Jesuit School Abuse: Man Wins £54k Damages

A former City lawyer who claimed the abuse suffered at a Jesuit-run school caused him to make a mess of his life has been awarded £54,923 at the High Court.

Patrick Raggett said he was sexually abused by Father Michael Spencer, a teacher at Preston Catholic College, Lancashire, who died in 2000, aged 76.

He said the abuse started in 1970, when he was 11 years old, and left him feeling "violation, dread, isolation, shame and humiliation".

Mr Raggett, now 54, said he did not connect his experiences at school with years of under-achievement at work, a failed marriage and binge drinking until he had therapy after a breakdown in April 2005.

The governors of Preston Catholic College, which closed in 1978, denied liability and said the case was brought too late.

But in 2009, Mrs Justice Swift ruled against them and, earlier this year, began to assess what compensation Mr Raggett was due.

He had been seeking £5m damages but the judge said he was not entitled to such a large payout.

Awarding him £40,000 for pain and suffering, plus interest and expenses, including the cost of therapy, Mrs Justice Swift said: "I am well aware that the conclusions I have reached in my judgement will be disappointing to the claimant and that its contents may cause him some distress.

"This is particularly unfortunate and regrettable since there is no doubt that he was the victim of an insidious form of abuse involving a grave breach of trust and that he has suffered significantly as a result. As a result, he is deserving of sympathy.

"Over recent years, he has come to believe that all the adverse events that have occurred in his life are attributable to the abuse and that belief, which I do not doubt is sincerely held, has clearly brought him a great deal of comfort."