Abuse Claims in Scotland - Thompsons in the News

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Since the law change in Scotland in 2017, survivors of historical abuse are now able to pursue a civil financial claim from those responsible.

The dedicated Survivors Team at Thompsons is committed to achieving redress for those affected and are working closely with many victims of abuse from a variety of different settings and circumstances.

While Thompsons' abuse claims solicitors in Scotland focus primarily on providing help and support to clients, we also believe it is our ethical duty to fight for justice, recognition and change on behalf of all survivors, and to ensure those who were responsible for abuse are held to account.

Members of the Survivors Team regularly appear in the press and on television and radio in order to highlight the issue of historical abuse and to comment on the cases that are now being brought to light.

Thompsons in the News

Glasgow Live 30th January 2023

Glasgow mum tells of horrific abuse at school for disadvantaged kids where she was force-fed vomit

Thompsons Solicitors is helping fight for justice for many women who suffered abuse as pupils at a residential school in the 1960s and 70s.

Over 200 women have spoken up about the horrific physical and sexual abuse the staff subjected them to while they attended Fornethy House in Kilry, Angus. Now closed, the school (which was intended to support disadvantaged girls) opened in 1960 and was run by Glasgow City Council.

The women shared stories of being beaten, force-fed food (and, in some cases, their own vomit), and sexually assaulted at parties organised by the teachers.

One survivor, Marion Reid, who has suffered from poor mental health as a result of the trauma, co-founded the Fonethy House Survivors group. The group is seeking justice for the women who have lived with these distressing experiences their whole life. They have protested outside the Scottish Government building and Glasgow City Chambers, demanding to know the whereabouts of vital missing records – including attendance registers and medical forms – that are key to holding those responsible to account.

Laura Connor, head of Thompsons' historic abuse unit, is representing many of the women. She said: "The abuse endured by young girls at Fornethy is the stuff of nightmares and the effect of that abuse still lives with many of the survivors to this day. Glasgow City Council says it has misplaced its records showing how and when children were sent there but we will continue to pursue this matter so our clients can receive the answers they deserve."


Former Fettes pupil given £450,000 in damages over abuseBBC News 2nd December

Former Fettes pupil given £450,000 in damages over abuse

Daily Record - 2nd December

Ex-pupil who was abused at Fettes College in Edinburgh awarded £450k in damages

STV News - 2nd December

Abuse victim given £450,000 damages from leading private school

Daily Mail - 2nd December

Tony Blair’s old school Fettes College pays £450,000 in damages to former pupil

Thompsons Solicitors has secured a compensation award of £450,000 for a survivor of child abuse.

The survivor was sexually abused by a teacher at Fettes College, a prestigious private school in Edinburgh, in the 1970s. His settlement is the largest sum yet awarded to a victim of historic abuse at the school.

He is just one of several former students from Fettes College and Edinburgh Academy to have brought allegations against the teacher, who now lives in South Africa. One former pupil is broadcaster Nicky Campbell, who has joined calls for the teacher to be extradited from South Africa to Scotland and face justice before the courts.

Fettes College has offered a “full and unreserved apology” to all former students who were victims of abuse.

Laura Connor, the head of the Thompsons Survivors Team, represented the claimant in this case. She said: "We welcome the fact that Fettes have finally acknowledged the gravity of the abuse and the ongoing impact it has had on our client.

"It is disappointing that they took so long to do so but we are pleased to have achieved the right outcome for our client in the end.

"We call this historic abuse but the truth is that survivors live with what happened to them every day of their lives."

Thompsons will continue to fight for justice for the survivors who suffered abuse at Fettes College and Edinburgh Academy.


Sunday Times - 27th November 2022The Sunday Times - 27th November 2022

Child abuse failings in schools ‘a national scandal’ | Scotland | The Sunday Times (thetimes.co.uk)

Parents in Sutherland have become infuriated after their local authorities have been slow to act on several allegations concerning a teacher at their children’s primary school.

Stacie Brix first became concerned in 2017 when her daughter, five years old at the time, became withdrawn and afraid to attend school. Ms Brix soon realised her child’s distress was due to her maltreatment at the hands of her primary school teacher. The teacher was allegedly verbally and physically abusive to many of her pupils.

