written in today’s blog, or you need some advice and support in relation to any cases being dealt with under Operation Marmion, then you can call the legal team here at Verisona Law. We have many years’ experience in sensitively handling many cases like these and we would be happy to help.


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.

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

"Your help in pursuing and fighting my case is greatly appreciated, not by just myself but my whole family. Only through the progression of the case have I found it easier to talk about it and this has helped deal with something I had locked away since the day I left the school. It has allowed me to talk about my experiences far more openly and without the stigma of shame I had felt for so long.
Once again thank you sincerely for your time and patience in dealing with my case."

Abuse Survivor, St Georges School, Norfolk

Various

  • Charles Derham

    Charles Derham

    Senior Associate, Head of Abuse Team

    T: 023 9244 6920

Testimonials

  • "Your help in pursuing and fighting my case is greatly appreciated, not by just myself but my whole family. Only through the progression of the case have I found it easier to talk about it and this has helped deal with something I had locked away since the day I left the school. It has allowed me to talk about my experiences far more openly and without the stigma of shame I had felt for so long.
    Once again thank you sincerely for your time and patience in dealing with my case."

    Various


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