Law firm encourages independent school abuse victims to sue

  • 15th February 2024

Leeds-based solicitors firm Simpson Millar is urging former pupils who were abused at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate in Thorpe Underwood, North Yorkshire to get in touch to help them launch compensation claims, the Harrogate Advertiser has reported..

The school’s former owner and chair of governors Brian Martin was jailed for more than three years in July 2021 for the historical sexual abuse of two pupils. Then, last September Alexander Charles Ralls, former deputy headteacher and child protection officer at the school was jailed for 16 years for sexually abusing 20 youngsters.

Nathalie Swanwicks from Simpson Millar’s specialist abuse team, said: “We strongly urge anybody who has been a victim of Brian Martin or Alexander Ralls to reach out for support.

“Anyone who has been affected may also be able to bring a civil claim for compensation.

“While no amount of money can ever make up for what they experienced, it can provide them with vital funds that can help them to access the help needed to rebuild their lives following the abuse that they endured.”

A spokesperson for Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate said: “We agree wholeheartedly with Simpson Millar’s statement that abuse victims deserve and require help to rebuild their lives

“Where it is genuinely felt that this is best achieved through legal action, we, of course, respect that position.

“We would like to say firmly that the isolated actions of these two individuals were entirely at odds with our culture and values.”

A recent Independent Schools Inspectorate report stated: “’Effective safeguarding arrangements are in place at Queen Ethelburga’s. Staff are appropriately trained, and concerns are reported promptly.”

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest news.