Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Catholic church faces £8m claim for 150 allegations of sex abuse at Yorkshire school

Catholic church faces £8m claim for 150 allegations of sex abuse at Yorkshire school

Published Date: 12 July 2010
A CATHOLIC diocese today launched an appeal after being found liable for running a boys' school in East Yorkshire where 150 former pupils are suing for sexual and physical abuse.
Middlesbrough Diocese, which is facing an £8 million compensation claim, says the De La Salle Brotherhood, a Catholic organisation which provided teachers for the school, should take some responsibility.

A judge had ruled last year that the brotherhood had no legal responsibility for the alleged abuse by staff at St William's in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, which closed in 1992.

Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC, representing the diocese and its Catholic Child Welfare Society, told three judges at the Court of Appeal in London today that many or most of the alleged acts of abuse were said to have been committed by members of the brotherhood working at the school.

It was this organisation which appointed the teachers, he said.

But although the De La Salle Brothers were in senior positions, Judge Hawkesworth found that they were not employed by the lay order and it was the diocese that had the power to appoint staff.

The case centres around the alleged systematic abuse of boys aged between ten and 16 from 1960 to 1992.

The home had taken in boys referred from local authorities, mainly from Yorkshire and the North East.

The appeal is expected to last four days, when judgment will be reserved to a later date.

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