Irwin Mitchell Secures Payment Allowing Survivor To Access Support To Overcome Ordeal
A man sexually assaulted as a child by an army cadet officer has spoken for the first time about his ordeal to urge others who may have been affected by abuse to come forward.
Stuart Stefano Benedetti first abused the teenager at a weekend camp in the early 2000s before going on to carry out several other sexual assaults.
Around a decade on from the abuse, the man, who lives in Richmond-upon-Thames, south-west London, suffered a breakdown and told his parents about the abuse. Police were contacted but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to prosecute.
However, after a second person came forward in 2016 to report abuse, Benedetti was charged with sexual offences. In January 2017, following a trial at Kingston Crown Court, Benedetti was jailed for 15 years.
Following the criminal case, the man who is now in his thirties and who cannot be named for legal reasons, instructed expert abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him access the specialist support he needs to overcome his ordeal.
His legal team at Irwin Mitchell has already secured him an admission of liability and an interim payment from the Ministry of Defence, which has enabled him to access specialist therapy.
Expert Opinion“This is sadly yet another case in which someone has abused their position of power in the worst way imaginable.
“It can be incredibly difficult for abuse survivors to speak out about their ordeals but our client has shown amazing courage to come forward and share his story.
“He remains very concerned that others may have been affected by similar issues and we would urge anyone who may have been to not suffer in silence.
“There has been a huge sea change in how such issues are now handled and people can rest assured that authorities will always handle their cases in the most sensitive manner.” Anna Pask - Senior Associate Solicitor
The man said: “I found it incredibly difficult to come to terms with what I had been through and only managed to have the courage to speak to my parents about it around ten years later.
“It was then devastating however to get the news that the CPS would not be taking the case forward and I struggled to talk about the abuse for a long time afterwards.
“Getting the news that someone else had come forward changed everything and it was massive to know that I was not alone in terms of what had happened.
“While it was welcome to see the conviction, I still feel there are others who might have suffered and have not yet had the courage to come forward. I like to think that my story highlights that people who have faced abuse have nothing to fear from speaking out and I would urge anyone affected to talk to someone as soon as possible.”
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