Abuse survivor speaks of ordeal following Surrey teacher’s conviction

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Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

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A man who was molested on multiple occasions by one of his teachers whilst attending a prestigious private school in Surrey has spoken of his ordeal for the first time publicly after his abuser was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Referred to here as AP to maintain clientanonymity, the man, now in his 60s, attended at Chinthurst School in Tadworth between the ages of 4 and 13 years old.

During this time, he was taught by a number of different teachers, including convicted paedophile Robert Youngman who was jailed for 10 years in November 2021 after he admitted to 11 counts of indecent assault against children as young as 3 years old.

While much of the publicity at the time of Youngman’s sentencing centred around abuse which took place when he was headteacher at HMS Indefatigable - a naval boarding school in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey - he was also found guilty of no less than eight incidents of indecent assault against AP which took place at Chinthurst in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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AP instructed Hywel Thomas from the expert team of Abuse Solicitors at Simpson Millar to pursue legal action on his behalf in a bid to hold the Surrey prep school to account over failings to protect him.

He has also urged others who may have suffered at the hands of Youngman to reach out for help, amidst concerns that many still don’t know about his conviction.

Speaking of his ordeal, AP said:

“What happened to me at Chinthurst has affected every aspect of my life. I will never forget the abuse I endured, and I remain very angry that the school did not do more to protect me.”

“I had my hesitations about coming forward because of how much time had passed, but the police dealt with my complaint really professionally.

“It was a real relief to finally secure a conviction last year, and even though my abuser was in his 90s when the trial took place he was still given a custodial sentence.”

“I now think it is really important that others who may have been affected by abuse, or who may have suffered at the hands of Youngman are made aware that he is now in prison and that justice has at last been done.”

AP added that while compensation isn’t going to change what happened, he hopes that by taking legal action against the school it will hold those who failed him to account. He added:

“It is also my hope that by bringing legal action against Chinthurst other abuse survivors will see my story and that it will give them the courage to get the help they need.”

What Our Solicitor Said

AP’s lawyer Hywel Thomas, a specialist Abuse Solicitor at Simpson Millar, added:

“My client spent much of his young life at Chinthurst, during which time he was subjected to horrific abuse at the hands of convicted paedophile Robert Youngman over a number of years.”

“School is supposed to be a safe place for children, where they can grow personally and academically. Parents place their trust in the teachers who are supposed to care for and nurture them.”

“Youngman broke that trust on multiple occasions in the most despicable way. Both during his time at Chinthurst, and again while he was in a position of authority at HMS Indefatigable.”

“While my client was very relieved to have been involved in the conviction which led to his 10-year jail sentence last year, he remains disappointed to see that the school he attended has not issued a formal apology for failing to protect him.”

“We have now started the process of bringing a claim for compensation against Chinthurst on behalf of AP.”

This is the latest private school to come under scrutiny over historic sexual abuse allegations, with BBC presenter Nicky Campbell recently speaking publicly about his time at the Edinburgh Academy where he witnessed incidents of both sexual and physical abuse. 

Get in touch

If you would like to talk to someone in complete confidence about your experience of abuse at Chinthurst School please do not hesitate to call Abuse Solicitor Hywel Thomas by telephone on 0345 357 9565 or by email at [email protected].

Alternatively, if you have been affected by this article or any other experience of abuse you may have suffered from, you can contact our specialist Abuse Solicitors on 0808 239 1287 or request a call back.


How Can Simpson Millar Help Me?

If you believe that you experienced sexual abuse while you were at school, we know that the first step can often be the  most difficult. In the first instance, we would encourage you to report the matter to the police, who will offer you support and guidance throughout the process.

Coming to terms with your abuse and speaking about it can be extremely difficult and emotionally distressing but can help you to achieve a sense of closure. If you would like to make a sexual abuse claim for compensation, our specialist Abuse Law Solicitors are here to listen confidentially, with no obligation for you to go forward with a claim.

Our experienced Child Abuse Solicitors will handle every case with sensitivity and understanding. Our team are trained to navigate the complex legal process so that you don’t have to. They’ll make sure that you feel supported throughout the process and will advocate for you as much as possible. Here at Simpson Millar, we’re determined and dedicated to providing you with a safe and understanding environment throughout the legal process.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the following organisations may also be able to provide you with some help and support: 

  • Support for Survivors – can be contacted on 0115 962 2722 or by email at [email protected]. Further information can be found on their website at supportforsurvivors.org
  • The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – can be contacted by telephone on 0808 801 0331 or by email at [email protected]. Further resources are available on their website at napac.org.uk


Support for Survivors. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://supportforsurvivors.org/ (Accessed December 12, 2023)

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://napac.org.uk/ (Accessed December 12, 2023)

Simpson Millar Solicitors. (2021). How to Report Being Abused to the Police. Retrieved from https://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/abuse-claims-solicitors/how-to-report-being-abused-to-the-police/ (Accessed December 12, 2023)

BBC News. (2023, April 26). [Nicky Campbell claims 'Savile scale' teacher abuse]. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-66580604 (Accessed December 12, 2023).

Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Joshua works as a Solicitor in our Abuse Department, which operates under the leadership of Liam Goggin.

Joshua has been with Simpson Millar since 2019, where he started as a Paralegal in the Abuse Department, a role he stayed in for two years. His dedication and drive then led him to a position as a Trainee Solicitor, where he worked in the Industrial Disease and Military Claims Departments. His passion for representing victims of abuse made him return to the Abuse department, where he completed his training contract and began working as a Solicitor.

He takes immense pride in representing victims of abuse, deeply valuing the trust his clients place in him. Every day, he's reminded of the importance of listening attentively, acting in the clients' best interests, and guiding them through their challenging moments. Ever since he began his legal career, Joshua knew he wanted to help represent victims of abuse. It means a lot to him when clients trust him with their stories and cases. His main goal is to help his clients as much as he can, so they can start to heal and move on.

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