St William's school abuse victim wins £14,000 payout

image captionSt William's Children's Home was run by the De La Salle Brothers, a Christian order of lay teachers

A man who claims he was sexually abused at a Catholic school has been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation.

More than 200 men are suing the Catholic Church over alleged historical abuse at St William's residential school in Market Weighton.

On Wednesday a judge ruled in favour of the man's claim, ordering the church to pay £14,000 in damages, but rejected a further three test cases.

The men's lawyers vowed to fight on and say they may appeal against the ruling.

A total of 249 men have lodged claims against the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Institute, which ran the home.

If successful, potential payouts could run into millions of pounds.

Five men gave evidence during the recent civil claim. The judge is expected to rule on the fifth case in January.

David Greenwood, from solicitors Switalskis, which has been pursuing the cases since 2003, said he was disappointed for those who lost their claims.

"There was a lot of sexual abuse going on at St William's and these boys deserve justice," he said.

"There are 245 cases still to go, so I'm very confident we will succeed."

image captionJames Carragher, 75, and Anthony McCallen, 69, were convicted of a string of sexual offences in 2015

In January the former head of St William's James Carragher was jailed for the third time after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Carragher, 75, had already been sentenced to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing boys and was jailed for a further nine years in January.

He was jailed for seven years in 1993 and a further 14 years in 2004 for offences he committed at St William's, which closed in 1992.

Co-defendant Anthony McCallen, 69, a former chaplain at St William's, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a series of historical sex offences.

Another set of compensation claims is expected to be heard in late 2017.

Representatives of both the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Order said they were unable to comment on the case due to the ongoing legal proceedings.

A spokesperson for the Diocese added: "We condemn unreservedly any action which causes harm or distress to others.

"Abusive behaviour is against everything we stand for."

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