VICTIMS of historic sex abuse at Carmel College — the former Jewish boarding school in Oxfordshire — have been awarded substantial settlements after insurance documents were found in a basement.
Trevor Bolton, house master and French teacher at the college —which ran from 1948 to 1997 — was convicted of 25 counts of sexual abuse on eight pupils between 1968 and 1988 in October, 2015, and was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment.
But the claims of four of the pupils, who gave evidence against Bolton, stalled due to a lack of public liability insurance to cover the claims.
In October, 2016, a search of the damp cellars of the Mansion House at the old college site revealed an insurance policy with Eagle Star, now the legacy company of Zurich, which enabled negotiations to be commenced with solicitors acting for Zurich.
Two of the four claims have now settled before the issuing of court proceedings. The higher of the two settlements being £65,000.
One of claimants, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Jewish Telegraph: “The abuse went on for a long time — around five-and-a-half years. You never get closure from something this serious.
“I’m 60 and still having counselling — it destroyed my whole life.
“There are short-term and long-term affects, but it never leaves you.”
The claimant attended the college from 1965-1974.
He added: “My father was a dental surgeon and we couldn’t afford the fees for the college.
“I took a scholarship test and was awarded it. Within a few weeks I was homesick and was being bullied because my father couldn’t afford the fees — this was quite common.
“Scholarship pupils were excluded from certain things because we couldn’t pay for them.
“Bolton took all the vulnerable pupils under his wing and invited me to his room to watch television.
“I told the police at the time, but nobody listened.”
Bolton would put notes into the pupil’s desk.
They said: “I recalled his very neat handwriting in turquoise ink which was very unusual.
“I dreaded opening my desk in case there would be a note in it.
“These notes were always sexually explicit and started when I was about 11 or 12.”
He continued: “Bolton took me to a room in the music school.
“These were very small rooms with just enough room for two people to be practising an instrument. — they were lockable so people did not get disturbed.”
He then described a sex act which Bolton performed on him when he was around 13.
Solicitor Andrew Grove said: “These awards bring part of a psychological closure for two claimants of sad events that go as far back as the 1960s.
“Two other claimants have offers made that are far too low to reflect the devastating short term and long term affects of serious childhood sexual abuse.”