Former teacher Ronald Heron is being sued for up to £100,000 by a woman who he sexually abused over a six-year period when she was a child.
Heron is currently serving a nine-year sentence for abuse he carried out on four youngsters in the 1970s and 80s. The woman suing him is one of those he was found guilty of abusing during his trial at Newcastle Crown Court in 2007.
Heron was found guilty in his absence after he fled part way through his trial and went into hiding in the Philippines. He was arrested 10 months later at Heathrow airport when he returned to the UK.
The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has launched a civil action in the High Court. She claims that Heron repeatedly forced her to perform sex acts on him and attempted to rape her.
Heron was found guilty of committing three counts of sexual assault against the woman during his trial, but the woman’s High Court writ says there were more offences than those covered in the criminal trial.
The woman claims that she has suffered psychiatric problems from the abuse and has had difficulty forming relationships and still suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. She also claims that the abuse caused her to under perform at school having a knock on effect on her career and earning capacity.
Heron, formerly of Stakeford, near Ashington, Northumberland, is already being sued by another of his victims. The Journal reported in September how one of his male victims has also launched High Court action.
Heron led an executive lifestyle, owning a private plane and luxury car collection. He abused the youngsters – three boys and a girl – while taking them on visits to Cumbria, on train journeys to carnivals and on flying trips in his plane to Eshott airfield in the 1970s and 80s.
Heron’s assets have already been frozen and will remain so until the end of the compensation cases. At his criminal trial in 2007 prosecutor Penny Moreland said: “It appears that the defendant was something of a dash as a younger man. He had a taste for cars, mainly fast ones and an interest in flying planes. He was a popular man.”
Heron was only arrested after one of the victims, suffering from relationship difficulties which he blamed on the sexual abuse, went to the police. The court heard that the other three had decided to suppress the attacks from their minds.