18 December 2013
Former Headteacher of Caldicott convicted of Child Abuse
Roland Peter Wright, a former head teacher at Caldicott Boys’ Preparatory School, has been convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault including 10 indecent assaults and two charges of indecency with a child explains Abuse Lawyer Jessica Standley.
Wright was found guilty of sexually assaulting five Caldicott pupils who were aged between 8 and 13 at the time of the assault.
At the trial earlier this year Wright denied the 12 offences. It is alleged that the abuse took place between 1959 and 1970 whilst Wright was a Master and subsequent Headmaster at the school. Follow this link to our previous blogs on this case for further information about this case.
John Addrison and Hugh Henry, other employees of the School have also been convicted following guilty pleas. Addrison was charged with 3 counts of indecent assault on a child under the age of 16 and one count of gross indecency with a child under 14 which are reported to have been committed whilst Addrison was working at Caldicott. He was also charged with 7 counts of indecent assault involving three children whilst working at Moor Park School in Ludlow between 1985 and 1988. Henry was charged with 10 offences allegedly committed whilst he was working at Caldicott. He was also charged with a number of offences which relate to when he taught at Gayhurst School in Gerrards Cross.
We praise the victims for their courage in speaking out and enduring a long criminal process and are pleased to hear that these prolific abusers have been rightly convicted. This case shows that perpetrators of abuse can still be brought to justice many years after the offences and we hope that the convictions assist them in achieving a sense of closure.
At Slater and Gordon we deal with a variety of cases similar to that of the Caldicott case and are aware that victims of abuse are all affected differently. Abuse can have a profound impact on many aspects of an individual’s life including their careers and their ability to form relationships. Some victims can go on to suffer with severe psychological issues as a result of the abuse. We believe that it is vital that these individuals obtain the psychological treatment and support they need to assist them in overcoming these issues. For some, civil action is the only means whereby an individual can obtain the funding for this expert treatment.
Civil cases in relation to abuse which occurred many years ago may be technically out of time however the courts have a discretion to dis-apply this limitation period and therefore the victims at Caldicott School may still be able to pursue civil claims in relation to the abuse they suffered. Claims can be brought against the individuals directly however this can be difficult as the defendant often does not have sufficient means, are uninsured or they may be deceased. Alternatively claims can be brought under the law of vicarious liability. In this case claims could be brought against institutions such as Caldicott School on the basis that the defendant is employed or in a relationship akin to employment.
At Slater and Gordon we act for a number of clients who have been victims of sexual abuse at school and have recently settled a successful group action against a school. For the majority of these clients, the abuse happened decades ago. We are therefore experienced in dealing with issues related to these types of cases and sensitive to the difficulties client’s face when speaking out. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced sexual abuse team please give us a call on 0207 657 1658 / 0207 657 1637. Any communication will be dealt with in strict confidence.