Former pupil at Merseyside school suing council after claims of sexual abuse by teacher

  • Video report by Victoria Grimes

A former pupil of a Merseyside high school is planning to sue a council after claiming he was sexually abused by his teacher.

Philip Aindow is one of more than 40 former pupils of Formby High School to have come forward to say they suffered abuse at the hands of Ian Farquharson.

Farquharson took his own life in 1992 after a complaint was made by a mother of a child, 12 years after he was cleared of sexually abusing young boys.

Philip's solicitor says anyone else who thinks they may have been targeted should come forward.

Philip Aindow says he was abused by his former teacher. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Philip said: "It all started with the Blue Peter stamp appeal. He basically asked for volunteers.

"Obviously at the time you didn't know what was going on,  so you volunteered to help out.

"The teacher would get you a nice big bottle of pop and as a kid you think 'ooh I'll have some of that', then he stuck you into this room to sort out the stamps.

"Obviously after a while drinking the pop, you'd want to go to the toilet so you'd say, 'sir I need to go to the toilet', and that's when it would all start. Luckily there was no physical side of it.

"You felt embarrassed so you didn't really say anything. You tried to keep it to yourself."

Phillip was just 13-years-old when the abuse began.

He says it happened a number of times before he built up the courage to tell his mum.

He continued: "When you're a kid you think it's just normal and you don't realise. It's only when you get home.

"Then it came out and my mum obviously blew up and went mental."

Ian Farquarson was charged with inciting young boys to commit acts of gross indecency in 1980. He was cleared and able to continue his job at Formby high school for another 12 years.

In 1992, following a complaint by another pupil's mother, he took his own life.

47 former students have now come forward saying they were abused.

Solicitor Katherine Yates is planning to bring a civil action against Sefton Council on their behalf.

She said: "Lots of these people have suffered quite badly through the years - we've had suicide attempts, we've had all kinds of problems where people can't hold jobs down, their relationships have sufffered.

"A lot of them do need therapy. Some of them need retraining because their education was quite badly affected. 

"I know that there are more victims of Mr Farquarson out there - please come forward now."

In a statment, Formby High School say the allegations are appalling and their thoughts are with the victims. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Phillip has waived his right to anonymity hoping it will encourage others to speak out.

"If people out there that it's happened to, or it is happening to, -  just open up, don't hold it back, just tell people - get it stopped. Get the truth out there and get it done."

Sefton Council has been approached for comment.

In a statement, Formby High School said the allegations were appalling and that their thoughts were very much with the victims.

It added: "It is difficult to offer further comment on these events from the late 1980s and early 1990s, simply because they date back more than 30 years to a time when the current Trust was not in control of the School.

"In today's Formby High School, I can categorically state that safeguarding our students is of paramount importance.

"We have extremely robust policies and procedures in place, designed to keep all of our students safe from harm."