In March 2013 police began investigating allegations of abuse at the Fort Augustus Abbey School in Scotland. A recent BBC documentary, “Sins of the fathers” uncovered evidence of physical and sexual abuse at the School and the linked prep school, Carlekeep, East Lothian.
The allegations of abuse include physical violence, sexual assault and rape by monks at the School. As a result of the program further victims and former pupils have come forward. Seven monks at the School have been implicated and two headmasters have been accused of covering up the abuse.
The School was run by the Benedictine Order. The Abbot President of English Benedictine Congregation has already apologised to the victims and on Sunday 4th August 2013 the Bishop of Aberdeen, spoke out about the abuse, stating all that can be done should be done for the victims.
It has also been reported the abuse was reported to headmasters at the School however the police were not informed and one victim was warned that he should not tell lies. Slater and Gordon is currently supporting the campaign for mandatory reporting and this is another case where had the abuse been reported to the police promptly then victims may have been prevented from suffering abuse.
At Slater and Gordon we have a specialist abuse team who are experienced at dealing with these sorts of claims. We understand that the school was run by the English Benedictine Congregation. A number of previous claims have been made in relation other Benedictine schools such as Downside. Worryingly it has also been reported that members of the clergy who had previously confessed to abusing children, were subsequently sent to Fort Augustus. Last year Richard White was sentenced to five years for abusing two boys at Downside. It has be been reported that Richard White confessed to his abuse to his abbot over 20 years ago, however instead of being handed to the police he was sent to Fort Augustus in 1993.
Our abuse team would like to speak to anyone who has been affected by this story or any other abuse. Please call a member of our team on 020 7657 1658 for free confidential advice.