Abuse Survivors Blog

Witness appeal – Boys’ Brigade leader found guilty

Written by Jacqui Morton on 23 Jan 2020

boys brigade sexual assault claimsWe have recently been contacted by a victim of a former Boys’ Brigade leader William Bissett who was sexually assaulted by him whilst he was a member of the Boys’ Brigade.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, William Bissett was a Boys’ Brigade leader and involved with church activities at the Methodist Church, Church Road, St Annes where the Boys’ Brigade weekly meetings took place. Bissett was thought to be a trusted member of the community gaining the trust of boys and their parents. He used his position of trust to groom and sexually assault vulnerable young boys. These assaults would take place at the Methodist Church hall where the Boys’ Brigade would meet, and at outside activities and camps.

One of William Bissett’s victims reported to the police in 2005 but no further action was taken. In 2019, following reports by other victims, a full criminal investigation took place. William Bissett was questioned and denied the allegations, forcing his victims to give evidence at trial causing them further trauma and distress.

Following a criminal trial, which took place at Preston Crown Court, William Bissett was found guilty of 17 counts of indecently assaulting four boys in the 1980’s and 1990’s (three indecent assaults against the first child, one against the second and third child, three against the fourth child, three counts of gross indecency and six indecent assaults against a boy). On the 21st of January 2020, William Bissett, now aged 84, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. During the hearing, Judge Altham highlighted the profound effect of sexual abuse on victims and commended the victims for their dignity.

I am gathering evidence to use in any civil compensation claims on behalf of victims of William Bissett. If you were sexually abused by William Bissett or witnessed others being abused and are willing to support those in their pursuit of justice, please contact me on 01234 360140 or email at jm@emmottsnell.co.uk.

The abuse survivor's guide to making a claim for compensation

Topics: Sexual abuse

Jacqui Morton

Written by Jacqui Morton

Jacqui is known for her hardworking and careful approach to any legal problem, her excellent rapport with clients and professionals.