A leading abuse solicitor has welcomed the sentencing of a senior residential worker for abusing young boys. John Leslie Duncan was jailed for 15 years last Thursday at Newcastle Crown Court after he was found guilty of sexually abusing young boys at an earlier hearing in March. The convictions relate to abuse carried out at FevershamSpecialSchool in Newcastle and a Barnardos ran children home in ShotleyBridge in CountyDurham. Northumbrian Police arrested 61 year old Duncan of Hyde Park Street, Gateshead, in September 2012 after allegations against him had been reported by a number of individuals.
One of Duncan’s victims, 41 year old Julian Foster, has spoken out about the abuse he suffered which began when he was placed at the Barnardos home in ShotleyBridge in 1983 when Mr Foster was around 11 years of age. The abuse took place on numerous occasions when he was under the care of Duncan and lasted for a period of about a year. In talking about the abuse he suffered at the hands of John Lesley Duncan Mr Foster hopes to encourage other people to come forward and report their abusers.
Solicitor Samantha Follows of Simpson Millar, representing Mr Foster in his civil claim, said: “Mr Foster suffered abuse in his childhood which has affected him throughout his life. He is now involved in legal proceedings in the hope of obtaining justice and encouraging others to come forward and speak out against abuse.”
This is not the first time Mr Foster’s abuser has been jailed after previously being jailed in 2001 for abusing his position of trust to prey on youngsters at Feversham school, a special residential school in Newcastle, during the 1980s and 1990s.
Speaking outside Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Foster said: “I hope that today’s sentence will encourage others who have experienced this kind of abuse to speak out. People must not be afraid to speak out against their abusers even if these people are respected in their community or hold a position of authority. I have opened many old wounds in reporting these matters to the police again. Much of it had been reported when I was a child and I was not believed but today I feel justice has finally been done.”