Teacher must pay £50k to girl, 16, lured into ‘sexts’

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Josh White

A VUL­NER­A­BLE teenage girl groomed by her deputy head­mas­ter has be­come the first vic­tim of ‘sex­ting’ to be awarded dam­ages in a land­mark le­gal judg­ment.

The 16-year-old pupil, who can­not be named, was pres­sured into send­ing nude self­ies to Wil­liam Whillock dur­ing text ex­changes in which he egged her on into send­ing in­creas­ingly ex­plicit im­ages.

She also suf­fered sex­ual abuse by him at The New School at West Heath in Sevenoaks, Kent – where Princess Diana was once a pupil.

Whillock, now 62, has been or­dered to pay more than £50,000 com­pen­sa­tion to his vic­tim, who is now 23, in the first suc­cess­ful law­suit of its type. The former vice-prin­ci­pal and child pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer at the school, which now spe­cialises in pupils with emo­tional and so­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, was found cul­pa­ble for ‘emo­tional ma­nip­u­la­tion’ of the girl, who had a his­tory of se­vere epilepsy.

The rul­ing by a High Court judge in Lon­don opens the way for scores more com­pen­sa­tion cases to be brought. Yes­ter­day Whillock’s vic­tim told the BBC: ‘He just used to ask me to send him pic­tures of me with like my un­der­wear on or some­thing like that.

‘That’s how it started, and then it just got worse and worse be­cause then he said, “Yeah, can you send me a pic­ture of you... naked”.

‘It took a few goes to get used to it at first be­cause I didn’t want to do it, but when I used to see him af­ter at school he used to like get closer and closer to me. He would say, “Can you send me another one, that was lovely”.’

She said the abuse had shat­tered her self­es­teem, adding: ‘When­ever I have a re­la­tion­ship it is al­ways stuck in my head – I feel like they are go­ing to abuse me again.’

Whillock was ar­rested and sus­pended in early 2010 af­ter a col­league dis­cov­ered the ex­plicit pho­tos of the girl and in­ti­mate text mes­sages on his phone.

A three-year com­mu­nity or­der was im­posed at Maidstone Crown Court af­ter he ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing in­de­cent im­ages of the pupil.

In the sep­a­rate civil case, the High Court heard that Whillock mas­quer­aded as a fa­ther fig­ure to­wards the girl. But he was a risk-taker and in his flat on the school cam­pus kept a stash of hard­core pornog­ra­phy and im­ages of him­self at or­gies.

Judge Sir Robert Nel­son said the ef­fect of the case on the vic­tim had been ‘dire’ and or­dered her to be paid a to­tal of £51,370.

This in­cluded com­pen­sa­tion for ‘hand­i­cap on the labour mar­ket’ and re­sul­tant psy­cho­log­i­cal treat­ment. He said the com­pen­sa­tion owed for the sex­ting alone was £25,000.

The judge also con­cluded that Whillock had en­gaged in ‘sex­ual touch­ing, fondling’ and another sex act with the girl.

But he did not find al­le­ga­tions of rape or other sex of­fences proven.

Sir Robert said: ‘In ad­di­tion, pho­to­graph al­bums were dis­cov­ered which con­tained

‘He asked for pic­tures in un­der­wear, then naked’

hun­dreds of Po­laroid im­ages of Mr Whillock per­form­ing a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent sex­ual acts... a se­lec­tion of these pho­to­graphs was taken to the head­mistress to see if any of those in­volved could be iden­ti­fied as pupils, former pupils or mem­bers of staff. None were.’

Whillock claimed the porn had been con­fis­cated from stu­dents, and pho­tos of him­self were a ‘me­mento’ from a re­la­tion­ship.

The school, which was a co-de­fen­dant to the lit­i­ga­tion, had at­tempted to set­tle be­fore the case be­gan with an of­fer of around £20,000. It now must pay the vic­tim the full com­pen­sa­tion and try to claw back the money from Whillock.

David McCle­naghan, a lawyer at Bolt Bur­don Kemp which rep­re­sented the vic­tim, said he hoped the ground-break­ing de­ci­sion – the first in which com­pen­sa­tion has been awarded for abuse that did not in­volve phys­i­cal con­tact – would act as a de­ter­rent to po­ten­tial abusers.

An NSPCC spokesman said: ‘It’s vi­tal that there are se­ri­ous pun­ish­ments that de­ter of­fend­ers from com­mit­ting these crimes against young peo­ple.’

The school did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment yes­ter­day. In the 1970s – when it was an in­de­pen­dent girls’ school known as West Heath – the then Lady Diana Spencer was a boarder, as was the ac­tress Tilda Swin­ton.

De­praved: Wil­liam Whillock

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.