After encouragement form his wife, the Victim approached Devon Police in 2001 to speak of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Vickery House.
It was not until 11 years later in 2012, that investigations were launched resulting in a conviction in 2015. Vickery was jailed for six and a half years for sex offences against boys and young men. His youngest victim being assaulted in Devon, age 14 in 1970.
For victims of abuse it is not an easy step to take to come forward, but for this particular victim, he felt he ‘could not function properly as a human being’ with lack of action from the Police and feels that had it have been dealt with properly, he could have ‘moved on with his life ten or fifteen years ago.’
Devon and Cornwall Police have reported they have no record of any local investigation having taken place relating to the victim, but they do not doubt that he spoke with a Police Officer. It is further reported that the way the Police dealt with complaints in 2001 for historic sexual abuse is very different and not reflective of today’s policing.
There however, is no sign of an apology from Devon and Cornwall Police and the victim is seeking to make a complaint through his lawyer to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Sussex Police further report they received no allegations about the abuser between 1993 and 2012, and they first heard of the abuse in May 2012 which resulted in an investigation being launched. This resulted in other victims coming forward and as previously stated a conviction of six and a half years.
The level of information reported by the victim to Devon Police in 2001 is not known, but later evidence proved Vickery House to be a dangerous individual having abused a number of boys with whom he had contact with.
Devon and Cornwall Police have further reported that should victims of abuse come forward now, there is support in place to encourage them to come forward.
If you have been the victim of abuse or unhappy with the way Police have carried out, or failed to carry out investigations, here at Farleys our Actions Against Detaining Authorities solicitors specialise in this area and would be happy to help.
We have dealt with many cases of historic abuse and there are often criticisms of Public Bodies which arise including Social Services and the Police. In many cases we are able to sue Social Services and whilst it is harder to bring a claim against the Police, it is possible under the Human Rights Act. The police were particularly heavily criticised in child sexual abuse cases in Rochdale and we are instructed to bring claims against the Police by various victims.