Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Monday 31 October 2016
The Catholic church could face a compensation bill of millions of pounds following a test case on sexual abuse at a former children’s home which opens on Monday.
The civil case at the high court in Leeds follows the imprisonment this year of the home’s former principal and chaplain for sexual offences against 11 boys between 1970 and 1991.
Five survivors have brought a civil claim against the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle brotherhood, whose members ran St William’s Home in Market Weighton in east Yorkshire.
In total, 249 people have alleged that they were sexually and physically abused by staff at the home. If the civil case is successful, the Catholic church in the UK could face one of the biggest payouts in its history.
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