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.

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."


Make an