A CLERGYMAN who worked at Harrow School in the 1960s sexually abused boys in a previous post overseas, court papers claim.
Alleged victims of the late Reverend Harold Forster are seeking 58million Canadian dollars (£37.8m) in damages and compensation from a public school in Canada, over abuse it is claimed he perpetrated while he was chaplain and residential housemaster there.
After Mr Forster was dismissed from that school in 1962 over allegations of sexual assault, he worked in Jamaica before joining Harrow School in High Street, Harrow on the Hill, as assistant chaplain.
He held that role until his death at the age of 51 in a train crash in 1967.
In a statement, Harrow School said: "Harold Forster taught at Harrow sometime between 1964 and 1967 and there is no record of any disciplinary problem during that period."
An application to pursue a class action lawsuit has been filed at a Canadian court by one alleged victim, known as the petitioner, on behalf of an estimated 40 others.
The sworn document concerns Mr Forster's employment at Bishop's College School (BCS), an independent boarding school near Montreal, the capital of Quebec province, which in the 1950s and '60s was for boys only.
The document states: "Forster, at all pertinent times, used and exploited his position of authority and supervisory capacity to cultivate an inappropriate and harmful relationship with [the petitioner] in order to manipulate and lure [him] and other student class members, so as to perpetrate acts of sexual, physical and/or mental abuse on them.
"That petitioner and the other student class members maintain that Forster's aforesaid actions constitute a breach of trust, negligence and assault upon their person.
"The conduct of Forster was intentional, malicious, and was done with the knowledge that it would cause them to suffer humiliation, indignity, physical, emotional and mental distress and injury and general damages to their person."
Judges are asked to declare BCS liable of a breach of trust and negligence by failing to stop Mr Forster or protect his alleged victims, and so pay compensation and damages.
The application papers say: "BCS knew, or ought to have known, that Forster was a pedophile (sic) or a person with abhorrent tendencies, who engaged in illegal and immoral activity with young boys who were under his supervision or control.
"BCS knew, or ought to have known, that Forster was not suitable or fit to be employed at BCS, given the presence of males of an impressionable age."
Kurt Johnson, chairman of the school's board of directors, told the Observer the BCS has agreed to a court settlement with the alleged victims, the details of which will be made public on April 30.
He said: "Our ultimate goal has always been to seek dialogue and resolution in this matter, to reconcile with any alumni who may feel aggrieved.
"If approved, the settlement will enable us to redouble our efforts at dialogue with all the former students concerned, and will allow everyone to move forward."