Jonathan Bridge of Farleys’ specialist Abuse Claims team was instructed by Client X following neglect and abuse in childhood.

Client X suffered serious sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect at the hands of her family, following repeated failings by the Local Authority to take any active steps to remove Client X and protect her.


Client X was brought up in a household surrounded by drug dealing and domestic violence. She was often left with unsuitable babysitters and, even as a young child, witnessed her mother stab her partner with a knife. The Local Authority were aware of these matters following referrals made to them, but they failed to conduct sufficient assessments and remove Client X from this damaging and harmful situation, instead leaving her with her parents. It was Farleys’ contention that Client X could have had stability, security, and good reparative parenting through to adulthood by being placed into a safe foster placement or adoption.

Following the failure of the Local Authority to intervene, Client X felt she had to take matters into her own hands and eventually moved out of the abusive family home to live with her Great Uncle. It was there, where Client X was sexually abused and raped from the ages of 9-13. The sexual abuse could and should have been prevented by the Local Authority’s Social Services Department who were aware of the risk and the concerns raised by Client X’s school, but failed to take any appropriate action. It was the police, and not Social Services who eventually dealt with the Great Uncle. He was subsequently imprisoned for these offences.

Client X’s education, employment, and mental health has been severely impacted by her experiences. Client X’s behaviour at school deteriorated. She asked somebody at school to kill her and even attempted to commit suicide herself at the age of 11. Client X later stopped attending school and would instead go out with her friends drinking and smoking cannabis. She was reported as self-harming, regularly going missing, and even fell pregnant and subsequently lost her child at the age of 13.

It was only after 11 years’ worth of suffering physical and emotional abuse, neglect and sexual violence that a Care Order was finally made in relation to Client X, despite the threshold having been met some years earlier. However, by this point, the damage had already been done. Client X had again fallen pregnant and conceived her son at the age of 15 and a half.

How Farleys Were Able to Help

Farleys instructed Counsel and undertook extensive reviews of Client X’s records, including her GP, Education, Social Services and Police Records. Farleys also obtained a report from an Independent Social Worker to assist with liability and a further Psychiatric report to assist with causation. Farleys then successfully negotiated an offer with the Defendant’s representatives for £24,000 in damages to be awarded to Client X in a claim for negligence, breach of duty and breach of the Human Rights Act.

The case was particularly challenging following the decision in CN v Poole and DFX v Coventry. Some of the abuse occurred when the Defendant Local Authority would not have owed a Duty of Care to the Claimant. Causation was an issue as we had to establish the extent to which the Claimant was affected by the abuse from the point at which the Defendant Local Authority were at fault.

If you or someone you know has suffered abuse due to the failure of the Local Authority to intervene, we may be able to assist you in making a claim for damages. To discuss a potential claim in confidence with our experienced team of abuse solicitors, please call our Abuse Line on 0330 134 6430 or email