AND ANOTHER NONCE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

Bungled inquiry into ‘covered-up sex abuse at Britain’s
leading Catholic school Ampleforth College denies justice for
ex-teacher’s child victims’

  • Former pupils reportedly claim there was a bungled inquiry into sex abuse
  • They claim a botched probe helped cover up abuse at Ampleforth College
  • Canadian teacher who taught at £33,000-a-year school acquitted at trial
  • 53-year-old was accused of sexually abusing 10-year-old boy 27 years ago
  • Jury found him not guilty but pupils claim they did not have all information 
A
bungled inquiry into alleged sex abuse at Britain’s leading Catholic
School denied justice for potential victims, former pupils claim.
An
investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul
Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy Ampleforth College in
North Yorkshire, was said to be marred with problems.
The
teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term while on a
teacher training course from his native country, was accused of
indecently assaulting the boy 27 years ago.
The
school boasts a star-studded alumni including former England Rugby
Captain Lawrence Dallaglio, actors James Norton and Rupert Everett,
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and the sculptor Sir Antony
Gormley.
Former pupils of the £33,000-a-year Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire (pictured), which is Britain's leading Catholic school, claim an inquiry into alleged sex abuse was poorly handled

Former pupils of the £33,000-a-year
Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire (pictured), which is Britain’s
leading Catholic school, claim an inquiry into alleged sex abuse was
poorly handled
Former
pupils claim that, at the time, several schoolchildren complained of Dr
Sheppard’s behaviour including stroking, touching and kissing boys.
The
school’s headmaster, Father Dominic Milroy, interviewed 11 children
over the teacher’s alleged inappropriate conduct and Dr Sheppard
subsequently left the school.
It
is unclear whether he was asked to leave is position or if he went on
his own. He has long maintained that he chose to leave on his own
accord, while the school claims it was a mutual decision. He received a
glowing reference from Father Milroy during his departure.
Dr
Sheppard then went on to teach at a string of other schools around the
world, including at the American School of Yaounde in Cameroon and St
John’s School, a boarding school in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, where
he rose to be headmaster in 2000.
However,
he was arrested at Heathrow Airport in December 2014 when he returned
to Britain from Canada for a month-long extended Christmas break to
visit friends and family.
He was detained on suspicion of serious sexual offences against an Ampleforth pupil in 1989. The pupil later committed suicide.
Following
his arrest, Dr Sheppard was then charged with seven counts of indecent
assault against five students, but charges relating to all but one of
the boys were thrown out by the judge at York Crown Court at the start
of his trial last year.
It
has now emerged that jurors were never told by Judge Colin Burn that
there had been more than one complainant, or that Dr Sheppard left his
job in 1989 following the allegations.
I’m amazed that anyone is ever convicted in a British court of historical sex offences against children
Former pupil at Ampleforth College 
The
school, where boys are left in the care of Benedictine monks, allegedly
covered up the potential scandal and never properly investigated the
complaints, according to ex-pupils.
The
Times, which interviewed several former pupils and alleged victims,
also reports that North Yorkshire Police failed to question two boys
whose accounts could have led to Dr Sheppard being investigated about
further child-sex offences. He denies any wrongdoing.
Former
pupils who were expected to give evidence during the trial were told at
the last minute that it would not be necessary. They, and the family of
the ex-pupil who killed himself, described the police and prosecution’s
handling of the case as ‘shambolic’ and claimed it denied any potential
victims the chance of justice.
They
say they understand that a jury full possession of the facts may still
have acquitted him of any offence but claim it would allow them to move
on knowing all avenues had been properly weighed up and investigated.
Hollywood actor Rupert Everett (pictured) and former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio are among former pupils of the £33,000-a-year Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire

Former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio is a former pupil of the £33,000-a-year Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire

Hollywood
actor Rupert Everett (left) and former England Rugby Captain Lawrence
Dallaglio (right) are among former pupils of the £33,000-a-year
Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire
One
former pupil told the The Times that his experience with judicial
process had left him ‘amazed that anyone is ever convicted in a British
court of historical sex offences against children.’
He added: ‘The jury had to choose between the word of an experienced teacher and that of one former pupil.
‘They weren’t told why Sheppard left Ampleforth in 1989. It was a complete travesty.’
During
his trial at York Crown Court last year, jurors heard allegations that
Dr Sheppard spanked a ten-year-old boy on his bare bottom as punishment
for misbehaviour in a school dormitory.
He
told the jury he could not remember punishing the boy and said it was
possible he could have given him corporal punishment but he would never
have removed the boy’s trousers or pants.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes

Sir Antony Gormley

Downton
Abbey creator Julian Fellowes (left) and the sculptor Sir Antony Gormley
(right) also attended Ampleforth College, Britain’s leading Catholic
school where fees cost £33,000
The
teacher, who was educated at Ridley College in Canada and served in the
Canadian Air Force, said corporal punishment was common in his native
country during his childhood.
The jury of ten men and two women took an hour and forty minutes to acquit him of indecent assault.
During
the trial several former pupils, parents and work colleagues gave great
character references praising his abilities as a teacher and his
personal attributes including his integrity.
Ampleforth
today released a statement to MailOnline in which it said it has
‘publically accepted its responsibilities for past failings’ and offered
its ‘sympathies, prayers and thoughts to all survivors.
It
said: ‘Paul Sheppard was employed as a temporary supply teacher by
Ampleforth for four months in the summer term of 1989. Sheppard was
appointed following receipt of references from well-respected
institutions and people, including Albert College, Brock University and
St Pius X Junior High School.
‘Allegations
made against Sheppard to Fr Dominic Milroy were investigated by Fr
Dominic at the time. These investigations did not yield allegations of
sexual impropriety. Sheppard left at the end of July 1989 when his
supply contract ended. The decision to leave was mutual.
During his trial at York Crown Court last year, jurors heard allegations that Dr Sheppard spanked a ten-year-old boy on his bare bottom as punishment for misbehaviour in a school dormitory at Ampleforth in 1989. Pictured: The school is seen in this black and white photo

During his trial at York Crown Court
last year, jurors heard allegations that Dr Sheppard spanked a
ten-year-old boy on his bare bottom as punishment for misbehaviour in a
school dormitory at Ampleforth in 1989. Pictured: The school is seen in
this black and white photo
‘A
reference supplied by the school at the time reflected his performance
as a supply teacher during his short time at the school.
‘Ampleforth
has publically accepted its responsibilities for past failings and once
again would like to offer its sympathies, prayers and thoughts to all
survivors and their families.
‘Ampleforth
remains committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of each and every
pupil in its care. The Safeguarding Co-ordinator of Ampleforth, a
specialist ex-police officer, works closely with our Independent
Safeguarding Commission; a body that oversees safeguarding at Ampleforth
where all relevant statutory authorities are represented.
‘Ampleforth
works with all statutory authorities to ensure safeguarding issues are
dealt with appropriately in line with current practice, and has
cooperated fully with the police in its investigations.’
Dr
Sheppard has previously denied any wrongdoing and maintains that it was
his decision to leave the school. MailOnline has contacted him for
further comment.

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