Irwin Mitchell’s child abuse specialists negotiated a settlement of £80,000 for a woman who had suffered abuse by her stepfather from a young age.
Our client, Jemma, was a woman in her fifties who had been subjected to rapes and indecent assaults by her stepfather from the age of 12. As a result of the abuse she had suffered chronic depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, as well as problems with relationships, intimacy, family life and her ability to work. In the summer of 2006 she had been able to report the abuse to the police and her stepfather was arrested, charged and convicted on counts of rape and indecent assault. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Her stepfather was an independent wealthy landowner who throughout the criminal case had accused Jemma of lying. We obtained psychiatric evidence and issued proceedings anonymously. Jemma’s stepfather’s assets were investigated to ensure that he had sufficient assets to meet the claim. He maintained his innocence and claimed that the case was statute barred (that court action hadn’t been taken within a certain time limit). He then made a settlement offer of £25,000 which was rejected and finally the parties were able to agree an out of court settlement for £80,000.
After the settlement, Jemma set up a personal injury trust into which she received her compensation.
Solicitor Tracey Storey represented Jemma. She said: “The financial redress has helped Jemma draw a line under her abusive experiences, take control and hold her abuser to account. While she had to endure her abuser denying the abuse again (despite being jailed for it), the litigation has allowed her to make a fresh start.”
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