Former pupils who were subjected to sexual abuse at a prestigious York public school are being urged to reach out for support.
Alexander Charles Ralls worked as a child protection officer at Queen Ethelburga’s before being dismissed following a complaint made by a former student.
A trial held at Bradford Crown Court heard that Ralls had abused his position to take advantage of his victims both in the UK, and while on school trips abroad, over almost a four-year period.
Last September he was jailed for 16 years after being convicted of more than 40 sexual offences against 20 young girls.
In 2021, the school’s former owner, Brian Martin, was also jailed for non-recent child abuse.
Specialist abuse solicitors at Simpson Millar have been contacted by people affected by abuse at Queen Ethelburga’s, and the team has urged others who may have suffered at the hands of either Alexander Charles Ralls or Brian Martin to also reach out for help.
Nathalie Swanwick from Simpson Millar’s abuse team said “Alexander Ralls abused his position of trust as a child protection officer to abuse vulnerable children and went undetected for many years.
“These horrific acts of abuse should not be able to happen at the school that was supposed to be a safe place for its pupils and the school needs to be held to account.
“We strongly urge anybody who has been a victim of Alexander Ralls or Brian Martin to reach out for support.”
Help rebuild lives
Anyone who has suffered abuse at Queen Ethelburga’s may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the school and their abusers, Nathalie said.
“Anyone who has been affected may also be able to bring a civil claim for compensation.
“While no amount of money can ever make up for what experienced, it can provide them with vital funds that can help them to access the help needed to rebuild their lives following the abuse that they endured.”
Simpson Millar has helped many survivors bring a successful claim including against public schools, even if the abuse happened many years ago.
The firm said anyone who suffered abuse as a result of the actions of Alexander Charles Ralls or Brian Martin, or in a school setting, you can contact Simpson Millar for free confidential advice.
A spokesperson said: “Legal Aid may be available, depending on your financial situation or we could deal with your claim on a no win, no fee basis.”
You can find out more on the legal firm’s website.