Women who were secretly filmed by a disgraced drama teacher while using the bathroom hope to move on with their lives after securing settlements.
Lawyers Irwin Mitchell represents six young women who were informed by police that Russell Singleton, from Heanor, had taken indecent images of them when they used the toilet and shower while visiting his home as teenagers for school performance rehearsals.
Singleton, who worked at Alfreton Grange Arts School, was jailed for three years and two months in April 2013 after admitting more than 20 sex offences, including sexual activity with a teenager.
During the investigation, police seized 24 videos and more than 300 images he had created across a ten-year period.
Now, Irwin Mitchell’s abuse team has secured a total of £70,000 of damages from Derbyshire County Council for its affected clients.
Raman Dhillon, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who represents the clients, said: “This is a deeply disturbing case in which several young women have been left feeling violated and disgusted by the actions of a man who abused his position of trust as a teacher.
“While nothing can change the terrible ordeal they have been through, we hope that this settlement will go some way towards ensuring they can continue to access the counselling and other support they have needed since learning of Mr Singleton’s appalling actions. Our clients may not have been physically harmed, but that simply does not excuse the terrible nature of what they have had to come to terms with.”
Irwin Mitchell was able to ensure its clients received a settlement following a major High Court ruling last year, in which a judge concluded that those affected by non-physical abuse – such as via text message or being the subject of indecent images – should be awarded damages.
Raman Dhillon added: “The ruling last year was a huge step forward and has ensured that those affected by a truly shocking abuse of trust are able to access the help they need to come to terms with what has been committed against them.”