Verisona Law investigating abuse claims at St Paul’s School and Colet Court

An investigation has claimed that six teachers at the prestigious St. Paul’s School were responsible for historical sexual abuse of pupils.

The alleged abuse is said to have taken place between the 1960s and 1980s.

One of the teachers, Alan Doggett, helped launch the careers of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and later conducted recordings of three of their musicals.

According to an investigation by The Times, St Paul’s failed to report the abuse to police on at least two occasions during the 1960s and 1970s, after concerns were raised by parents or members of staff.

St Paul’s and its prep school Colet Court are regarded as amongst the best schools in Britain and attract boys from all over west and south-west London including Barnes, Putney, Chiswick, East Sheen and Ealing.

St Paul’s School has said that none of the alleged abuse involves current staff or pupils.

‘Any sexual abuse of children by an adult — and particularly a teacher — is abhorrent, a serious violation of trust, and an affront to the values of any caring community. Suspects should be investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice’.

In the most recent criminal case, a former Geography teacher was arrested last month and released on bail. Police are hoping to speak to more ex-pupils in the enquiry according to The Times report.

A seventh teacher, former head of history at St. Paul’s, Keith Perry, received a 2-year suspended sentence at Southwark Crown Court last month, admitting 17 charges of making and distributing child abuse images “over a substantial period of time”

One former case involves ex-director of music at Colet Court (1963-1968) Alan Doggett, who was allowed to resign after the suspected serial abuse of one pupil came to light. Within a year he was teaching music at another London independent school and later directed a London boys’ choir, even taking them on European tours. In 1978, he was charged with indecent assault of a 10 year old choirboy, and threw himself in front of a train aged 41, a few hours after appearing in court. He was also a member of the PIE pressure group which has recently been linked to senior Labour figures.

An ex-pupil speaking to the Times accused St. Paul’s of “hushing up” the offences which led to Doggett’s departure. He also said that on two occasions, in 2000 and earlier this year, he had contacted St. Paul’s to ask if it had support mechanisms for victims of historical abuse at the school, yet each time he claims that he was told that there was no such provision. Last week, St Paul’s finally suggested a meeting with him.

In a statement, St Paul’s stressed that none of the alleged abuse concerned current staff or pupils. The school called for living suspects to be “investigated and subjected to the proper processes of justice”.

It added that “the school deals quickly, sensitively and resolutely with any concerns or allegations of abuse. This commitment applies equally to allegations of historic abuse. Pupil welfare and safeguarding are our highest priority”.

Professor Mark Bailey, the school’s High Master, said he was “grateful to the Times for bringing these allegations to our attention” and promised that St. Paul’s would co-operate fully with any investigation.

If you can assist please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

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