THE Supreme Court last week heard an appeal arising from a group
action in which about 170 claimants allege that they were sexually
and/or physically abused at a school known as St William's, in
The abuse is alleged to have taken place between 1958 and 1992.
The proceedings were brought against two groups of defendants:
first, defendants connected with the Roman Catholic diocese of
Middlesbrough, who were responsible at certain times for the
management of the school; and, second, representatives of a lay RC
teaching order known as the Institute of the Brothers of the
Christian Schools, who had a community of Brothers living and
working as teachers at the school.
Several of the alleged abusers were members of the Institute,
including James Carragher ("Brother James"), who was headmaster
between 1976 and 1990, and was expelled from the Institute in 2008.
The sole issue in the appeal before the Supreme Court is whether
the Institute is responsible for the acts of sexual and physical
abuse of children at the school committed by members of the
Judgment is not expected until after October.