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Released On 22nd Jan 2016

Author David Nolan continues to tell his story of historic abuse at St Ambrose College

A former student of St Ambrose Roman Catholic College in Hale Barns in Manchester, David Nolan waived his right to give evidence at the Crown Court trial of Reverend Alan Morris in order to produce a `behind the scenes film’ of historic child abuse at St Ambrose.  David Nolan’s short film about the trial won Best Regional Story at the Royal Television Society North West Awards.  The author and journalist worked closely with police officers and dozens of former school boys who gave personal accounts of abuse at St Ambrose.  David Nolan states he wanted to try to make the process less daunting and help others to come forward.

David Nolan has also published a book of his experience of the investigation, `Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil’ which takes a broader look at the Court process and follows the case to Trial.  Nolan has gone on to produce `The Abuse Trial’, a programme for BBC Radio 4 which was broadcast on 11th January 2016.   Nolan says he has received hundreds of emails from former pupils at St Ambrose who did not initially come forward but wish they had given evidence and still feel terrible.  Samantha Robson, a solicitor specialising in historic abuse compensation claims comments,

`It is never too late to come forward and report historic sexual abuse.  We have new enquiries from victims on a daily basis and the majority of those relate to historic sexual abuse.’

`Sometimes I am the first person a victim has ever confided in. It is often a long and harrowing conversation.  I am here to listen and help them achieve justice.  Of course it is not always possible to claim compensation, but we provide specialist legal advice and consider all the legal avenues.’

Sam always encourages those affected to report the matter to the police as the first step. 

Reverend Alan Morris was found guilty by jury trial of 19 sexual assaults committed against 10 pupils at the all-boys grammar school where he taught between 1972 and 1991 when the school was run by a Roman Catholic religious order the “Christian Brothers”.  He was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 28th August 2014 and jailed for 9 years for sexually abusing pupils.

During the Crown Court Trial, the jury heard evidence that Morris was a ruthless disciplinarian and regularly used corporal punishment to hide his real motive for reprimanding young boys.  Morris was a chemistry teacher and also head of discipline who abused his position of trust whilst he was a teacher at the school.  At his Trial, the jury heard of his terrifying bag of implements that Morris used to punish the boys.  These included a leather strap, a cane and a weapon he had made which he called the `paddywhacker’.   Morris had a fearsome reputation at the school and occasionally other teachers would send their pupils to Morris to be reprimanded.  Pupils were taken to his office and beaten and indecently assaulted by Morris and forced to beat each other.  Scott Morgan, one of Morris’s victims has spoken out about his humiliating abuse.  He describes the abuse as ritualistic.  Morris would march him in front of the class to his little office where he would have to bend over and wait for Morris to choose an implement to beat him with.

During the criminal investigation, more than 50 former pupils came forward to report incidents of sexual assault and abuse at St Ambrose.  Complaints were also made against two other teachers who have since died.

If you or a family member are a victim of sexual abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors on a free, confidential, no obligation basis please email enquiries@robsonshaw.uk. Robsonshaw specialise in bringing compensation claims against both private and comprehensive schools.  Their solicitors have dealt with a number of high profile cases against convicted teachers such as Nigel Leat and Simon Parsons.  They continue to represent numerous victims of abuse suffered at schools across the country.


Tags: School Abuse, sexual abuse