Teacher Convicted for Sexual Abuse of Pupils

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Bruce Roth, 46 was convicted of the abuse of five boys aged between 8 and 15 whilst he was working as a maths teacher and housematster, first at the King's School, Rochester and later at Wellington. He received an 11 year sentence.

Any compensation claims presented to the schools by Mr Roth's victims are highly likely to be settled. This is because a court would almost hold that the schools were vicariously liable for the abuse perpetrated by a teacher, who was responsible for children.

However the Times comments that Wellington College has been "more defensive" than most and raises issues about what was known about Mr Roth's activities before he was accused. Other schools, such as Ealing Abbey have been in the firing line over allegations of sexual abuse. The Abbey has made public efforts to reform itself and try to ensure that abuse does not happen again. The Times points to allegations that Mr Roth had joined King's School as a 21 year old graduate with no formal teaching qualifications. It is also alleged that two complaints were made about his behaviour there, and these complaints were passed on to Wellington College "verbally." Wellington College denies receiving any such information in writing, and maintains that the present headmaster had no knowledge of these complaints.

Whatever the truth of what happened, the cost of Mr Roth's abuse will be high. This is why child protection should never be an afterthought for any institution.

Malcolm Johnson

Associate - Personal Injury team

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