Lucy* was groomed and later sexually abused by a cadet flying instructor during a course she was attending whilst a member of the RAF Air Cadets in her teens.
What happened to Lucy?
Lucy joined the Air Cadets as a teenager and soon after went on a residential course learning to fly a glider. During the course, an adult flying instructor groomed her and sexually assaulted her. One night he also picked Lucy up in his car on the pretence they were going to a cadet party. Instead, however, he drove to his house where he raped her.
Following the incidents, Lucy’s parents found out what had happened and lodged an official complaint. The cadet instructor resigned but denied any guilt and the Air Cadets decided not to investigate further.
Later in her life, Lucy was contacted by police investigating further allegations against the perpetrator. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted of numerous sexual offences involving children by a jury following a trial. These included one count of raping the then cadet, Lucy. He received a significant custodial sentence.
How did it affect Lucy’s life?
As a result of the abuse suffered, Lucy developed PTSD and serious physical health problems, including fibromyalgia. She has been unable to work and requires significant levels of care and assistance as a result.
Lucy dreamed of a life in the military, but because of the abuse and detrimental effects on her health, this came crashing down. Her life has been changed forever.
How did we help?
Lucy approached our expert abuse lawyers to help with her potential claim against the Cadets. She wanted to access the specialist support and therapies she needed to try and overcome what happened to her.
We started Court proceedings against the Air Cadets and argued that it was liable for the assaults by their cadet flying instructor. This was because the assaults were carried out during his employment with the Air Cadets.
During Court proceedings, expert evidence was obtained from experts specialising in psychiatry, rheumatology, orthopaedics, care/occupational therapy, and employment to assess the impact of the abuse.
Whilst the Defendant denied liability, it agreed an out of court settlement in the sum of £1,200,000. It’s believed to be one of the highest individual settlements connected to a civil case following sexual abuse.
This settlement has given Lucy an opportunity to access the medical support, specialist therapies and long-term care and support she needs now and in the future.
Tom Fletcher, who handled Lucy’s claim, said:
“This is yet another distressing case in which a young person has been groomed and abused in the worst possible way.
“The terrifying ordeal my client was subjected to came during one of the most crucial periods of her development. She was a bright, intelligent and academic teenager. She was a successful air cadet and was expected to go on to have a successful career in the Armed Forces.
“This substantial settlement, which we believe is one of the highest in the UK for this type of case, has been carefully calculated to reflect the gravity of what happened and the impact it’s had on her life.
“However, while no amount of money can ever make up for the years of suffering my client has been through, we hope it means she can now try and start to look to the future as best she can.
“It’s also important that others subjected to sexual abuse whether historical or not, report what has happened to them. Support is available and nobody should have to suffer in silence.”
*Not real name used
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