Guilty verdict has allowed me to exorcise some demons, says victim of QEGS teacher (From Blackburn Citizen)
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Guilty verdict has allowed me to exorcise some demons, says victim of QEGS teacher
A VICTIM who suffered indecent assaults at the hands of a former teacher has told how the attacks led him to alcohol abuse.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the memory of what had happened to him had an effect of the rest of his life.
He told how he had got into trouble with the law, been unable to marry or have children all because of what Mead had done to him on the school trips.
The victim said: “What happened has impacted on me because I have severe trust issues with people, to the point of paranoia.
“I do not open up. It has affected me my whole life.
“I have a hell of a temper.
“I had a few years when I was doing everything right. I joined the navy and I did all sorts of things.
“Then when I was in my early to mid 20s, I dropped off the tree. I was drinking a lot more.
“I never felt that I could settle and I put that down to what happened.
“I felt weak and I used to get involved in lots of pub violence. I was drinking to forget.
“I never got to grips with why I let it happen.
“People have said to me in the past ‘why did you let it happen?’, but when I was that age, I was too eager to please.”
The complainant said the first time Mead indecently assaulted him was on a trip to Slaidburn in the Ribble Valley. He was one of three boys under the age of 14 to be attacked.
He said: “I just could not believe what was happening. I was terrified. I was disgusted.
“But I just let it happen, I just froze.
“This is what I have never been able to come to terms with.”
He decided to go to the police in 2000 when a programme on television reminded him of the abuse he had endured.
He said: “They said they would get an officer to give me a ring. I did not feel it was taken very seriously.
“This was pre-Jimmy Savile.
“When they did not ring back, I was a bit angry, I was rather hurt and I thought obviously no-one gives a damn.
“So I just let it slide.
“It was not until Savile brought it high profile again that I thought now was the time to do something about it.
“I went into the police station and I told them.
“Strangely enough, the more people I tell, the better I feel.
“If I had known, I would have done it years ago. I am sure it is the case with other victims.”
The victim is now planning to launch a civil claim against QEGS.
He said: "This will be closure. How I feel now is a lot better than when I first launched the complaint last year.
"I feel like I have exorcised some demons.
"People who I care about know about it and they say now they understand how I tick. They understand me better now."
Molly Whittall, from law firm Slater and Gordon, said: “The complainant has shown great courage in speaking out about his abuse at the hands of John Mead.
“It is almost certain that there are other victims out there and I would encourage them to follow his example of coming forward and seeking redress under the law.”
Det Sgt Tim McDermott, from East Division CID, also encouraged other potential victims to get help.
He said: “The impact these crimes have had on the lives of the victims cannot be overstated.
“I would like to thank them for their incredible courage in coming forward and presenting their evidence.
“We will continue to support them in any way we can. Lancashire Police is committed to investigating all allegations of this nature thoroughly and sensitively.”
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