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City Lawyer Patrick Raggett Wins £50,000 Damages For Childhood Sex Abuse In Jesuit School

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A former City lawyer who claims he made a mess of his life because he was sexually abused at a Jesuit-run school today won £54,923 damages.

Patrick Raggett had asked for an award of up to £5 million on the basis that the abuse caused recognised psychiatric disorders and behaviour which led to the loss of his legal career.

Mrs Justice Swift at London's High Court said he was not entitled to such a large award and awarded him £40,000 for pain and suffering, plus interest and expenses, including the cost of therapy.

She said: "I am well aware that the conclusions I have reached in my judgment will be disappointing to the claimant and that its contents may cause him some distress.

patrick raggett

Patrick Raggett asked for damages after his life fell apart

"This is particularly unfortunate and regrettable since there is no doubt that he was the victim of an insidious form of abuse involving a grave breach of trust and that he has suffered significantly as a result. As a result, he is deserving of sympathy."

Raggett, of Chiswick, west London, was not in court for the ruling.

He was abused between the ages of 11 and 15 by Father Michael Spencer, a teacher at Preston Catholic College in Lancashire, who died in 2000 aged 76.

The abuse was not penetrative and resulted in no physical injury but Raggett, who has waived anonymity, says it left him feeling "violation, dread, isolation, shame and humiliation".

Now 54, and married with a child, he says he did not connect his experiences at school with years of under-achievement at work, a failed marriage and binge drinking until he had therapy after an April 2005 breakdown.

patrick raggett

Raggett attended the school between 1970 and 1974

Between 1970 and 1974, Spencer, who was Raggett's form teacher and coach of the football team he captained, observed him naked, filmed him, photographed him and touched him inappropriately.

Raggett said this had significant long-term psychological effects on him but lawyers for the governors questioned his credibility and said his problems were caused by environmental and hereditary factors.

"I am delighted the judge has ruled in my favour and awarded me damages in recognition of the abuse I was subjected to as a child at the hands of a Jesuit priest, Father Michael Spencer, at Preston Catholic College.

"The amount of damages is unimportant as my main motivation was to hold the Jesuit priesthood and the Catholic Church publicly accountable for what happened."