03 February 2015
Former public school housemaster David Lowe convicted
David Lowe will be sentenced for 15 counts of indecent assault on Thursday 5th February at Southwark Crown Court after being convicted by a majority jury on 27th January.
The 61 year-old retired public school housemaster, was found guilty of abusing ten boys under-14 between 1978 and 1984. The offences took place at Westminster Cathedral Choir School in London and Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, two schools where David Lowe used to work.
David Lowe had clearly abused his position of trust as a schoolteacher over a number of years. During the trial, the jury heard evidence from one of Lowe’s former pupils who said it was strange that other teachers who were normally “so vigilant” did not notice what was going on. Indeed, the Court heard that Lowe left his job at Westminster Cathedral Choir School in 1981 shortly after a pupil had complained about being abused by him. Lowe went on to work at Ampleforth College where he abused further.
So, could the abuse have been prevented if staff at Westminster Cathedral Choir School and Ampleforth College were more vigilant? Did other teachers turn a blind eye as to what was going on at their school? The David Lowe trial shows us how there is an urgent need to protect young children from abuse and how it should be made compulsory to report cases of child abuse if you know what’s going on.
Slater and Gordon believe that if mandatory reporting of abuse became law then it would give children a greater level of protection and make it much less likely for abuse to continue over a number of years, such as in the David Lowe case. Currently, those working in schools, children’s homes and hospitals who know about child abuse at their place of work are not legally required to report it to the police. This can allow people like David Lowe to continue abusing children undetected.
Mandatory reporting has been endorsed by two of the three major political parties and the UK Government has recently announced a consultation on a new mandatory reporting law.
Slater and Gordon's Abuse Team represent a victim of David Lowe and have also represented victims of abuse at Ampleforth College. We believe that mandatory reporting will help to protect future generations of children from much of the appalling abuse we have seen in the past. A mandatory reporting law is long overdue and we are optimistic that the next UK Government will move to introduce this urgently-needed reform.
Slater and Gordon are currently instructed on the David Lowe case and have a specialist abuse team who understand the difficulties in speaking out. If you would like to talk to us about any of the issues raised in this article or if you have been a victim of any form of abuse please contact us here. Any communication will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.