BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell interviewed the daughter of an alleged pedophile teacher who he says sexually abused him at boarding school.
Campbell spearheaded a public campaign on abuse at the Edinburgh Academy in the 1970s.
He spoke to Jenny Pearson, 64, who first commented on the allegations against her late father Hamish Dawson, before describing her parents as an “abomination”. the mirror informs.
She said: ‘Knowing that I’m the daughter of a pedophile, it’s repulsive, shameful.
‘It’s disgusting. I have spent my entire professional life fighting for the rights of children and young people.’
The 61-year-old broadcaster (pictured as a child) said he could never speak about the abuse he suffered at the Edinburgh Academy while his parents were alive, as they “sacrificed” so much for him to attend.
Broadcaster Nicky Campbell says that in addition to the abuse he suffered from Hamish Dawson, he witnessed another teacher ‘Edgar’ abusing male pupils at Edinburgh Academy in the 1970s.
Ms. Pearson reached out to Campbell after he named her father among three teachers who were involved in child abuse.
Since then, she has dedicated herself to helping victims who suffered abuse at her father’s school.
Speaking on Campbell’s BBC Radio 5 podcast Different, he described the “terror” of his childhood suffering violent abuse at the hands of his father, who died in 2009.
He also recalled the emotional abuse of his mother, who died five years after him.
Ms Pearson said: “From 14 to 19 I never saw my father…he was always with the children.”
He added that he later found a “horrifying” material relationship with female slaves on his father’s computer after his death and has spent hours talking to his victims ever since.
Campbell first revealed the sexual abuse she had suffered by Hamish Dawson in an interview with BBC Breakfast last July.
Now that Dawson is dead, Campbell has been concentrating his efforts on bringing to justice another alleged abuser named ‘Edgar’, who is proving difficult to extradite from his home in South Africa.
The Edinburgh Academy, where dozens of children were abused in the 1970s, has issued a public apology and says it is cooperating with police.
“I think it is an absolute scandal that the extradition process is something like yes, whatever,” he said.
“(Edgar) could well be one of the most prolific pedophiles in British criminal history if you do the math and look at how long he taught and how many schools he was in.”
He claimed that in 1971, aged 10, he witnessed the man, who has more than 20 child abuse complaints to his name under the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, abused one of his friends in the showers of the Edinburgh Academy after rugby training.
“My friend is laughing, but I know from fear that it’s not a good laugh,” Campbell recounted. “When we walk to the bus stop, we don’t even talk about it and we would never say it.”
The former Watchdog host added that he “couldn’t have talked about school” when his mother and father “were alive” because of the sacrifices they made to send him to a private school.
He also called for a rule change for private schools that are not subject to the same safeguarding requirements as public schools.
Nicky Campbell spoke in July about witnessing and experiencing violent physical and sexual abuse as a young schoolboy at a Scottish private school during the 1970s.
Campbell added: ‘There is no mandatory reporting in the private sector and you now think, with our understanding and sensibility, it would be.
“Schools like that fostered a culture of omerta and not telling and keeping secrets and these are the people who have been running the country.”
After Campbell went public with the allegations, other alumni from Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College came forward with stories of abuse.
Edinburgh Academy has since issued a public apology and says it is cooperating with the police.
In a statement to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Fettes College, whose alumni include former Prime Minister Tony Blair, made a “full and unreserved apology.”
It read: “While words of apology may be of limited value, we fully accept and acknowledge that students have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused while at Fettes College in the past.”
Edgar, who lives in a retirement complex in Cape Town, was arrested in South Africa in 2019 by British police and is due to appear in court on March 17 for a further extradition hearing.
He said at an earlier court hearing that he moved to Edinburgh from South Africa in 1967 to seek treatment after experiencing “urges” to touch children at the school he worked at after graduation, The Times reports.
- BBC 5 Live Different podcast with Nicky Campbell is on BBC Sounds