This is an extract from an actual Letter of Claim sent in by one brave Survivor who wishes her story to be told.
This is a very common Letter of Claim often issued by solicitors on behalf of their clients. It is usual for solicitors to be paid well in excess of six figure sums through Legal Aid in these cases which can take years to settle, with Local Authorities and Police dragging their feet and making it extremely difficult to access all the relevant information needed.
In fact in one particular case I am aware of, the Claimant was offered compensation of £12,000 when the solicitor had been paid well over £200,000.
This alone is a total waste of resources which would be far better spent providing proper care and protection for the children themselves when they need it… when they are CHILDREN!
LETTER OF CLAIM
We are instructed by Girl X in relation to a claim for damages following the long term sexual abuse she suffered whilst in the care of ….Borough Council.
We would firstly ask as a matter of urgency that you agree to a moratorium of limitation, as we suspect it will be some time before both sides have completed a review of the relevant Social Services records and explored further liability. We suggest it is not in either parties interests for proceedings to be issued prematurely, particularly in light of the significant legal fees that will be incurred in this case.
The background to this claim is that the Claimant was born in the jurisdiction of …. Borough Council and at the age of 1 was removed from her mother’s care and placed with long term foster carers. We are unsure as to why this decision was taken and why adoption was not an option. The Claimant was with the foster carers from the age of 1 until 12 and we are surprised adoption wasn’t sought.
At the age of 12 she began to run away from foster carers with some regularity. She was removed and eventually placed at ….Childrens Home in…. where she spent a difficult year before experiencing problems with the Police and being moved yet again to Town A. It is in Town A that the facts which form the basis of this claim arose.
The Claimant will say that there was a repeated failure by the local Authority to address her mental health issues. She was self harming from a very early age and had a CAMHS assessment but nothing was followed up by the Local Authority resulting in a failure to treat her ongoing mental health issues.
At the age of 14 the Claimant found herself at the …. Private Childrens Home. When the Claimant arrived there, she found herself resident with two other young girls and two lads, the girls being approximately the same age as her.
Within 6 days of arriving at the Childrens Home the other children had introduced her to gangs of Asian male paedophiles in the area.
The Claimant indicates that from 6 days into the placement she suffered repeated sexual abuse and that this happened on an almost daily basis for the next 12 months.
The Claimant will say that she was regularly collected from the children’s home by gangs of Asian males and taken to houses in the local area where she suffered sexual abuse. On one occasion she was raped by 6 different men. By the age of 15 she had suffered chlamydia and genital warts. She had been abused on a regular basis and had been administered drugs for the first time, including cocaine and vodka.
We are instructed that the abuse of the Claimant and the 2 other girls resident at the children’s home was common knowledge. On occasion staff members did try to intervene and prevent the Claimant from getting into the cars of men without success. We understand that the Care Home staff did report this to the police but that it was never acted on.
It will be contended that no or no adequate steps were taken to protect the Claimant whilst she was in the care of the Local Authority. The staff at the Care Home allowed the abuse to continue when in reality intervention should have taken place and the Claimant should have been removed from the area and therefore away from the abusers.
Quite Remarkably, the Claimant was criminalised herself and then breached her bail conditions and so was sent to a Young Offenders Institute for several months and thereafter the Local Authority STILL returned her to the same Childrens Home despite their full knowledge of the abuse that was happening there. She suffered a further 2 months of abuse there at this stage and developed a ‘relationship’ with a 30 year old man. She was just 15 at the time and she fell pregnant.
It will be the Claimants contention that she was completely failed whilst in Local Authority care. The Care Home workers in some cases ignored the abuse and in other cases reported it, but Social Services and the Police failed to act on it at all. On a virtual daily basis for an initial period of 1 year and then a subsequent period of 3 months she suffered severe sexual abuse. She repeatedly went missing from home overnight. She was regularly returned to the home by Police. She was regularly collected from outside the home by gangs of adult men. Any reasonable and competent Authority would have intervened to prevent this happening.
The claim will include for the pain and suffering over many years caused by the most severe sexual abuse, and will also include for her subsequent psychiatric injury. There is also a claim for loss of earnings and for the treatment she requires to help the Claimant cope with all the experiences she has suffered due to the Authority’s failure to protect her from the sexual abuse she suffered whilst in their care.
I give my permission for this to be shared anonymously.