Abuse law specialist, Jonathan Bridge, brought a claim for Client X in 2016. This was in relation to a potential claim against Client X’s Local Authority. Client X felt that she had been dismissed and overlooked by the Social Services department.
Between the ages of 12 and 17, Client X was groomed, sexually and physically abused by male gangs, and raped. Client X would be threatened with violence to enforce compliance by her abusers. As an example, Client X has been left with a burn scar as a result of physical injury (pressing of a heated spoon onto her arm).
On multiple occasions Client X would call the police and this would result in her being arrested for being either drunk and disorderly or for racial abuse. There were never any questions as to why such a young girl was found in a house full of older men and why she was drunk at such a young age.
Things were inevitably deteriorating at school for Client X and by the age of 15 she was pregnant, having to have an abortion as well as using alcohol to forget about the abuse suffered. Client X developed on-going psychiatric problems, resorting to self-harm by cutting and overdoses.
Client X now struggles to maintain relationships, to work and is missing out on certain opportunities with her daughters due to her past. The abuse suffered has caused serious nightmares and an inability to enjoy her life.
How Farleys were able to help
The difficulty with this claim was establishing a duty on the part of the Local Authority. It was contended that the Local Authority did have an assumption of responsibility due to third party referrals (for example from a neighbour, a teacher or a medical practitioner). It was contended by the Defendants that there was no assumption of responsibility due to Client X never being taken into care or put under a special order by Social Services. Claims were also advanced under The Human Rights Act.
The next step was to obtain Social Services records. Our review team then carefully considered thousands of pages of documents to include Social Services records, GP records and hospital records in order to obtain all relevant evidence in support of the claim.
It was discovered that there were multiple referrals made to Social Services, including Client X’s father demanding that she be taken into care as well as multiple different agencies making referrals relying upon them to take appropriate action to protect Client X.
Social Services also received a referral from the Youth Inclusion Project confirming that Client X was involved in prostitution. She would have been 13 years of age when the alleged prostitution was taking place. She was reported not to be attending full time education. A further referral was made, again raising concerns about prostitution. The claimant argued that both referrers were entitled to rely upon the Local Authority to act on the basis of these referrals.
It was to be argued that there were many occasions when Client X could and should have been removed from her father’s care and actions taken to prevent the serious grooming and sexual abuse that she went on to suffer. It was argued that Client X had suffered inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of her rights under Article 3 of The Human Rights Act.
Discussions were entered into with the Defendants and whilst an initial denial of liability and assumption of responsibility was made, a settlement was agreed in the sum of £48,000.
Contact us confidentially
If you have suffered abuse as a result of negligence of the Local Authority, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages. Contact Farleys’ specialist abuse team to discuss your case in confidence on 0330 134 6430, speak to us confidentially on our online chat below, or get in touch through our online contact form.