However, despite several other children, parents, and former colleagues submitting complaints about the teacher, some of which date back to as early as 2005, the local authorities, including the Highland council, failed to take immediate action.

Five years on, Ms Brix is now pursuing legal action with Thompsons Solicitors and is calling for an independent inquiry into Highland council’s handling of the case.

The teacher faces a fitness-to-teach hearing next year.

Thompsons lawyer Stephanie Young, who works in our dedicated Survivors Team, is representing Ms Brix, and told The Times that there had been “serious allegations of abuse of pupils” made to the school and Highland council. Discussing the slow response from the authorities, she said: “The safety, care and wellbeing of pupils should always be paramount and prioritised.”

Thompsons will continue to work for survivors of abuse and hold the relevant authorities to account for their failures to protect the vulnerable.


Sunday Post - 30th October 2022The Sunday Post - 30 October 2022

Hopes of justice for alleged victims as, 50 years on, boys’ school monk faces extradition

A former De La Salle monk, accused of abusing boys at St Ninian's School in Gartmore, Stirlingshire more than 50 years ago, is set to face extradition proceedings so he can be tried in Scotland.

The man, now in his 80s, spent years teaching in Canada after he left Scotland. Some of the survivors were wrongly told by police that he had died around 20 years ago, but now a petition warrant has been raised in Scotland and the international unit at the Crown Office will attempt to extradite him.

Thompsons lawyer, Laura Connor is head of the Survivors Team. She told The Post, "Far too often we hear that the focus appears to be on what the effect of such an action would be upon the health and wellbeing of a sometimes elderly accused rather than the health and wellbeing of their alleged victims.

"We do know many victims suffered so dreadfully, they continue being deeply affected today. That is why it is most important that those perpetrators who live abroad must be pursued."


Sunday Post - 2nd October 2022The Sunday Post – 02 October 2022

The victims are not seeking money. They are seeking acknowledgement: Scotland’s Lawyer of the Year on justice

Thompsons’ lawyer Laura Connor was recently awarded the prestigious title of Scotland’s Solicitor of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards. She spoke to the Sunday Post about her work with survivors of historical child abuse.

“I’ve learned that any financial award means little to survivors without acknowledgement of wrongdoing and a proper apology,” Laura told the news outlet.

Laura spoke about the landmark case against Glasgow City Council in which she acted on behalf of a man who had been severely abused while in council-organised foster care. She said, “This has been a deeply traumatic case. Although we achieved the highest ever award for our client, no amount of money could ever compensate for his lost childhood or the lifelong effect the abuse has had.”


The Scottish Sun – 26 September 2022

Top lawyer says court must decide if Celtic can be held responsible for ex-boys club coaches 'sex abuse crimes'

During a virtual hearing, top lawyers have now pitched their preliminary arguments in the Celtic Boys sex abuse case. The case, which could see Celtic FC held accountable for the actions of former boys’ club coaches, will now have a procedural hearing in December.

The judge said that further arguments would include factors of “vicarious liability”, in which employers are held legally accountable for the actions of employees.

Laura Connor of Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland is representing survivors in the landmark group action. She said, “The court today allowed a further period of time for parties to adjust pleadings in light of the recent and significant evidence obtained.

"It will also be helpful for all involved to now have a hearing date to work towards."


The Times – 26 August 2022

Seven more claim abuse at academy

Following publication of Kenneth’s story in the press, more former pupils of Edinburgh Academy have now come forward to share their experiences of suffering abuse at the independent school.

Laura Connor, head of the Survivors Team at Thompsons, told The Times that the team had been contacted by seven other survivors.

“Some wanted to help provide evidence, while others wished to discuss possible legal action against the school,” she said.

“I would strongly urge anyone who was abused at Edinburgh Academy and other schools to follow Kenneth’s example and contact the police.”

The allegations of abuse refer to several teachers, including one who went on to abuse pupils at Fettes College. This teacher later retired to South Africa but, following significant campaigning by Thompsons alongside several former pupils, he will soon be extradited to face trial for the alleged offences. A hearing is scheduled for October.


