I'm haunted by teacher abuse – it was like being tossed about like by a ragdoll, Nicky Campbell tells inquiry | The Sun

NICKY Campbell has told an inquiry that he is haunted by his teacher's abuse – saying it was like being tossed about like a ragdoll.

The BBC presenter told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry that he was sexually assaulted by a teacher, Hamish Dawson, who died in 2009.

He also said he witnessed a primary-age child being sexually assaulted by a different teacher, Iain Wares, whom he compared to Savile.

Permission was given by the inquiry's chair earlier this year to identify Wares, 83 – who was previously a "protected person" and was referred to by a pseudonym.

Campbell, 62, attended Edinburgh Academy, a fee-paying school, between 1966 and 1978, from the ages of five to 17.

He said he had used prescription medication to cope with the memories of Edinburgh Academy.

The presenter added that he was "haunted" in the middle of the night by his schooldays.

Campbell said he hid the abuse, which began in junior school but escalated in senior school, from his adoptive parents, Sheila and Frank Campbell.

He recalled being in preparatory school when he allegedly saw Wares molesting a pupil aged about 10 years old in the showers.

Mr Campbell said: "This has haunted me since it happened.

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"It all haunts you. I have had my penis touched by a teacher.

"The smell of carbonated soap is triggering.

"He would have been about nine or 10 years old.

"I remember my friend laughing and giggling, "it's a game, stop, stop.

"I remember Wares saying, "It's a game, it's a game", and my friend moving away."

He added: "We weren't taught by him, but people would say, "He's dangerous, weirdo, weirdo, weirdo.

"Violence was a big thing for him too."

On one occasion, aged 14 or 15 years old, Mr Campbell claimed he was attacked by a teacher, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, so violently that a friend who witnessed it thought he was being mugged by a stranger.

Mr Campbell recalled threatening to call the police after the assault – which prompted his mother to contact Edinburgh Academy.

In a two-hour testimony before Lady Smith, Mr Campbell said taking part in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was "the best decision he had ever made".

He described himself as a "survivor", and said: "I'm 62 years old but Hamish Dawson's hands are still in my underwear playing with my penis."

He described the physical assault by another teacher as "being tossed like a ragdoll, punching and kicking me," and said the abuse "helped shape our lives in the most heinous way".

Mr Campbell spoke with contempt about the Crown and Procurator Fiscal Office which, in 2019, ruled it was "not in the public interest" to extradite Wares, now in his 80s, from South Africa, on the grounds of age.

He compared Wares to Jimmy Savile, saying: "Savile was on everyone's minds at the BBC.

"Savile's opportunities were one-to-one. Iain Ware's was one-to-20 boys."

And he criticised "the Edinburgh Omerta" which brought "wrath" on actor Iain Glen, who spoke out in 2002 about abuse at Edinburgh Academy.

Campbell became visibly angry when speaking about Wares living in a "plush retirement home" – and demanded a public apology from Edinburgh Academy.

He claimed it moved the teacher on to Fettes College, another high profile school also in Edinburgh.

The presenter said: "You sent him there after a parent complained. You must do it unreservedly, and do it now."

He said mandatory reporting "breaks this pernicious code" and urged for it to be brought in.

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A Crown Office spokesman said: "This has been a complex investigation and COPFS appreciates that it has been difficult for all those involved.

"In order to protect any future proceedings and to preserve the rights of the complainers, the Crown will not comment further at this stage."

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