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Former housemaster at prestigious Surrey school jailed for 17 years

Former housemaster at Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Philip Batten jailed for 17 years for serious non-recent sexual assaults on boys

19 May 2016

Philip Batten, a former Housemaster and English teacher at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School was sentenced today at Guildford Crown Court to 17 years’ imprisonment after a jury returned fourteen unanimous verdicts of guilty for charges ranging from serious sexual assaults to incidents of child cruelty.

Batten pled guilty to 28 other charges of abuse and neglect of children at the School.

Alison Millar who is representing two of the complainants in the trial who are survivors of abuse perpetrated by Philip Batten, 70, at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School and is head of abuse law at Leigh Day, said:

“The Court heard the most awful detail of how this man used his position at the school to sexually abuse and mistreat pupils in his care, abuse for which he had twice been convicted. Batten served a 6-week prison sentence in 1988 and then another 3-year sentence in 1998.

"However, according to testimony heard in Court, despite his 1988 conviction and dismissal, Batten was given a reference from the previous headmaster at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School and returned to a teaching post, before being ‘outed’ by a national newspaper.

“Our clients remain upset and bewildered that the school has not yet apologised to them and the other survivors of abuse as they believe the school should have done more to protect them from Batten and other teachers at the school who have been found guilty of abuse between the 1950s and 1980s.

“Our clients would like to express their gratitude to the Surrey Police for the way they have handled this investigation and their attitude toward our clients.”

The two men, whose anonymity is protected, submitted victim impact statements to the Court, they have given permission for these to be reported.

One client wrote: “When I look at my life I can see I was destined for a gay and hopefully peaceful life but due to what Mr Batten and his friends did to me my life was not that way.”

“There has never been a day since where I haven't thought about what happened to me. Sometimes even a smell can set a panic attack and I'm right back there again. The long term mental health effects are immeasurable…”  

Another said: “Because of the mental, sexual and physical abuse, the total lack and neglect of my wellbeing, this led me to attempt suicide in the school grounds. The anguish and mental torment as a result has caused a distinct lack of self confidence in both my home and work life.”

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