On Wednesday 5 April 2023, 21 individuals were convicted for their parts in the largest ever child sex abuse case investigated by West Midlands Police.
Numerous victims have come forward since 2017 and the case can now only be reported as the series of trials, which began last year, has now ended. So far, 13 of those convicted have been jailed with sentences ranging from 28 months to life. A further four individuals will be sentenced at a later date, and four others have been given non-custodial sentences.
Detective Ch Supt Paul Drover has described the abuse suffered by victims as “some of the most shocking abuse” seen in his career and that he was “extremely thankful” for victims who came forward and talked to health care professionals, teachers, and the police.
On Monday 3rd April Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed long overdue plans to target the evil grooming gangs targeting children and young women. A new Grooming Gangs taskforce will see specialist officers involved in assisting police forces with live child sexual exploitation and grooming investigations to bring more of these despicable criminals to justice.
Speaking ahead of the proposals, Prime Minister Sunak said “The safety of women and girls is paramount. For too long, political correctness has stopped us from weeding out vile criminals who prey on children and young women. We will stop at nothing to stamp out these dangerous gangs.”
Alongside the new taskforce, the Prime Minister has pledged to make sure grooming gang members and their ring leaders receive the toughest possible sentences. Legislation is to be introduced to make being the leader of or involved in a grooming gang a statutory aggravating factor during sentencing. This reflects the Government’s unwavering commitment to make sure these offenders face the toughest sentences for their crimes and the longest time behind bars.
We have acted for many survivors of grooming gangs across the UK particularly in Rochdale. Time and again we have seen clients with life changing psychiatric injuries. Their ability to work is affected and they often have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the abuse that they have suffered.
It is hoped that the conviction of the offenders gives survivors some degree of closure, which is often helped by a successful damages claim. The claims can take various forms including damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority; damages from the Local Authority, where a child is in care at the time of the abuse; and sometimes even damages from the abuser themselves. It is coincidental that at the same time as these reports there has also been a landmark decision where a victim was awarded over £400,000 in a civil action against her abuser.
Farleys’ abuse claim specialists have extensive experience of assisting survivors in cases similar to that witnessed in the West Midlands. To discuss your claim in confidence with one of our specialists, please call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, contact us by email, or use the online chat below.