Boarding school priest accused of ‘horrific’ sex abuse

A Catholic priest who repeatedly sexually abused a teenage student breached his position of trust in a “spectacular and horrific” way, a court has heard.

Father Michael Higginbottom, 74, is accused of subjecting the teenage boy to repeated sexual abuse when he worked as a teacher at St Joseph’s College in Upholland, Lancashire, in the late 1970s.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the boy, aged between 13 and 14 at the time of the allegations, said he would be struck with a strap if he did not attend Higginbottom’s living quarters, where much of the abuse was alleged to have happened, at appointed times.

The boarding school, which has now closed, was attended by boys aged 11 to 18, many of whom were considering a career in the priesthood.

ITV News

BBC News

Fresh sex abuse claims hit Scots military school

There were fresh calls last night to widen the Scottish government’s child abuse inquiry after a former pupil of a military boarding school in Dunblane claimed he was abused by a teacher.

It has emerged police launched an investigation after a victim broke decades of silence to reveal his abuse at the hands of a housemaster at Queen Victoria School (QVS) in the 1970s.

The Times

Britain’s most prestigious military boarding school ‘bribed teacher’s daughter to provide information that led to the arrest of whistleblower’

Britain’s most prestigious military boarding school is facing damaging new claims that it covered up allegations of abuse against students.

On Saturday The Telegraph exposed how the Ministry of Defence appeared to collude The Duke of York’s Royal Military School to stifle claims of bullying and abuse.

Kent Police launched a review into their alleged failure to investigate dozens of criminal allegations at the school, and at least one detective inspector has been disciplined.

The Telegraph

Ministry of Defence accused of attempting to cover up claims of abuse at top military boarding school

The Ministry of Defence is accused of colluding with Britain’s most prestigious military boarding school to cover up claims of abuse, The Telegraph can disclose.

Kent Police has now launched a review into their alleged failure to investigate dozens of criminal allegations at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School, and at least one detective inspector has been disciplined.

The force has set up a dedicated team to review claims about the school, which is seen as a breeding ground for future army leaders and boasts His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, as a patron.

The boarding school near Dover, which has enjoyed visits from Prince Harry and the British Army’s Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, is listed on police records as the location for 38 crime reports over the last two decades.

The Telegraph

[In a telling development, the Daily Mail has removed comments from its coverage of this story…]

It can last a lifetime. The toll of being sent to boarding school at 7…

One painful moment from my childhood remains so sharply defined in my memory that it has the power to make me cry — even now.

I am a boy, aged just eight, sitting at a window in my boarding school, scanning the drive, waiting for my father to turn up and take me on an afternoon outing.

Minutes tick by. The arranged time for our meeting passes. I wait, still hopeful, expectant, excited.

Daily Mail

Catholic Church paid A$276m to abuse victims in Australia

The Australian Catholic Church has paid A$276m (£171m; $213m) to victims of sexual abuse since 1980, an inquiry has heard.

The money was divided between thousands of victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told.

The data, released on Thursday, showed the average payment was A$91,000.

The landmark royal commission was set up in 2013 and is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations.

The Catholic Church made the payments in response to 3,066 of 4,445 child sexual abuse claims between 1980 and 2015, the inquiry heard. More than 40% of claims were received by a handful of male orders.

They included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney.

BBC News

Sixth man charged with assaults at former boys boarding school in Cumbria

A sixth man has been charged with assaults at a former boarding school for boys.

The alleged historical offences are said to have taken place at Underley Hall School in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

Derrick William Cooper, 76, of Hillberry Green, Isle of Man, has been charged with six offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two offences of child cruelty, a Cumbria Police spokesman said.

The force said the charges were part of its Operation Tweed investigation – launched in July 2014 – into reports of non-recent abuse in residential schools in the south of the county.

ITV News

BBC News

How I came to terms with the horrors of my boarding school abuse

Mark Stibbe, a former vicar who lives in North Yorkshire, is among those to claim to have been abused by youth worker John Smyth, who ran Christian holiday camps. As other victims waive their right to anonymity, here he tells his story in full.

iNews

Former Dumbarton boarding school probed in historic child abuse inquiry

A former Dumbarton boarding school is being probed by investigators from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Judge Lady Smith revealed that the inquiry is investigating whether historical abuse took place at fee-paying Keil School in Kirktonhill.

The boarding school – which closed 17 years ago – will be looked at along with 60 residential care centres as part of the inquiry into widespread abuse in Scotland.

Lady Smith – speaking at a preliminary hearing of the inquiry at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week – also said that more than 100 locations where abuse is said to have taken place have been identified.

In a statement, she urged anyone with information about abuse to come forward.

Daily Record