Lawyers Keen For Answers Regarding Whether Council Could Have Done More To Prevent Abuse
Specialist abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are asking whether more could have been done by Sheffield Council to stop or prevent the horrific abuse carried out by former boss, Roger Dodds.
The move comes after a judge ordered Sheffield Council to pay more than £90,000 in compensation to Richard Rowe, a former employee, who was sexually abused by Dodds.
Rowe was one of a number of people abused by Dodds, 81, who was jailed in February for 16 years for abusing teenagers and young men while he was working for Sheffield City Council’s education department between 1975 and 1993 and was responsible for providing grants to college and university students.
Christopher Hurlston, an expert abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represents another of Dodd’s survivors of abuse, said:
Expert Opinion"While the survivor’s civil cases are beginning to conclude and they are starting to receive settlements to help them to move on with their lives, there are still concerns over what was known by Sheffield Council with regard to Roger Dodds conduct at the time of the abuse and what was done to prevent what happened.
“The high number of people who have come forward since allegations against Roger Dodds came to light is striking and we have heard first-hand how terrible the survivors have been affected.” Chris Hurlston - Senior Associate Solicitor
The man represented by Irwin Mitchell, who wishes to remain anonymous, has recalled to his legal team that he came into contact with Dodds when he was applying for a grant for university, as it was Dodds who provided authorisation on such grants.
It was at this point Dodds used his position to abuse teenagers and force students to engage in sexual acts to obtain grant payments to help them pay for their education.
The man believes that the Council were aware of Dodds’ actions at the time, and lawyer Christopher Hurlston said:
Expert Opinion“There are still questions over the thoroughness of the Councils internal investigation into Roger Dodds in 1983. These are amplified by the fact he, according to media reports, was given an enhanced pension on his early retirement ten years later. Though this is disputed by the Council.
“We urge the Council to be open about the investigation it held into Dodds for the sake of those he abused. We will continue to work with our client to ensure he has the support he needs to move forward.” Chris Hurlston - Senior Associate Solicitor
If you or a loved one have ever been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, our personal injury solicitors could help you to claim the compensation you deserve. Visit our Physical & Sexual Abuse Claims page for more information.