Lawyer, 30, abused by stepdad who got her pregnant aged 14 sues school for failing to 'keep her safe'

Lawyer, 30, abused by stepdad who got her pregnant aged 14 sues school for failing to 'keep her safe'

December 8, 2018

Kim Fawcett was abused by truck-driver Robert Stuart McClelland for more than a year before he was jailed in 2004.

Human rights lawyer Ms Fawcett, 30, said Ellesmere College in Shropshire failed to "keep me safe" and plans to take it to the High Court.

But the college said a review found "nothing to support her claim".

Ms Fawcett, who now lives in Bristol, has waived her right to anonymity.

McClelland first raped her when she was 13.

He plied the vulnerable teen with a bottle of Smirnoff before attacking her.

He then engraved the bottle with the date and kept it as a sick trophy.

Ms Fawcett claims that her school had "explicit knowledge" of sexual text messages she received from her stepfather, and also knew about the self-harming she carried out as a result.

She said: "None of these concerns were reported to social services.

"Had the college reported McClelland to social services, the abuse would have stopped in June 2002 instead of June 2003."

In that year, Ms Fawcett, aged 14, was raped, contracted a sexually-transmitted infection and became pregnant by McClelland who later told her to have an abortion.

Ms Fawcett began legal proceedings after a breakdown last year.

She said: "It made me really start to wonder where all the adults had been in my life.

"I have gone from blaming myself to turning that anger outwards on to people I feel should have helped me.

"I really did deserve better. I am utterly furious for the little girl that I was."

She initially wrote to the school in 2017 informally outlining her claims, but in light of its rejection of her allegations the case has been put on a formal legal footing.

The college's head master, Brendan Wignall, said: "The school is appalled by the abuse, but was completely unaware of what had been happening to her.

"We are very sorry she feels the school let her down.

"But we can genuinely find nothing to support her claim, and therefore have no option but to resist it."

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