Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 14:56 UK

Top school sued over abuse claims

David Young
David Young said he was abused by a teacher when he was 11 years old

The parents of a man who committed suicide after allegedly suffering sexual abuse while attending a private school are to sue for 120,000.

David Young, who took his own life in 2002, aged 23, had attended Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire as a child.

Before his death, he accused former teacher Jonathan Quick of abusing him.

At Alloa Sheriff Court, Sheriff David Mackie granted a motion by Dollar Academy to have the case heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

John and Noreen Young, are suing the academy, which charges about 12,000 for a day place, for neglecting its duty of care by failing to act against Quick despite knowing about earlier cases of abuse.

Quick was sentenced to eight months in 2007 for abusing former pupils at the school, not including David Young.

The 72-year-old is currently on bail, pending an appeal, and living in a nursing home.

Effectively the suicide of the pursuers' son has been laid squarely at the door of the school
Duncan Batchelor
Solicitor for Dollar Academy

Sheriff Mackie, who presided over Quick's criminal trial, said the importance of the civil case, its complexity, and also practical matters including the size and condition of the Alloa Sheriff Court building, had contributed to his decision to refer the case to Edinburgh.

During Thursday's hearing in Alloa, solicitor Duncan Batchelor, acting for the school, acknowledged the proceedings had damaged the school's reputation.

He said: "Effectively the suicide of the pursuers' son has been laid squarely at the door of the school.

"We are looking 18 years after the alleged abuse and 27 years after it is alleged the defenders should have carried out an investigation."

David Young committed suicide shortly after dropping out of medical school in Aberdeen.

He left his student flat in the city and flew to the Philippines, where he checked into a hotel and consumed a cocktail of vodka and pills.

He left a note quoting verses from two songs but gave no direct explanation for his suicide.

It was only when his parents met his former psychiatrist that they learned of the abuse.

They later enlisted the services of a retired detective, who tracked down several of Quick's victims from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Outside court, Mrs Young said: "We are looking for justice. If the Court of Session is the correct forum, then that's fine."

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