Belfast Telegraph

Sick teacher 'groomed boy'

Convicted sex offender and school sued by former pupil

A child-molesting teacher groomed his victim at a Londonderry primary school before launching his campaign of abuse, it has been claimed.

Holy Child Primary School in the city's Creggan area is being sued by a former pupil for alleged liability in the assaults, which began more than 20 years ago.

The victim has brought a lawsuit against the school, the Western Education and Library Board, and former teacher Paul John Brown.

Brown (47) — formerly of Carnamill Road, Ballykelly — pleaded guilty in 2004 to a catalogue of child sex abuse.

He was convicted of indecent assault, gross indecency and indecent conduct on dates between 1988 and 1995.

Brown, who is now believed to be living in London, is unrepresented in the case being heard in Northern Ireland’s High Court.

Although he did not teach the victim, it is claimed that he first targeted him when they were both at the same school.

Lawyer Philip Kealey, of Caldwell and Robinson Solicitors, said outside court: “The grooming started when my client was a

pupil in the Holy Child Primary School.

“He (Brown) coached him for hockey and hurling, and when my client hurt his leg at games he took him home.

“That's how he became a friend of the family and the abuse continued from there.”

Lawyers for Holy Child are denying a claim of vicarious liability in the case.

A psychiatrist who dealt with the victim told the court that he only realised what happened to him was wrong when he was aged 13 or 14 and had left the primary school.

She contested claims over the extent of any post-traumatic stress disorder that he had suffered in later years.

The medical expert pointed to records of him enjoying school well after leaving Holy Child, having a good circle of friends, and going on to set up his own business.

“That would not be in keeping with somebody who has a severe disabling illness which is pervasive,” she said.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very severe disorder... it's not a diagnosis one makes often.”

The judge hearing the claim, Mr Justice Hart, reserved his decision.

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