Former pupil at Catholic boarding school who was raped by teachers gets £1.4m payout
- £1.4million has been awarded to a man who was raped at a Catholic boys’ school
- The 54-year-old, known only as AB, attended St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife
- He was abused by religious brothers John Farrell, Paul Kelly and Gerard Ryan
- Ryan died in 2013 but Farrell was jailed five years in 2016 and Kelly for ten years
Published: 00:04, 15 February 2022 | Updated: 00:09, 15 February 2022
A man who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of a Catholic religious order has secured a record £1.4million in compensation.
The 54-year-old, known only as AB, was sexually assaulted by religious brothers John Farrell, Paul Kelly and Gerard Ryan.
It occurred during a 14-month spell while he was boarding at St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife, which was run by the Christian Brothers – a religious teaching order within the Catholic Church.
AB was raped, molested and beaten by all three teachers. They would also frequently play the song Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie during their attacks. The Christian Brothers tried to have the legal case against them thrown out at the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court.
John Farrell, (left) and Paul Kelly, (right) were convicted of several charges against six former pupils of St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife, after a long-running trial at the High Court in Glasgow
But Sheriff Christopher Dickson dismissed the attempt and ordered it to pay damages of £1.39million.
In 2016 Farrell was convicted of four abuse charges and jailed for five years while Kelly was convicted of six and got ten years. Ryan died in 2013 before he could be investigated.
It is believed to be the highest sum ever awarded to a survivor of abuse.
AB’s evidence did not play a part in the convictions but Sheriff Dickson ruled the abuse did occur due to the volume of supporting evidence gathered.
The police investigation into St Ninian’s began in 2013 after officers received three separate complaints of sexual abuse from former pupils. Pictured, the St Ninian’s building, which closed in 1983
AB said: ‘Finally, after 40 years, I have been acknowledged and those responsible can be exposed.’
Describing speaking to the police, he said: ‘It was terrifying but empowering. Exhausting but freeing. Painful but therapeutic. I’ll always feel the pain. But at least now I’m not alone. I am supported.
‘And I can now slowly look to the future instead of being chained to my past.’
Last year the school was described as a ‘place of abuse and deprivation’ by Judge Lady Smith in a ruling from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. She ruled children had suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and said the evidence was ‘distressing’.
Kim Leslie, of law firm Digby Brown, said: ‘We’re not aware of any higher sums ever being awarded to a survivor so this settlement is truly a landmark one.’