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No ruling in college abuse claim

26 March 09 16:04 GMT

Judgement has been reserved in a £5m damages claim against a Jesuit-run school over alleged sexual abuse.

Former City lawyer Patrick Raggett, 50, was abused at Preston Catholic College in the 1970s, he told the High Court.

This led him to suffer a breakdown, under-achievement at work, a failed marriage and problems with binge drinking, Mr Raggett said.

The college governors said that even if the abuse occurred, the case was brought outside the legal time limit.

'Insidious' abuse

Mr Raggett was subjected to years of "insidious" abuse at the college by the late Father Michael Spencer, his counsel Robert Seabrook QC told the court.

But the college's counsel, Kate Thirlwall QC, said that if Mr Raggett had been abused, he would have known it was "significant" by the time he was 18.

"We say it is wholly untenable for the claimant to say that he did not consider he had been sexually abused," she said.

Mrs Justice Swift reserved judgement and did not say when she would give her ruling.

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