School Master Lawrence Pollard sentenced to 16 years for abusing children
Lawrence Pollard has been convicted of 14 offences of abusing pupils at an East Yorkshire school where he was employed as a Child Attendant and then Dormitory Master.
Pollard, now aged 76, started working at the school in 1969. The school took on boarders and children with learning and behavioural difficulties. Pollard was convicted at Hull Crown Court of abusing three pupils, each for a period of several years throughout the 1970s.
Pollard’s role involved directly caring for the children he abused. It is impossible to think of a greater breach of position of trust than his actions. It is right that he now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.
It was clear from the evidence of the criminal trial that the abuse perpetrated by Pollard had a very significant impact on the three boys he has been convicted of abusing, an impact that has stayed with them throughout their lives.
Those three brave survivors showed great strength to report the abuse to the police so far, but I expect there may be other victims of abuse who have not yet made the decision to disclose what happened – but who also suffered the devastating aftereffects of sexual abuse. All survivors of abuse need to be listened to, believed and supported.
I know from the experience of my clients that the moment an abuser is finally sentenced and sent to prison can trigger a powerful psychological effect. However, the criminal process does not focus on the wellbeing of those reporting abuse, and at the end of the process many still feel that justice had not yet been served.
Survivors of abuse often feel that a civil claim can give them back the control over their lives that they lost during the criminal investigation. I have extensive experience in representing survivors who experienced abuse in schools and I am happy to speak to anyone who may need support in this regard.