Friday, 3 January 2014

Caldicott Prep School convicts Headmaster but ignores previous conviction.

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED 18th December 2013

Peter Wright in Court
Leading child abuse solicitors, QualitySolicitors Abney Garsden have launched an appeal for evidence which may help to support a claim of sexual abuse by a former headmaster at Caldicott School in Buckinghamshire.  The 83 year old former headmaster, Peter Wright was yesterday convicted of multiple sex offences against pupils at the school.  Caldicott was attended by a string of high profile individuals including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Andrew Strauss, the former England cricket captain.

The firm of solicitors are asking members of the public, witnesses and victims to come forward with any information that may help them pursue a claim for compensation against convicted Peter Wright.  Their client, 60 year old Tom Perry from Buckinghamshire who was sexually abused by Peter Wright when he was just a 12 year old school boy, has been fighting for justice for over ten years.  Mr Perry, who was sent to Caldicott at the age of 8 in 1963 says the sexual attentions by former headmaster, Peter Wright, began when he was vulnerable, missing family life and craving intimacy and kindness.  In 2003 the former headmaster was charged with 16 offences against five boys at Caldicott during the 1960s, but the ruling judge halted the case, on the grounds that it was an unfair trial due to the historical nature of the abuse, and set Wright free.

Peter Garsden, solicitor representing Tom Perry said: “I am delighted for all the victims of abuse at Caldicott who were abused by Peter Wright, convicted yesterday of various sex offences against former pupils. They will feel relieved that after many years, they have finally been believed and achieved some semblance of justice. Some of them, however, did not have the benefit of a conviction in their favour for legal and technical reasons. I act for one of them. We will now proceed with all speed to make claims for compensation against Mr Wright, and any others who may be involved.

The school were, of course, guilty of ignoring complaints and misleading the authorities in the past that could have stopped the abuse from continuing. I am anxious for any former pupils or staff, who can give any useful evidence of what happened to come forward, even if they were not involved in the case. Any information will be of use to our civil case.”

The date for the sentencing hearing has been confirmed as 6th February 2014.

This case is yet another example of how mandatory reporting could have prevented abuse from taking place over such a long period of time unchecked. The safeguarding the school have now is highly praised, designed, perhaps, in response to the unfolding scandal that has beset the school

Also of interest is the fact that Peter Wright was prosecuted unsuccessfully in 2003 on the basis of several complaints made by other boys who went to the school. The presiding Judge Connor decided that there was no basis for the prosecution to go forward because of the age of the allegations, and other matters. Curiously, a different judge, 10 years later decided that the case could now proceed, but on different allegations.

The prosecution is a testament to the many victims who have campaigned tirelessly to get the case back in Court. This time much more effort and resources were assigned to the case by the police, no doubt owing to the change in police attitude to these types of case.

A further side issue relates to an allegation that the Defence knowingly misled the Court back in 2003, thus entitling the victims to have the previous stay of the 2003 proceedings lifted.

We will await with interest what happens to the case at the time of sentencing, and beyond.

Any witnesses should contact QualitySolicitors Abney Garsden either by email or via our website 

No comments:

Post a Comment