royal military school
The Scottish Sunday Times,  2 April 2017
Front Page Exclusive
Mark Macaskill
Fresh abuse claims at QVS



Fresh sex abuse claims hit Scots military school

Victim breaks silence on 1970s assault at QVS










There were fresh calls last night to widen the Scottish Government's child abuse inquiry after a former pupil of a military boarding school in Dunblane claimed he was abused by a teacher.

It has emerged police launched an investigation after a victim broke decades of silence to reveal his abuse at the hands of a housemaster at Queen Victoria School (QVS) in the 1970s.

The man, now in his fifties, was told by detectives last month that his abuser, who died 24 years ago, would have faced being charged if he had still been alive.  The former pupil is believed to be the first victim of alleged sexual abuse at the school known to have come forward.  It reignites concerns raised in 1991 by a QVS teacher who feared boys were at risk.  A police probe failed to find evidence at the time.

Separately, detectives have looked into claims that a woman was abused as a child in the 1990s by her father who had links to QVS.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI), launched in 2015, has named dozens of establishments under investigation, but QVS is not one of them.  The school is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and counts Prince Philip as its patron.

Janine Rennie, from the charity Wellbeing Scotland, said: "If the inquiry is going to be effective, it cannot exclude an establishment where there is evidence of abuse."

The former QVS pupil told police last year he was abused by a teacher, Ben Philip, while in primary school.  Speaking to The Sunday Times, he recalled Philip "fondling" his genitals while he was in bed in the dormitory and putting his hands down his pants while he was sitting at Philip's desk during class.  The man only told his father in 2013.

"I think it is my duty to mention these facts," the man said.  "[The police] took my case very seriously.  It was only [last month] that an officer gave me a final update.  If certain teachers had still been alive then there would be enough evidence with what they had accumulated from myself and other ex-pupils to make a case.

"I thought going to the police was the right thing to do, as there may be old boys out there who have suffered over the years.

The Sunday Times understands that the MoD and QVS co-operated fully with the investigation into Philip, who lived and worked at the school.  He died in 1993, aged 46, when he fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas decorations.

We can also reveal that police investigated the claims of a woman that she was abused as a girl in Dunblane in the 1990s.  A local resident first raised concerns over the girl's welfare in 1991, and in 2015 was asked by detectives to provide a fresh statement.  The resident, who spoke to this paper last week, said the woman's father had close connections with QVS and that the case was quietly dropped.

An MoD spokewoman said: "We take any allegations of this nature very seriously and any claims of historical abuse involving Queen Victoria School have been passed to the police.  We will fully co-operate with their inquiries."

A spokesman for the SCAI said it will announce further investigations in due course that "may include other boarding schools".

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "There is no ongoing investigation concerning Queen Victoria SchoolPolice Scotland will not discuss further details of any reports made."
[Ed. ~ How does this equate with what the MoD spokeswoman said, above?  It would seem that when the national police force of Scotland. was formed in 2013 with the merger of eight regional police forces to become the Police Service of Scotland, or simply Police Scotland, it also absorbed all the sins of the separate forces to neither confirm nor deny any prior cover-ups.  Let's not forget, several forces were implicated in the QVS entanglement,  linked with Thomas Hamilton's escapades.]

Meanwhile, police in Kent have launched a review after a parent of an ex-pupil of the Duke of York's Royal Military School, complained that the force failed to robustly investigate a historical allegation.

Copyright © 2016 William Burns. All rights reserved.

Ministry of Defence - MoD

Dunblane Massacre
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The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 massacre
Emma Crozier
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