St William’s abuse: two guilty

Two men have been found guilty of over thirty offences against children at a former Approved School after a ten-week trial.

James Carragher, 75, the former principal of the school, and Anthony McCallen, 69, the chaplain from the late 1970s to the school’s closure in the 1990s, were accused of abuse spanning over two decades at St William’s Community Home, Market Weighton. After two weeks of deliberations, the jury found them guilty of abusing twelve boys who had been resident at the home.

Carragher was convicted of abusing 7 boys and McCallen of abusing 5 boys following a trial which painted a graphic picture of physical and sexual violence at the school, where boys who had been placed in care would be sent by local authorities.

Both Carragher and McCallen have been remanded in custody. Sentencing will take place on 4 January 2016.

The investigation into abuse at St William’s was the latest into the school. In 1993, Carragher was convicted of a number of offences against boys in his care, and he was again convicted in 2004. He has previously been sentenced to 21 years in prison for his abuse of residents at St William’s. McCallen served a 2 ½ year sentence in the 1990s for sexual offences unrelated to St William’s. Last year, former farmer at the school Albert Marvin was jailed for 7 years for sexual abuse including offences at St William’s.

David Greenwood, Director and Head of the Child Abuse Department at Switalskis Solicitors, represents 109 survivors of abuse at St William’s. He started a civil compensation case in 2004, which remains ongoing. Commenting on the case, David said:

“The criminal prosecutions represent some justice for the survivors but the public should be aware that the boys (now men) who were at St Williams have had to endure no only the abuse itself, but not being believed by police and social workers who they told, incomplete police investigations and years of delays caused by legal delay tactics of the home’s Catholic operators. Legal technicalities are to this day being used to prevent them getting compensation and restoring some dignity to their lives.

“I am hopeful that the convictions will mark a turning point in the case and that the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle organisations will now attempt to reach an out of court settlement with the Claimants.”

For more information, please contact David Greenwood on 01709 890400.

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