Church Faces 140 Child Abuse Claims

The Roman Catholic Church faced fresh embarrassment over child abuse allegations yesterday after one of the country’s largest class actions was launched against a former Catholic children’s home. Up to 140 men are suing the authorities responsible for the St William’s Community Home in Market Weighton, East Yorks, where they claim a brutal regime of sexual and physical abuse was allowed to run unchecked for 30 years. The action could result in damages running into millions of pounds, a potentially severe blow to the Church, which has recently had to make a number of large payouts to victims. Last year, a man who was psychologically damaged by a decade of abuse by a priest in Coventry was awarded £1 million in the High Court.