Two former members of staff at St Williams Community Home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, have today been found guilty of 35 counts of sexual abuse of boys in their care over two decades.
James Carragher, former principal of the home, was found guilty of 24 counts of sexual abuse and Anthony McCallen, former chaplain at the home was found guilty on 11 counts of sexual abuse.
These convictions follow the convictions of Albert Marvin, a gardener at St Williams, who was sentenced in June 2014 to a total of seven years in prison, three years for the indecent assaults carried out at St Williams and four years for two indecent assault investigated by Leicestershire police.
Carragher had previous convictions for sexual abuse of boys at St Williams in 1993 and 2004 and sentenced to custodial sentences of 7 years and 14 years respectively, whilst McCallen had previous convictions for indecent assault and possession of indecent images of children. Both are due to be sentenced in the New Year.
Christine Sands, Partner and Head of Personal Injury and the specialist child abuse department at Jordans said “The team at Jordans are delighted with the convictions secured against James Carragher and Anthony McCallen of the heinous crimes committed against the vulnerable children in their care.
“We are pleased that the jury rejected the evidence given by the Defendants and gave due weight to the very difficult and painful evidence that the complainants gave on the stand of the horrendous experiences that happened to them so long ago”
Jordans launched a civil action in respect of the abuse at St Williams in 2004, with the aim of securing compensation for those victims of abuse to help rebuild their lives. The group litigation consists of almost 250 Claimants, with Jordans representing over 140 of these individuals
David Gibbs, Chartered Legal Executive at Jordans, who works closely with the victims of abuse at St Williams, said “There was clearly a regime of abuse at St Williams, orchestrated by the man who was meant to care for these emotionally vulnerable young boys. Carragher has now been convicted three times of abusing those boys in his care, causing untold damage to their lives and the lives of those around them. We are hopeful that he will receive a long custodial sentence.
“We also hope that the verdict of the Criminal Court will mean that the organisations ultimately responsible for the acts of James Carragher and Anthony McCallen, namely the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, Catholic Child Welfare Society and the De La Salle Brotherhood, will now do the right thing by all victims of abuse at St Williams and settle the long running civil litigation, giving those victims some form of justice and finally bringing some closure.”
Lead cases in the litigation are due to be tried at the High Court in Leeds in the early part of 2016.