High Court launches sexual abuse victim appeal after death of former church minister who taught in Sandhurst

Michael Studdert worked at Eagle House School between 1977 and 1988. Picture: Alan Hunt via Geograph

Michael Studdert taught at Eagle House School between 1977 and 1988

AN APPEAL has launched urging victims of sexual abuse to come forward and file claims of compensation against a a former church minister who worked in Sandhurst.

Michael Studdert, former Anglican Minister died in 2017 and is believed to have committed significant sexual offences over several decades.

In 1988, Studdert was convicted on four counts of possessing indecent images of children while working as a chaplain at Eagle House School, in Sandhurst.

The school, just south of the Wokingham borough border, may have been attended by residents of Wokingham. 

In September 2006, Studdert pleaded guilty to 26 counts of possessing, making and distributing indecent images of children, with more than 100,000 explicit images having been found in his home.

Specialist abuse solicitor at Simpson Millar, Nathalie Swanwick, said: “This is a truly horrific story which has left so many questions unanswered.

“Money from the estate has been set aside specifically to help anyone who may have suffered sexual abuse from Michael Studdert.

“We strongly urge anybody who feels they may have been a victim to look into making a claim.”

Studdert worked at Eagle House School between 1977 and 1988.

He died three years ago and left his £4.7 million estate to a charity he had set up. 

But the High Court ruled that the funds must not be spent until any potential victims of abuse are found, with compensation claims likely to impact the funds destined for Studdert’s beneficiaries.

The High Court has found that there is a chance Studdert committed sexual offences which “may have given rise to personal injury claims against the deceased and hence his estate”. 

The court wishes to give victims notice of Mr Studdert’s death, and the opportunity to seek legal compensation for their suffering.

Anyone who wishes to make a claim is advised to contact a lawyer to begin the process.

To speak to Nathalie Swanwick at Simpon Millar, call: 0345 357 9239.

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