Manchester Historic School Abuse

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Liam Goggin

Partner, Head of Abuse Claims

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While more steps are being taken to protect children from abuse in school, victims of historic child abuse may still be dealing with the effects of their abuse long into adulthood.

It has only been in recent years that many victims felt they could come forward about their childhood abuse – This could be largely down to child abuse being more widely spoken about or the prolific abusers being exposed in the press.

It is said that some victims also report feelings of shame, guilt and fear when it comes to thinking about their abuse, especially if it took place a long time ago. Therefore, they may still be processing the trauma even years later.

We understand that talking about abuse isn’t easy. But it’s never too late to get closure and justice you deserve. If you’ve been abused by someone in a position of power, who was working in a school, then our specialist Abuse Claims Solicitors are here to listen and help you. Regardless if the case is historical or not, there is always time to seek justice.

Get in touch today!

For more information about how we can help in cases of historic abuse, get in touch with our experienced and compassionate team.

Ongoing Abuse Claims

We help clients from all over the UK, and our Abuse Solicitors are based in Manchester, where we have worked closely with victims of Manchester-based abusers such as Bryce Cooke.

Cooke was a high school art teacher and religious affair broadcaster who groomed and abused a schoolgirl he was teaching at Cheadle Hulme over a 4-year period in the 1970s. The victim was just 12 years old when the abuse began.

Cooke was a popular teacher who would befriend his students to create trust between them. He began by offering the victim a part in a play he was recording, using this as an excuse to molester her. By the time she was 16, he had sex with her in a stockroom at the school.

He is currently serving a 6-year jail sentence, over 40 years after the abuse took place.

Other school abusers who have made the headlines over the years in Manchester include William Brown, Tariq Qureshi and Lydia Beattie-Milligan.

All of these abusers took advantage of their position to access vulnerable children in their care.

Teaching assistant, William Brown, abused his position of trust in a primary school to abuse girls as young as 7. This included touching them inappropriately and taking indecent images of them. On his arrest, Police found 57 pictures and 11 videos of 3 different schoolgirls on his laptop.

He was jailed for 6 years on 12 counts of sexual assault on a girl under the aged of 13, one count of taking an indecent photograph and two counts of making an indecent photograph.

Effects of Historic Abuse

Abuse can have a huge impact on your life, no matter how old you are or how many times it happened. Even if you think you’ve come to terms with your abuse, the effects can last a lifetime. And if your abuse happened in childhood, you might not realise the true impact until much later in your adulthood.

Victims can suffer from:

Speaking of her abuse, Bryce Cooke’s victim told detectives “What he did has affected me my whole life. He took away any chance of innocence.”

“When I had children the true extent of what he did hit me. I found myself paranoid about their whereabouts, their school and what they were doing. Lifelong nightmares to contend with, bumping into him in the street with my child. It makes me feel physically sick what he did to me.

“It was only as a result of people coming forward with historical sex crimes that I finally felt I had the courage to say something about this.”

Are There Time Limits to Bringing an Abuse Claim?

A civil action must be brought within a specified time limit. However, the time limits vary depending on the action you are taking and they can be extended in some circumstances.

How Simpson Millar Can Help

We know that no amount of money can undo your pain and suffering, but if you’d like to talk to one of our team about reporting your abuse or making a claim, we can talk you through your options.

When you’ve suffered any kind of sexual or physical abuse, it can take a long time before you feel ready to talk about it. Reporting abuse can take a lot of courage, so when you're ready to talk, we're ready to listen.

Our expert abuse claims lawyers can help with historic cases of sexual and physical abuse such as cases like these. Our compassionate and approachable team members have a track record of supporting survivors on their journey to justice. Get in touch with us, by calling 0808 239 1287 for a confidential conversation about the support we can provide.


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Manchester Evening News. (2020, January 20). Teachers in court: Who's been up before the judge from your area? Retrieved from

Press and Journal. (2015, January 27). Pensioner guilty of historic child sex abuse on young boys. Retrieved from

Liverpool Echo. (2019, August 31). How teaching assistant seduced pupil half her age in secret relationship. Retrieved from

BBC News. (2022, January 14). James Richard Williams: Ex-teacher admits sex with pupil. Retrieved from

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Manchester Evening News. (2019, September 13). 'What affected my whole life - but I can't say it's wrecked it': Victim of paedophile coach Barry Bennell launches legal action. Retrieved from

Profile picture of Liam Goggin

Liam Goggin

Partner, Head of Abuse Claims

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Liam works as the Head of the Department in Abuse Claims at Simpson Millar.

In this role, he oversees a team of experienced abuse lawyers and is a part of our Leadership Team. His primary focus is on Child Abuse Claims, and he handles cases against schools, local authorities, religious and charitable organisations, private companies, and notably cases for individuals who have been criminally convicted of offences.

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