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Successful settlement of claim for abuse at Prep School

A man, who we have named Charlie, has received a settlement after he brought a civil claim against his former Preparatory School, All Hallows’ School in Somerset, for sexual abuse he experienced as a pupil.

15 October 2020

The abuse was perpetrated by a music teacher called Paul Dowbekin.  In October 2018, Dowbekin pleaded guilty to 14 sexual offences against eight boys, including Charlie, who were all under the age of 14 years-old at the time.
Dowbekin was subsequently jailed for over 10 years at Taunton Crown Court.
The settlement sum of £55,000 reflects the lasting nature of the trauma our client experienced.  It impacted on his self-esteem and his ability to trust others.  Sadly, the perpetrator’s abuse of trust took away the love of music that Charlie had previously had.  
Like many survivors of abuse, he carried the “dreadful secret” of the abuse for years until he finally made a disclosure to the police.  Charlie is relieved to have settled his civil claim and brought to an end the serial Court processes in which he has been involved.
Charlie said:
“The service provided by Leigh Day was incredibly helpful, both professional and supportive. Given the sensitive nature of the case they were very considerate and made sure the entire process was smooth without any added stress." 
Instructed solicitor Alison Millar said:
“The perpetrator’s offences against pupils at All Hallows’ spanned a decade from 2000 to 2010 and there must be questions as to whether there were signs of concern in his behaviour towards pupils that could earlier have been acted upon.
“The school did not contest the civil case and I am pleased that we were able to deal with this case co-operatively, minimising further trauma to my client.”

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