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Society – Ampleforth College

October 2016

Catholic School Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, has been at the centre of an inquiry into alleged sex abuse.

Earlier this year, there was an investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy there. The teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term, while on a teacher training course from his native country, Canada, was accused of indecently assaulting the boy 27 years ago.

According to reports in the Daily Mail, former pupils of Ampleforth claimed the inquiry was poorly handled. They have claimed that, at the time, several schoolchildren complained of Dr Sheppard’s behaviour, including stroking, touching and kissing boys.

The school’s headmaster, Father Dominic Milroy, interviewed 11 children over the teacher’s alleged inappropriate conduct and Dr Sheppard subsequently left the school. It is unclear whether he was asked to leave his position or went on his own. He received a glowing reference from Father Milroy during his departure.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport in December 2014 when he returned to Britain for an extended Christmas break, and detained on suspicion of serious sexual offences against an Ampleforth pupil in 1989.

Last year retired teacher David Lowe, 61, from Bristol, was, jailed for 10 years for assaulting boys aged 8-13 between 1978 and 1984. According to a BBC report, the offences took place at top Catholic public schools Westminster Cathedral Choir School and Ampleforth College.

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