Today, John Allen was found guilty and awaits sentence as a result of his systematic abuse of children in homes in North Wales between 1969 and 1991. The former children homes boss was convicted of 26 counts of sexual abuse on vulnerable youngsters in the Bryn Alyn Community, Wrexham. The jury is still deliberating on a further 12 charges.
The trial is the first of the Operation Pallial inquiry into historical abuse at 28 care homes in North Wales committed between 1053 and 1995. Since the launch of the inquiry, Operational Pallial has transformed into an in depth criminal investigation – so far an additional 10 men have also been charged alongside Allen and are currently awaiting trial.
It is important for victims to now consider their Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority now leaves victims in a difficult position. Time limits have always been strict with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and under the new Scheme, introduced late last year, victims have only a short period of time from reporting the matter to the Police to actually submit their claims.
This creates a difficulty for victims. The Police will normally discourage any claims being brought during criminal proceedings. For example, in the North Wales cases, victims would be discouraged from bringing a civil claim against the Local Authority or submitting a CICA claim until the perpetrator had been convicted. The reasons for this are obvious. If a victim is in the witness box and the defendant’s barrister asks whether a claim has been submitted, this could jaundice a jury’s view of the motives of the victim for coming forward.
The difficulty for the victim is that prosecutions can some times take longer than the 2 year period allowed to submit a CICA claim. If they do therefore delay submitting a claim until the criminal proceedings are concluded, they may be out of time losing significant damages. Many CICA claims for historic abuse are now attracting awards of over £20,000.00.
In these circumstances, victims of abuse must submit their claim as soon as possible.
Here at Farleys our Abuse Claims department have a wealth of experience in this area of law. We realise that the thought of pursuing a claim can initially seem daunting and understand each case must be treated with sensitivity and discretion. To speak to one of our specialist solicitors please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively, we also have a free online chat service where you can speak directly to an experience abuse claims solicitor.