Nicky Campbell's SchoolThe Times – 19 August 2022

‘School abuse pushed me to brink’

BBC News – 19 August 2022

Nicky Campbell school was 'cesspit of sadism', former pupil claims

As another former pupil of Edinburgh Academy describes his horrific ordeal at the school, his lawyer, Laura Connor of Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland, says that the bravery of his testimony, alongside that of others, has “exposed a shameful regime of extreme violence and sexual abuse meted out to children”.

‘Kenneth’ (not his real name) told press that during his time at the school from 1965 to 1978 he suffered “sadistic and brutal treatment” by one teacher in particular and that there was a “culture of violence” that was far more extreme and systematic than the corporal punishment laws at the time allowed. Several other former pupils, who suffered or witnessed abuse, have recalled how they believe Kenneth was targeted for punishment.

Speaking to the BBC, Laura urged school representatives to “deal with the cases, act honourably and accept responsibility for this shameful situation".


Nicky Campbell vows revenge on abuserThe Times – 28 July 2022

Nicky Campbell vows revenge on abuser

In a high-profile news story across the UK, broadcaster Nicky Campbell has revealed that he witnessed and was the subject of “horrific” abuse in the 1970s while a pupil at Edinburgh Academy.

Mr Campbell made the disclosure during a BBC Sounds podcast and then again his BBC5 Live breakfast show on Wednesday 27 July. During the broadcast, he said he wanted to seek justice for “all those little boys who suffered in silence”.

The teacher that Mr Campbell alleges beat him and carried out numerous acts of sexual abuse that he witnessed could not be named for legal reasons, but Mr Campbell has now pledged to seek legal redress for “all those little boys” who suffered similar, profoundly affecting acts.

The teacher also worked at Fettes College, another independent school in Edinburgh, and Mr Campbell said, “He had a long career and moved from school to school, always with glowing references.”

Laura Connor is head of Thompsons Survivors Team which is representing 15 men who suffered abuse at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College. She told The Times, “We now expect more victims to come forward and I would encourage them to report their abuse to the police.”


Daily Record - Scots child sex abuse victimDaily Record – 22 April 2022

Scots child sex abuse victim raped by council foster carer awarded record £1.75m damages

A man has been awarded a ground-breaking compensation award settlement of £1.75m following historical sexual abuse which occurred during his time in Glasgow City Council foster care.

Initially, the judge awarded the man £1.3m, but following an appeal by the council (which was later dropped) the award was recalculated.

Laura Connor, of Thompsons dedicated Survivors Team, represented the man. She said, “One thing which has encouraged the purser to be motivated to pursue the case throughout was the fact that Glasgow City Council have never acknowledged the abuse.

“They have still not apologised to him directly for what has happened. That continues to be a significant issue for him.”

Speaking to the Daily Record about the case, Laura added that “the judgement acknowledged the life-long impact of childhood abuse on the purser and indeed on other survivors”.

If you have suffered abuse while in care or in any other setting, you can talk to Thompsons about what happened in complete confidence.


BBC News - Krishna SinghBBC News Scotland – 25 May

Krishna Singh: GP jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing patients

Daily Mail – 25 May

Married GP, 72, who sexually abused 47 women and girls is jailed for 12 years

On 14 April 2022, Krishna Singh was convicted of 54 charges of sexual abuse perpetrated over a 35-year period. On the 25 May, Lord Armstrong handed him a 12-year prison sentence, telling him that he had abused his position, undermined the standing of the medical profession, and eroded the trust of the female patients.

He described the former doctor’s actions as “calculated and manipulative”.

Laura Connor of Thompsons Solicitors is representing a number of the abuse survivors. She said, "Questions must now be asked about how this sexual predator hid in plain sight for so long while carrying out his crimes.

"The victims and the wider community deserve nothing less than a full public inquiry into why the authorities did not put a stop to Singh sooner."

Thompsons continues to act for survivors of abuse and will be continuing to pursue civil claims against the relevant authorities who failed to take action against the sexual predator.


Daily Record Krishna SinghDaily Record – 20 April

Child sex abuse victims of evil Scots doctor Krishna Singh to launch civil action against shamed medic

The conviction of Krishna Singh on 54 charges of sexual abuse has seen more survivors come forward to tell their stories of how they suffered at the hands of the medic.

