Solicitors are appealing for witnesses to come forward to assist their investigations into former teacher Michael Quinlan concerning allegations of sexual abuse at The Royal Liberty School in Romford which spanned decades.
Quinlan was found guilty in 2004 of previous sexual offences at the school and served 15 months in prison. Eighteen years later, on 25th May 2022, he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court charged with three counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14 and two counts of indecent assault on Andre Tyndall who was aged 11 at the time of the offences.
The 73-year-old was found guilty of all the charges bar one count of indecent assault of Andre Tyndall. He received a 22-month suspended sentence and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Several of Quinlan’s victims are now considering taking legal action in the civil courts against the London Borough of Havering Council for the abuse they suffered at the school in the 1980s and 1990s.
Andre, who has agreed to waive his anonymity in the hope of exposing the level of Quinlan’s offending, said: “Quinlan worked as a PE teacher and used to look at the boys naked for his own sexual gratification, claiming he needed to check that they were not wearing underwear underneath their shorts before a games lesson.
“I also remember him playing around with boys in the school swimming pool which would involve a lot of inappropriate touching of children’s private parts.
“However, when he was questioned about this in court, he said that any touching of a penis was accidental, although he did acknowledge that he did get sexual pleasure from the touching.
“The last time I went to a PE or games lesson was when I entered the school showers after a lesson and saw Quinlan naked surrounded by naked boys who were playing another game that involved more inappropriate touching.
“Quinlan said he only had hold of the boys by their wrists and ankles when questioned in court, but I clearly remember that Quinlan’s hands were in their groin area.”
Quinlan worked at The Royal Liberty School for approximately 19 years from 1982 to 2003, when he was suspended from the school and arrested.
Andrew Grove and Co Solicitors in Cambridgeshire, which is acting on behalf of the survivors in the civil case, is appealing for anyone who suffered or witnessed abuse at the school to get in touch.
Solicitor Katherine Yates said: “Quinlan was abusing pupils at Royal Liberty School for over 20 years.
“Apparently, Quinlan’s behaviour was common knowledge at the school in the 1980s and 1990s and derogatory comments about him were written on school desks and shouted along corridors in the school.
“I know that there are more witnesses and former pupils out there who suffered abuse at his hands and I would urge anyone who attended or worked at the school with any relevant information, no matter how insignificant they think it might be, to please make contact.
“There is still time to join the civil lawsuit. We are here to get justice for all those who were assaulted by Quinlan. All claims are being funded on a no win, no fee basis so there’s no cost involved.”