Our client David (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) thought long and hard about taking a lie detector test before contacting us. His incredibly sad story astounded us.
David’s problems began when he was just 13 years old. He belonged to a scout group led by one of his teachers. His parents had not long split up when the teacher spoke to David’s mother, Sue, and suggested that David join. She was grateful that her son would have something to take his mind off the separation which had affected him badly. Over a period of 2 years David went camping several times with the group but his behaviour worsened. The rebellious teenager he became when his father left, changed to an angry and sullen young boy 3 months after he joined the scouts. The reason for this would not become apparent for another 27 years.
In 2016 a court case that stunned a community, saw Stephen Scholes charged and convicted of various sexual assault offences committed over a period of 20 years. Scholes had been well respected as a teacher and scout master.
David was one of 12 boys who had been identified by police as a possible victim and their first port of call was to contact Sue. She was asked if her son had mentioned any sexual abuse to her. He hadn’t but she gave them is phone number.
Now married, David was disturbed to hear from them. Having left home at 15 and dealt with his problem abusing drugs and alcohol he had finally settled down. His wife knew nothing about this aspect of his past. The police were anxious to prosecute the retired, 68 year old ex teacher and wanted a statement. David was concerned that they may have told his mother what had happened to him. He’d never wanted her to know worrying that she would feel guilty if she found out.
That night, when he got home from work, he sat down and told his wife who was appalled. She encouraged him to speak with the police if for no other reason than to stop this vile man from abusing more children. At this stage the thought that one day it might lead to him taking a lie detector test never entered his head.
Conviction and compensation
David’s statement along with several others led to Scholes being confronted by the police and he confessed immediately. He had sought out positions that enabled him to easily implement his perversions. Sometimes he abused boys on camping trips with the scouts and at others in schools where he worked or at his home.
At Leeds Crown Court it was revealed that some victims had not been traced and others had not wished to make a statement. One can only imagine the true extent of what happened between the 70s and 90s as a result of Scholes’s actions.
Following Scholes admission of 21 sexual abuse charges and subsequent conviction, many of the survivors received compensation from Kirklees Council. Our client was one of them.
The compensation allowed David and his wife to buy a modest property in Italy where they plan one day to retire. However the story doesn’t end there.
The secret that had to be exposed
David’s mother in law, Jane, was told about the abuse on the proviso that she did not divulge this to Sue. And for 18 months she kept the secret. But as a result of Sue telling her that she was ashamed of how David got the money to buy the property abroad, Jane had to put her right.
Jane was surprised when Sue told her over a coffee that David had lied about a teacher sexually abusing him in order to get compensation. Apparently David’s brother had told Sue this. Jane couldn’t remain silent and told her that Scholes had admitted to the abuse in court. Stunningly, Sue responded that she was relieved to learn that he hadn’t lied yet showed no concern for what her son had been through.
Jane then spoke to her daughter, David’s wife, and that is what led to David taking a lie detector test. His mother’s reaction to learning the truth made him feel that he was still not believed by her.
Taking a lie detector test is not only about revealing the truth
The test was conducted at one of our controlled offices in Huddersfield and the polygraph results proved that David was telling the truth. He is waiting for the right moment to present them to Sue.
Taking a lie detector test is one way of proving your honesty but it is also a method of letting out secrets that have been buried for years. The pre-test interview allowed David to talk to our highly experienced examiner openly and confidentially. According to the police, the Scholes case was unusual in that his victims remained completely silent for so many years.
The damage to David’s life isn’t quantifiable. He kept silent because he didn’t want his mother to feel hurt or guilty. His way of dealing with it through drugs and alcohol affected his life immeasurably and squandered a large part of it. Conversely Sue appears to be in denial. We hope the polygraph results will help her come to terms with the truth of the situation. She also needs to understand that it wasn’t and could never be her fault. Scholes was a sexual predator who betrayed the trust of his position and quite rightly received a 6 year prison term. One day he may be subject to polygraph tests to monitor his behaviour if he is released on license.