Following earlier coverage in the M.E.N concerning the alleged child abuse at a Manchester Catholic primary school in Ancoats in the 1960’s, solicitor Peter Garsden of Simpson Millar is appealing for further people who attended the school, or more importantly worked at the school with the alleged abuser to come forward.
John Mulligan, was headmaster at St. Anne’s Junior School between 1965 and 1985, when he retired. In 2006, he was charged with 12 counts of sexually assaulting two boy pupils in the 1970s but the allegations were left to lie on file because he was deemed unfit to stand trial. He passed away in 2010.
The abuse took place at several locations on, and off the premises. Commonly, Mulligan took the children for football, and swimming. The abuse happened in the shower room, under the pretence of checking whether the boys had dried themselves properly. Other venues consisted of the headmaster’s study at the school; the sick room and at his home. Acts include indecent sexual touching, being invited to sit on his knee and beating/caning of the victim’s backside.
A victim reported the molesting happened regularly, stating they were abused at least two to three times a week and sometimes daily. The protracted and serious sexual abuse has left the victim severely scarred, suffering from chronic reactive depression, agoraphobia, social phobia, mental distress and highly dependent on alcohol, as he needs to drink excessively to settle the morning shakes.
The previous MEN articles led to 44 witnesses coming forward, of which, 18 individuals are in the process of making a claim against the City Council for the alleged abuse. Peter Garsden who is representing the victims of the alleged abuse made an application to the courts for a Group Litigation Order which would allow all cases to be managed together. On 22nd October 2015 a Judge at Manchester County Court agreed that the Court ought to case manage claimants together.
In his appeal for witnesses to come forward Peter Garsden said: “If anyone else knows anything about this case or remembers Mr Mulligan, I am appealing to them to come forward so that we can obtain more useful information. I am sure that there are more people out there who can help. Contact us in confidence on 0345 357 9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org”