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Successful settlement of claim for abuse at Prep School

A man has received a settlement after he brought a civil claim against his former Preparatory School for sexual abuse he experienced as a pupil.

Posted on 15 October 2020

A man, who we have named Mr X, 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.

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 Mr X, who were all under the age of 14 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 Mr X 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.  Mr X is relieved to have settled his civil claim and brought to an end the serial Court processes in which he has been involved.
 
Mr X 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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Alison Millar
Abuse claims

Alison Millar

Alison Millar works in the human rights department at Leigh Day, where she is the Head of Abuse claims