Men Claim Abuse by Care Home Staff

By Steve Wright
This is Bradford [United Kingdom]
August 11, 2006

Four Bradford men who claim they were sexually abused as boys at a Catholic care home have launched a legal fight for compensation.

They are among 140 men who are bringing a civil claim over sexual abuse allegations at the St William's children's home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, between 1962 and 1992.

Solicitors in West Yorkshire are pursuing the claim on their behalf against the De La Salle Order of Christian Brotherhood, which ran the home, and the Diocese of Middlesbrough, which owned it.

Those involved in the claim were aged between 13 and 16 at the time of the alleged abuse by staff at the home.

The home's principal, Brother James Carragher, 68, is serving a 14-year prison sentence for abusing 22 boys at the home. He had previously served four years of a seven-year sentence for abusing nine boys at the home.

A colleague, Father Anthony McCallen, was jailed for three and a half years for offences against young boys.

The civil claim is being handled by David Greenwood, of Jordans solicitors in Dewsbury. He confirmed he was pursuing a claim on behalf of 140 alleged victims of abuse at St William's, including the Bradford four.

Mr Greenwood said the claim was in its early stages but he was hoping it would be dealt with by the courts before the end of next year.

Mr Greenwood said the victims had shown great courage in coming forward.

He said: "I understand that it is a very painful process for people to go through, given the nature of these allegations. They are really brave.

"They are not concentrating on the compensation. They just want to come away with a measure of justice."

He said he was still seeking to trace other victims who had not yet come forward.

"I am sure there are more people out there," he said. "I am sure the police did not manage to contact all the people who were there because they had changed addresses or moved to other parts of the country.

"There is a time limit on cases which means people have to come forward as soon as they can after realising they can make claims for compensation."

Mr Greenwood said he could not discuss individual claimants or the amount of compensation they would be seeking because he did not want to prejudice the case. Anyone who claims to have been abused and wants to claim for compensation should contact Mr Greenwood on (01924) 457171.



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