Victim suing Shropshire Council over jailed Telford paedophile teacher

Telford | News | Published:

A victim of a paedophile PE teacher is suing Shropshire Council for the abuse he was subjected to while at school.

The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, is one of six who were abused by Bruce Gracie when he was a teacher at Telford's Stirchley Upper School in the 1970s and 80s.

Gracie, 68, was jailed for 11 years in June after admitting a total of 27 sex offences against nine teenage boys. He was a teacher at Stirchley Upper School from 1975 to 1988.

One of his former pupils has now instructed lawyers Irwin Mitchell to lodge legal action against Shropshire Council to help secure him pay for counselling and support.

The man, who was a pupil at Stirchley, said: "I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, confused and humiliated by the actions of Gracie during PE lessons.

"Once I challenged his behaviour he seemed to leave me alone but everyone in the class suffered in a similar way to myself.

"As I have grown older the seriousness of what I was subjected to hit me more and more and it began to impact my life."

The man said seeing Gracie - of Kings Lane, Newton Regis, near Tamworth - convicted made him feel like his voice had finally been heard.

"For the first time in my life, I now feel capable of working towards putting this behind me and hope that by taking legal action I will encourage others to come forward and get the help and support they need for the lifelong impact the abuse we suffered has had."

Raman Dhillon, a lawyer specialising in abuse at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The physical and psychological impact of sexual abuse can have a significant long-term effect on survivors. Now that justice has been done in the criminal case of Gracie, we are determined to ensure our client is able to access the help and support he needs to take steps towards trying to put this terrible nightmare behind him."

Claire Porter, Shropshire Council's head of legal and democratic services, said: "We can confirms we have received a letter of claim from Irwin Mitchell following the conviction of Mr Gracie. This has been passed to our insurers, who will deal with the claim confidentially in the usual way."

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