A victim of child abuse at one of Scotland’s most exclusive private schools is seeking £1million in a legal case which could open the floodgates for more claims.

Angus Bell spoke publicly for the first time about the violence pupils experienced at Loretto School, in Musselburgh, East Lothian, in the 90s. Loretto is Scotland’s oldest boarding school and was investigated during the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Angus gave evidence anonymously at the probe and has now confirmed he is aiming for a payout due to the violence he suffered, which he described as “eight years in hell.”

He said: “I was a child trapped in a madhouse of violence and sexual and emotional abuse. Even now, decades later, remembering it can make me curl up and cry.

"I witnessed kids set on fire and their genitals mutilated from gang beatings with boots. We were beaten daily with hockey sticks and cricket bats. Beds were urinated and defecated on.

"I was whipped with belt buckles, thrown down flights of stairs, water-boarded in dirty toilets, locked in trunks and strangled. None of this would seem out of place in an Isis torture site, let alone a school that cost families hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Loretto School in Musselburgh
Loretto School in Musselburgh

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry chair Lady Smith found that pupils at Loretto were abused by a small number of staff and other children. One teacher, the late Guy Ray-Hills, was a prolific sexual predator who was allowed to resign with references after complaints were made against him in 1967.

Angus’s lawyers, Digby Brown, said: “We know Mr Bell is one of many who suffered at Loretto but his courage could be the very catalyst to herald a new wave of justice against yet another institution that failed children it was responsible for.”

Loretto School said: “In light of the ongoing legal position and our responsibility of confidentiality to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, it is not appropriate to provide any comment at this stage.”

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