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Lawyers investigate legal action after former pupils at two Liverpool private schools allege they were physically abused between the 1960s and 1990s

Law firm Leigh Day is investigating a potential legal claim on behalf of several former pupils of The Mount School and St Mary’s College in Liverpool, who allege they were physically abused by members of staff there over several decades.

Posted on 24 June 2024

The former pupils say they suffered significant physical abuse by teachers at the two schools. Several allege they were physically abused by the former headmaster of The Mount school, Brother Kelly, who died last year.

Most of the pupils attended The Mount school until the age of 11, with many moving up to its sister school, St Mary’s College from 11 onwards. Leigh Day understands both schools were run by the Christian Brotherhood at the time.

Former pupils report that during that time there was an environment at the school where children were in constant fear of being subjected to physical punishment and violence. It is alleged the headmaster of The Mount school, Brother Kelly, would subject the children to extreme forms of physical chastisement.

It will be alleged in the legal claim that the treatment of the children went beyond the threshold of ordinary corporal punishment which was permitted at the time and was cruel and unusual. Anybody who may be able to provide relevant information is encouraged to contact Leigh Day.

The allegations have been made by several former pupils, including:

Dickie Felton, who attended The Mount during the 1980s. He recalls that in his maths class, Brother Kelly would hit the children across the head if they did not answer correctly or quickly enough. Dickie says he would also grab him by the hair or by the ears and shake him as if he was going to tear his hair out.

Paul Carter attended St Mary’s College in the 1950s to 1960s. He says the environment of the school was very intimidating and that the school under Brother Kelly’s headship used fear to keep the children under control. He recalls:

One member of staff would strike children randomly in the corridors between lessons if they were not walking quickly enough.

When he was late to assembly, he was not allowed to join and instead was taken to a separate room where he was physically beaten.

Paul states that he often received the strap which had a piece of metal sewn into it. He recalls that certain of the brothers would use extreme force when subjecting him to punishment. 
The former pupils are represented by solicitor Andrew Lord from Leigh Day’s abuse claims team.

Former pupil at St Mary’s College, Paul Carter said:

“Looking back at it, you don't know that what you are experiencing isn't normal. Gradually that realisation dawns and you realise that the abuse delivered said more about the mindset of the staff than it did about the behaviour of the pupils. All seven years of living in fear, not learning much except for avoiding violence, and singularly being badly prepared for life after school. My story is one of many and there are others for whom it is too late to ask for redress.”

Leigh Day solicitor Andrew Lord said:

“The claims of severe and violent physical abuse of former pupils by staff at The Mount and St Mary’s College from the 1960s through to the 90s are deeply troubling. Our clients say a culture of fear was allowed to pervade the schools during this time and that there were regular instances of severe physical abuse, which went beyond routine corporal punishment, meted out by several members of staff at the time towards pupils. We are investigating these very serious allegations against the schools and are interested to hear from anyone who may be able to help with our enquiries.”

Andrew Lord
Abuse claims Human rights

Andrew Lord

Andrew Lord is a senior associate solicitor in the abuse claims team.

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