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Child abuse solicitors at Irwin Mitchell represented a police officer, who, as a boy, had been sexually abused by a priest.
Our client, Patrick, was born in 1976 and suffered abuse from a trainee priest at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ruislip Manor. The abuse began when Patrick, an altar boy, was about 14 years old and included anal rape. His education suffered and Patrick’s qualifications didn’t reflect his true abilities.
As he grew up, he found that the abuse affected his personal relationships and his ability to trust people. Eventually he sought counselling, and he disclosed the abuse. He became concerned that the priest would go on to abuse others if not stopped. By this stage Patrick was a serving police officer. He gave numerous statements to the police, resulting in the priest’s arrest. It emerged that Patrick’s brother had also been abused as well as others. The priest was convicted and jailed.
Patrick brought a civil action against the Church and in July 2010, an out of court settlement was negotiated, including a financial award and a conciliation meeting with the bishop. This meeting allowed Patrick to put forward his concerns about safeguarding and child protection within the Catholic Church, and for the Church to express their profound regret for the abuse that Patrick had suffered. The financial settlement enabled him to move forward with his life and to continue with his private therapy.
Child abuse solicitor Tracey Storey represented Patrick. She said: “When we took on Patrick’s case, the law on time limits was very much against us. However, we battled on and Patrick understood that there were no guarantees of succeeding. The law on time limits then changed and all the efforts made by Patrick in recalling these deeply traumatic events were worth it. Achieving civil justice was an important step in his healing.”
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