First picture of teacher at centre of sex abuse claims as more alleged victims come forward

Ian Farquharson accused of being a prolific sexual predator who targeted dozens of boys between 1975 and 1992
-Credit: (Image: Submission)

The first picture of a teacher at the centre of claims of sexual abuse has been released, as more alleged victims have come forward.

More than 60 people have now claimed they suffered horrific abuse at the hands of Ian Farquharson, a former headteacher at Formby High School. The solicitor representing the 64 alleged victims believes there are many more yet to come forward.

Farquharson was believed to have abused children in North Wales and Formby between 1975 and May 1992. In 1980, Farquharson was charged with inciting young boys to commit acts of gross indecency.

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According to reports at the time, he allegedly plied his pupils with lemonade after school hours and encouraged them to commit sex acts while he spied on them through a keyhole. However, he was cleared of that charge at Crosby Magistrates' Court, after claiming the boys had "tried to get him into trouble" after he had to "discipline" them in the past.

Farquharson was allowed to carry on teaching for another twelve after the case was dismissed, telling reporters at the time of his acquittal that he was glad his "ordeal" was over. Farquharson went on to become the head of the lower school, and in 1992 he was subject of a new complaint of sexual abuse by the mother of a child.

That very same day, Farquharson got into his car, drove to an isolated spot near Mold in North Wales, and took his own life. The inquest into Farquharson's suicide included details of his last moments. The court heard he had been summoned to the headteacher's study and an investigation into his conduct had been launched by education chiefs. Afterwards, he was seen by a neighbour returning to his house in Ashdale Close, Formby looking agitated, before then driving away.

In 2021, six survivors came forward after seeing a video on Facebook by child abuse survivor and well-known UK bodybuilder Aarron Lambo. By 2022, 41 ex-Formby High School abuse victims had come forward and this has subsequently increased to 64.

These 64 people are now engaged in a lawsuit and are suing Sefton Council. The local authority has said it cannot comment on the case while proceedings are ongoing.

Katherine Yates is a solicitor helping to represent the Formby High School victims and she is keen to raise awareness of the issues of child abuse and ensure child safety protocols are always monitored and improved.

A worryingly similar abuse case emerged last week after headteacher Neil Foden was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison for sexually abusing children under his care. Details of his abuse revealed an obsession with urination - Foden would ply school children with water and press their bladder and force them to urinate.

According to Katherine Yates, Foden's abuse is disturbingly similar to the abuse carried out by Farquharson, who was also known to hand out fizzy drinks and water. In most cases, it was claimed he would refuse to let the children go to the toilet, before finally granting them permission. It is claimed the teacher would then follow the boys into the toilet and sexually assault them while they were urinating.

Ms Yates said: "There are many reasons why people feel anxious about coming forward, but we would encourage anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of either of these perpetrators to get in touch and claim the compensation they deserve.”

Ms Yates urged anyone who was affected to contact her firm, whether or not they have made a claim before, and stressed the case is being pursued on a no-win-no-fee basis. Anyone seeking more information can contact Katherine Yates on 01223 367133 or by email at

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