Laura Connor was already representing two of the abuse survivors but since the news broke in the press, more have contacted Thompsons in Scotland.

“We had two cases up until last week. Following the conviction, we’ve now got nine with two of those being children at the time that the abuse happened. They were teenagers and under the age of 16 when the abuse started.”

Laura speaks in detail to the Daily Record and encourages anyone who suffered abuse by Krishna Singh to contact Thompsons dedicated Survivors Team.

“It just took one person speaking out for the others to come forward. I have a lot of respect for those that have been able to do that but completely understand those that haven’t yet been able to speak out yet.” 


STV News – 14 April

The NationalDoctor's sex abuse victims to take legal action against NHS board

The National – 14 April

North Lanarkshire doctor found guilty of more than 50 sex offences over 35 years

BBC News Scotland – 15 April

GP sexually abused 48 patients over 35 years

On Thursday 14 April, Krishna Singh, a North Lanarkshire doctor, was convicted of sexually abusing 48 female patients over a period of 35 years.

The abuse occurred in a number of different medical settings and locations, and survivors included a victim of rape, pregnant women, and women who were teenagers when they were abused. Singh had previously denied the charges.

Laura Connor from Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland represented a number of the survivors. She told the BBC that the extent of damage that Singh’s acts caused, and continued to cause through his defence of the acts to the criminal trial, is quite unbelievable.

She said, "It has impacted [the survivors] personally, it has impacted their families. It has done in the past, continues to and will continue to in the future.”

Singh will be sentenced in due course and Thompsons will begin civil proceedings against the NHS and other relevant authorities to secure justice for the survivors.


Daily Record – 11 April

The Daily RecordCeltic Boys Club coach accused of abusing young player dies aged 83

Laura Connor, partner at Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, says that the death of a former Celtic Boys Club coach, who has been accused of a number of acts of historical child sexual abuse, will not stop her clients’ seeking justice in the form of a civil claim against Celtic FC.

Lyness Malley allegedly abused one boy on a number of occasions in 1969 and 1970, while another former Celtic Boys player, now aged 61, describes still suffering from “terrifying nightmares” about the abuse.

Malley died at his home in Glasgow in March, but Laura Connor says, “The death of this individual will not change the fact that he abused children at Celtic Boys Club, while coaching there under the watch of Celtic FC. We will continue to work with and support our clients in their fight to receive the justice they deserve.”  



The DailyRecord – 11 March 2022

Six more Celtic Boys Club sex abuse victims come forward to join 'class action' lawsuit against club

Thompsons Solicitors Scotland recently received the legal go-ahead for a US-style ‘group action’ against Celtic FC in respect of historical child abuse at Celtic Boys Club and this news has prompted more survivors to come forward to tell their stories of the abuse they suffered.

If they are successful in joining the survivors already seeking justice with Thompsons, this would take the total group to more than 30.

Thompsons partner Patrick McGuire said, “The court has made this a real, live litigation and Celtic have been given a clear sign they need to stop their obfuscation.

“There can be no hiding behind legal technicalities and trying to evade their responsibilities through delaying tactics. The decision has given more people the strength to come forward.

“That’s what we’ve heard from former boys club players in the last few days.”




The SFA’s continued delays in publishing their report into child abuse in Scottish football has raised alarm bells for survivors and Thompsons partner, Patrick McGuire.



Historical child abuse survivor and Thompsons’ Client Marion Reid talks to BBC Radio Scotland about her experiences and how Thompsons are assisting her.



Patrick McGuire speaks about Celtic Boys Club historical abuse


Talk to Thompsons if you have been affected by child abuse

We understand that many survivors have been badly let down in the past by those who said they would help; the Thompsons Survivors Team is determined that this will not happen to a single abuse survivor who approaches us for help.

With offices throughout Scotland, our dedicated team of specialist solicitors is here to help, guide and support you and your family throughout your claim.

Talk to Thompsons in confidence by calling 0800 0891 331 or text CLAIM to 78866. Alternatively, you could fill in a contact form so that we can call you back at a time to suit you – click on the 'Contact us' button below.


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