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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Denley

Appeal for Witnesses in Formby High School Abuse Claims

Solicitors acting for former pupils of Formby High School are appealing for witnesses to come forward to assist their investigations into former teacher Ian Farquharson, who allegedly abused pupils at the school for over 15 years.

Initially six survivors approached Andrew Grove and Company Solicitors in Cambridge to make a claim for the horrific abuse they endured at the hands of Mr Farquharson between 1975 and 1992. That number has since increased to 41.

A Letter Before Action, which is the first stage in the civil court proceedings, has been sent to Sefton Council which owned and ran the school. A formal response from the local authority’s solicitors is expected shortly.

During their investigations Andrew Grove and Co discovered Mr Farquharson has previously been prosecuted in February 1980 for inciting former pupils to commit acts of gross indecency. Despite several pupils giving evidence against him, he was found not guilty at the Crosby Magistrates Court and returned to the school, where he continued teaching until his suicide in May 1992. It’s believed he killed himself hours after a further complaint of very serious sexual abuse was made against him by the parent of a child at the school.

Although they have spoken to many witnesses so far, including the person who discovered Mr Farquharson dead in Mold, north Wales, solicitor Katherine Yates believes there are others out there.

“Sadly, Mr Farquharson was abusing pupils at Formby High School for over 15 years and although 41 claimants have already come forward, I know that there are more survivors and witnesses to the abuse out there.

“I would urge anyone with any relevant information, no matter how insignificant they think it might be, to contact us.

“It is also not too late for anyone to join the civil lawsuit. We are here to get justice for those who were assaulted by Mr Farquharson. All claims are being funded on a no win, no fee basis so there’s no cost involved.”

Solicitors with conduct are Katherine Yates and Charlotte Denley and both can be contacted for further information on 01223 367133 or by email at or

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