Stirchley Upper School, Telford, Shropshire
A victim of a paedophile PE teacher is suing Shropshire Council for the abuse he was subjected to while at school.
The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, is one of six who were abused by Bruce Gracie when he was a teacher at Telford’s Stirchley Upper School in the 1970s and 80s.
Gracie, 68, was jailed for 11 years in June after admitting a total of 27 sex offences against nine teenage boys. He was a teacher at Stirchley Upper School from 1975 to 1988.
One of his former pupils has now instructed lawyers Irwin Mitchell to lodge legal action against Shropshire Council to help secure him pay for counselling and support.
The man, who was a pupil at Stirchley, said: “I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, confused and humiliated by the actions of Gracie during PE lessons.
“Once I challenged his behaviour he seemed to leave me alone but everyone in the class suffered in a similar way to myself.
“As I have grown older the seriousness of what I was subjected to hit me more and more and it began to impact my life.”
A paedophile PE teacher and gymnastics coach, who sexually abused teenage boys in three counties over a period of 22 years, has been jailed for 11 years.
Disgraced former Telford teacher Bruce Gracie was described by a judge at Warwick Crown Court as a “persistent and determined paedophile” who had ruined his victims’ lives.
Gracie, 68, now of Kings Lane in Newton Regis, near Tamworth, pleaded guilty in September last year to 12 charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child.
Those related to two boys aged between 13 and 15 whom he abused while at a north Warwickshire school in the early 90s and a 14-year-old boy at a school in Chelmsford, Essex, in the mid-70s.
But following reports on that hearing, a number of other victims he had abused in the late 70s and early 80s while he was at a school in Telford came forward.
And when he appeared at the court to be sentenced, he pleaded guilty to a further 15 offences of sexually abusing another six boys, all from the Telford area.
Gracie was jailed for a total of 11 years, made up of concurrent and consecutive sentences ranging from 12 months to six years for the various acts he committed. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Mr Graeme Simpson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant qualified as a teacher in 1968 and taught physical education in a number of schools around the country. He went on to form a gymnastics team which became very successful, appearing in major events across the country and across Europe.”
Mr Simpson, who said the victims included both pupils and gymnasts, said the offences came to light after the first three victims made independent complaints in 2013.
“The second indictment arose following press reporting of his pleas to the first, as further victims came forward,” said Mr Simpson. Those victims were all pupils of Gracie while he was teaching in Telford between 1975 and 1988. One of them described Gracie as a bully who would make them strip naked and wrestle each other.
Miss Heidi Kubik, for Gracie, asked the judge to “bear in mind the great shame that falls on him at this stage in his life”.
Jailing Gracie, Recorder Martin Hurst said:
“People like you wreak havoc in young lives.”