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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Denley

Abuse Survivors Accuse Lincolnshire Council of Heartless Delay Tactics

A group of former Stubton Hall School pupils, who were abused by two members of staff including the deputy headmaster, are accusing Lincolnshire County Council of deliberately trying to delay proceedings. Katherine Yates from Andrew Grove & Co Solicitors in Cambridgeshire said: “The solicitors engaged by Lincolnshire County Council have refused to release documentation that may help the claimants and have said that if they want access to their own documents, they should get a court order.

“This is despite the fact that there is a well established court pre-action protocol that states both parties should hand over documents relevant to the claims, which we have done, and the defendant has not.

“They said that they are saving costs in not handing over the documents, but it is not fair to pass this cost onto the claimants. The claimants have already been traumatised by the abuse they suffered and now they feel that the defendant is not taking their claims seriously.” Clare (not her real name) was a pupil at Stubton Hall School between 1982 and 1987, during which time she was groomed and raped by the then Deputy Headteacher David Taylor, leading to her becoming pregnant with his child when she was only 16. Her son, Jack (not his real name) has known the truth about his father since he was five years old. He later went on to attend Stubton Hall School as a pupil from 2002 to 2003 where he also suffered physical abuse.

Stubton Hall School was a community special school catering for day pupils and boarders, owned and managed by Lincolnshire County Council between 1952 and 2003.

Clare, who stayed in a dormitory at the school, said: “Sometimes female staff would come in and say goodnight and kiss us on the forehead. One night Mr Taylor came in and instead of kissing me on the forehead he kissed me on the lips. “That was the start of our relationship. It started with kissing and hugging and then gradually progressed to full sexual intercourse.

“I was desperate for some affection and because I was a child, I thought that the sex was a kind of payment for some love and affection.”

Both Clare and her son Jack are among 46 people suing Lincolnshire County Council in the civil courts for damages for the horrific abuse at the school. David Taylor was convicted in 2021 and was imprisoned for 19 years and six months after he was found guilty of three counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault and two counts of assault/ill treatment.

Care worker Raymond Longley was also jailed for four years after being convicted of four counts of indecent assault relating to three girls. He had been employed at the school between 1982 and 1997. As well as refusing to release documentation related to the case, Lincolnshire County Council has also dismissed Jack’s claim suggesting he withdraw it. In a witness statement Clare said: “When I left Stubton Hall School at the age of 16 I was pregnant with Mr Taylor’s child. That changed my life. I had such mixed feelings. I loved my baby but hated the circumstances of his birth.”

Katherine said: “Jack was born the child of a rape victim. The truth about his father causes him deep anxiety and when he was a child, he was jealous of other kids with dads who did fun things with them. Jack attended Stubton Hall School as his mother had before him.

“Andrew Grove and Co are seeking a swift resolution to this on behalf of the claimants and have made an application to the Lincoln County Court for a judge to deal with the matter.

“The investigation on behalf of the 46 claimants continues and if any former pupils of Stubton Hall or others with relevant information about the school wish to come forward then please get in touch. Any information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

Katherine Yates can be contacted at Andrew Grove and Co Solicitors on 01223 367133 or 07810 224545 or by email at katherine@andrewgroveandco.com

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