York school abuse survivors urged to seek support following paedophile conviction

Posted on: 2 mins read
Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

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Alexander Ralls was found guilty of offences at Queen Ethelburga’s School

Former pupils who were subjected to sexual abuse at a prestigious York public school are being urged to reach out for support.

Alexander Charles Ralls worked as a child protection officer at York public school Queen Ethelburga’s from 2011 until 2015, when he was suspended and subsequently dismissed from teaching following a complaint made by a former student.

During a six-week trial at Bradford Crown Court which took place last year, evidence was heard that over a four-year period Ralls had abused his position to take advantage of his victims both in the UK, and while on school trips abroad.

He was later convicted on 31 charged of sexual assault, 10 charges of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and two charges of assault by penetration, and is now serving a 16-year prison sentence.

In 2021, the school’s former owner, Brian Martin, was also jailed for non-recent child abuse.

Specialist Abuse Solicitors at Simpson Millar have been contacted by people affected by abuse at Queen Ethelburga’s, and the team has urged others who may have suffered at the hands of either Alexander Charles Ralls or Brian Martin to also reach out for help.

Commenting on the case, Nathalie Swanwick from Simpson Millar’s abuse team, said “Alexander Ralls abused his position of trust as a child protection officer to abuse vulnerable children and went undetected for many years.

“Given the prior conviction of the school’s former owner, it would appear there were serious safeguarding issues, and a culture where abuse was allowed to take place and abusers were able to prey on their victims. 

Nathalie explains that anyone who has suffered abuse at Queen Ethelburga’s may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the school and their abusers.

She said: “Anyone who has been affected may also be able to bring a civil claim for compensation. While no amount of money can ever make up for what experienced, it can provide them with vital funds that can help them to access the help needed to rebuild their lives following the abuse that they endured.”

  • "These horrific acts of abuse should not be able to happen at the school that was supposed to be a safe place for its pupils and the school needs to be held to account. We strongly urge anybody who has been a victim of Alexander Ralls or Brian Martin to reach out for support."

    Nathalie Swanwick

    Abuse Claims Solicitor

Simpson Millar’s Abuse Team has been helping survivors of abuse for many years to bring civil claims for abuse and assault against their attacker’s employer, and Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims.

The firm has helped many survivors bring a successful claim including against public schools, even if the abuse happened many years ago, allowing them to get the closure and justice they deserve.

If you suffered abuse as a result of the actions of Alexander Charles Ralls or Brian Martin, or in a school setting, you can contact Simpson Millar for free confidential advice. Legal Aid may be available, depending on your financial situation or we could deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

You can read more about bringing a sexual abuse claim here.

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