London

Victim talks of teacher abuse at St Benedict's school

A man who was sexually abused as a child by an ex-teacher at a west London school has said he does not accept the Church's apology.

The man, now in his 30s, was assaulted by St Benedict's Catholic School teacher Stephen Skelton during a private lesson in 1983 when he was 11.

He called on the Church to set up a trust to help others affected.

On Thursday Skelton, now 63, was given a suspended prison sentence for abusing two children.

'Deeply unhelpful'

The man, one of the two victims at the centre of the case, told BBC London: "He sexually assaulted me. I pushed him away and ran out of the flat.

"I knew something was wrong, but as a child you can't quite articulate what it is, and you don't have the confidence to challenge an adult."

He said he thought he "would never get home and see my parents again. I thought he would trap me there. I remember looking around for something he could lock me into".

Image caption Skelton was giving the two boys after-school maths lessons at his home when he abused them

The man said there was a "deeply unhelpful" approach from the school in helping police and victims and that at worst "there was an active attempt to divert the course of justice".

He added: "It is not enough for the abbot to appear on television and say, 'We got it wrong'. Set up a trust fund to support abused children."

The school's current head teacher, Chris Cleugh, said he did not believe there was a deliberate attempt to try to hide information.

"If something comes up now, we would automatically refer it through," he said.

Skelton also attacked a boy of 10 at Well Hill Park School, Fareham, Hampshire, in 1993 or 1994, Scotland Yard said.

His six-month sentence was suspended for two years by Isleworth Crown Court.

More on this story