Client B approached Farleys in 2016. Jonathan Bridge agreed to act on her behalf following terrible abuse suffered as a child.
This was an incredibly difficult case for many reasons and highlights the importance of using a specialist solicitor in dealing with CICA claims arising from historic abuse.
Client B was 8 years of age when she reported abuse at the hands of her own father. The abuse had taken place during the 1970s and there was a lack of evidence in relation to the sexual abuse.
Following extensive investigations Farleys were able to produce evidence on behalf of Client B from her medical records and Social Services records which showed that her father had been arrested in relation to physical assaults upon her. She had also been examined by a health visitor and had bruises which were consistent of her being kicked or hit with a blunt heavy object. The Social Services records confirmed that Section 47 Enquiries had been carried out. Whilst her father was charged with assault, he was ultimately acquitted because Client B herself was too afraid to give evidence against him. She was taken into the care of the Local Authority.
Client B had gone on to suffer terrible psychiatric injury. She had used alcohol as an inappropriate coping mechanism. Her ability to work had been affected. She had suffered from depression and anxiety. She had taken overdoses and was diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. Her own children had been removed from her care for periods.
How Farleys Were Able to Help
Establishing a claim for damages for incidents that occurred some 50 years ago is never straightforward. The CICA initially refused the claim on the basis that the incidents had happened in the 1970s and that a claim was prevented under Paragraph 19 of the Scheme because Client B and the assailant were members of the same household when the assaults occurred.
The “same roof rule” has subsequently been successfully challenged in the European Courts and as a result the application to review this decision was successful. This was one of the first cases decided after the rule change but then in May of 2021 the CICA turned the claim down for a second time.
This was an unusual case in that the CICA refused to compensate on the basis of character and convictions even though Client B did not have any relevant convictions. They drew on evidence from her medical records which suggested that she had assaulted her children in front of medical staff. The CICA contended that Client B’s poor character made it inappropriate for her to receive compensation because of violence to her own children.
Farleys again challenged this decision this time appealing to the Upper Tier Tribunal. Evidence was obtained from Client B’s children and from Client B herself to show that the CICA were wrong in their suggestion that her character should prevent her from receiving an award. This was a case involving a client who had suffered terrible abuse in her childhood at the hands of her own father. She was a loving mother and had done her best to raise her children in very difficult circumstances, with alcohol addiction issues and serious psychiatric injury. On the basis of the submissions made the CICA conceded the case without a hearing even taking place and the Upper Tier Tribunal referred the matter back to the CICA to value the claim.
Medical evidence was obtained and considered including a report from a Clinical Psychologist. Farleys gathered evidence to establish the impact that the abuse and subsequent psychiatric injury had had on Client B’s ability to work. There were significant issues in relation to causation.
Despite all this, Farleys successfully obtained an award for Client B which reflected a permanent, moderately disabling psychiatric injury together with lifetime loss of earnings from age 32. The overall award exceeded £188,000.
Commenting on the case the lead solicitor, Jonathan Bridge stated:
This is one of the most complex CICA claims I have ever dealt with for one of the most deserving clients. Client B has had a terrible life but has battled against mental injury and alcohol addiction to reach a stage where she can lead a more normal life and enjoy strong healthy relationships with her children. She is a true survivor. Making the telephone call to tell her that she had been awarded such a significant sum of money was one of the highlights of my job. She truly deserves this sum which in her words will be “life changing”.
Farleys’ abuse specialists have extensive experience of acting for survivors of both recent and non-recent abuse in claims for compensation. Their experience in this area ensures that cases are handled with the sensitivity and confidentiality needed. For a free initial conversation with one of our team, please call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, contact us by email or through the online chat below.