Humberside

St William's school sex abuse: Judge retires to consider claim

James Carragher Image copyright EPA
Image caption James Carragher is in jail for sex offences against children at the home

A judge has retired to consider a claim for compensation by five victims of sexual abuse at a Catholic school.

More than 200 men claim they were abused at St William's residential school in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, between 1970 and 1991.

The De La Salle order, which ran the school, has apologised "unreservedly" for the abuse and the actions of its former principal.

James Carragher was jailed for sex offences against children at the home.

Solicitor David Greenwood, acting for those claiming compensation, said St William's was "the biggest single home where boys were abused" that he had seen.

His Honour Judge Gosnell said he will rule on each case separately in the coming weeks.

BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire discovered that the Catholic Church had several opportunities to investigate the abuse but failure to act meant boys continued to be abused for decades.

There have been three criminal investigations into abuse at the home.

James Carragher, of Cearns Road, Merseyside, who was principal from 1976-1990, is serving his third prison sentence for physically and sexually abusing boys there.

Image caption St William's Children's Home was run by the De La Salle Brothers, a Christian order of lay teachers

He was jailed for nine years in January after being found guilty of 21 indecent assaults and three serious sex offences. He was cleared of a further 30 charges.

Former chaplain Anthony McCallen, formerly of Whernside Crescent, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, was jailed for 15 years after being convicted of 11 charges including a serious sexual offence.

He was acquitted of eight other charges at the same trial.

The compensation case was heard at the High Court in Leeds.

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