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Local Authority Failed Girl Who Was Repeatedly Abused By Known Sex Offender

Irwin Mitchell’s child abuse lawyers helped a girl after her local council failed to protect her from suffering repeated sexual abuse at the hands of her step brother - a registered sex offender known to be at risk of reoffending.

Jodie’s story

Our client, Jodie, was born in 1999 and went to live with her mother after her parents separated. Her father lived with his new partner and her son from a previous relationship, James, who was three years older than Jodie.

When Jodie and James were aged six and nine, he performed oral sex upon her, which she disclosed to the police and social services. However, no further action was taken due to James’ age.   

At age of 13 James was found guilty of performing oral sex upon another girl, aged five, and he was placed on the sex offender’s register and deemed by social services to pose a risk to others. Jodie’s mother was not told about this offence and continued to allow her daughter to stay at the home where James was living.

Jodie later disclosed that between the age of nine and 11, James performed sexual acts upon her and forced her to do the same. Police investigations were conducted and James was found guilty of committing various offences under the Sexual Offences Act 1993, including sexual activity with a girl under 13.

As a result of this abuse Jodie suffered significant psychological difficulties and made an attempt to take her own life.

Legal case

Our specialist Child Abuse team was contacted by Jodie’s mother and a litigation friend to help secure justice for Jodie. Expert solicitor Rosanna Thorne assisted them with a claim against the council who failed to inform Jodie’s mother of the risk that James posed.

Expert medical evidence was obtained which resulted in Jodie being formally diagnosed with PTSD which required further medical treatment.

After starting court proceedings, the council offered to compensate Jodie for her avoidable experiences. This offer was accepted on Jodie’s behalf by her mother and was approved at court by a judge.

In relation to the case, Rosanna Thorne commented: “This was a unique case and one which could have been avoided had it not been for the social services failure to protect the vulnerability of a young girl who was clearly at a known risk of suffering further abuse.

“This award will by no means make up for what has happened but it shall provide Jodie with the resources to access necessary treatment that will enable her to move forward with her life as she enters adulthood.”

If you have been the victim of child abuse, our criminal injury solicitors could help you get justice and claim compensation you deserve. Visit our Child Abuse Compensation Claims for more information.

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