Manchester Council has awarded damages totalling £367,500 so far to pupils who were abused by the head teacher of St Anne’s Catholic School after a seven year legal battle.

In 2006 John Mulligan, head of St Anne’s Catholic School in Ancoats, was charged with 12 counts of sexual assaults against two pupils in the 1970s, but never stood trial as the court deemed him unfit to stand trial as he had suffered a stroke four years earlier.

Mulligan abused the pupils at the swimming baths and in the school changing rooms. The victims described how he ruled over the boys “with a culture of fear and brutal discipline.” Mulligan later died in 2010 at the age of 84 in a care home in Moston.

Following his death, the victims of Mulligan took action against Manchester council seven years ago, as they were his employer at the time of the abuse. The council has now finally agreed to settle 25 claims out of court. The council agreed the settlement due to the vast amount of supporting evidence from the victims.

One of the victims has described how the abuse has affected his life:

“This abuse has left deep mental scars and affects me every day. It’s always going to be there but at least the settlement shows a form of apology for what happened to me and the other lads. We were frightened to death of Mulligan and had to do whatever he said. I have tried to keep it locked away in my mind, but I have had very dark days. This is always going to be with me but now I hope to move on with my life.”

A spokesperson for Manchester council said:

“We take all allegations of abuse seriously and are committed to ensuring they are dealt with compassionately and are properly looked into.”


If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094.

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