For regular readers of my blogs, you will know that one typical characteristic of child abuse cases is the amount of control and calculation that is significant when it comes to covering up these horrific crimes.
This was certainly true in one of my latest cases and you can read more about this in the Surrey Mirror that quoted me as the lawyer representing 11 victims subjected to sex acts by a former school master, Philip Batten, in shared dormitories where walls were described as “paper thin”.
It would have been more than obvious to other students and perhaps even the staff that such abuse was happening, but, none of the victims reported the abuse at the time. This just goes to show the amount of control this individual had and how scared the pupils were of speaking out against him. One victim said when giving evidence that the school “must have known” about what was happening.
Philip Batten was an English and Drama teacher and house master at Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate, Surrey between 1971 and 1984. During that period, he groomed and sexually and physically abused school boys that were in his care.
The abuse carried out on the boys did not only include various counts of sexual assault, but he was also guilty of attacking boys with pieces of wood and a blackboard rubber. His secret mission of vile abuse continued for 11 years, but the consequences of his crimes have remained and affected his victims to this day.
The now 70-year-old was convicted on Tuesday 18th May and was found guilty of 14 charges of rape and indecency with a child and cruelty to a person under 16 years. It took the jury just four hours to reach a unanimous verdict. This adds to his previous guilty plea to 28 charges of sexual abuse and neglect. He was subsequently sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.
It can be hard to think that any amount of time or compensation can put right such horrific crimes and the victims, who are now in their 40s and 50s, will never get back their childhood. However, seeking justice can also help obtain specialist therapy and bring a sense of closure.
If you have been affected by a similar event, either recent or historic, then you can contact the Abuse team at Verisona Law who can help you to sensitively resolve your case.
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