Woman Reveals Determination To Try And Look To The Future
A woman sexually abused as a child by a disgraced schoolteacher has spoken of her determination to look to the future after lawyers secured her a settlement.
The woman was among a number of children who were subjected to abuse at the hands of Gordon Fleming at schools in Mid-Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
Fleming, of Oswestry, Shropshire, then aged 66, was jailed for 10 years in 2017 after pleading guilty to 35 counts of indecent assault.
Following his conviction a number of people abused by Fleming instructed expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them access the specialist support they need to overcome what happened to them.
Irwin Mitchell has now secured a settlement for a woman, who is in her 40s and who cannot be named for legal reasons. It follows settlements that the law firm has secured for several others abused by Fleming.
Expert Opinion“The abhorrent abuse that Fleming inflicted on young and innocent children is absolutely shocking. While the abuse may have happened decades ago the effect of what happened continues to live with these women today.
“The woman in this case, like others we represent, has shown great courage and bravery in coming forward and reporting what happened.
“While nothing will ever change what has happened to this woman, we hope that this settlement will help her access the specialist support she requires and she can start to move on with her life.
“Cases like these are a reminder that survivors of abuse need not suffer in silence. Thankfully the way authorities treat such cases, no matter how long ago the abuse took place, has greatly improved. People should be reassured they will now be treated with the utmost understanding and greatest level of sensitivity.” Peter Lorence - Senior Associate Solicitor
The woman told her legal team how following the abuse she started taking drugs as a teenager and was admitted to rehabilitation.
While she reported the abuse at the time, nothing was done to stop Fleming. The severity of the abuse then escalated and she felt that she could not report Fleming again.
The woman has been diagnosed with depression and has had a fractured career history.
She reported what happened to her to the police in 2017 when she found out Fleming was due to face criminal charges in relation to other abuse. As part of his criminal case he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting her.
The woman said: “It’s difficult to remember exactly when the abuse started but I remember all the girls knowing that they needed to avoid Fleming.
“What happened to me has stayed with me through my childhood and adult life.
“I hadn’t really discussed with anyone what had happened but when I found out he was going to court I knew I could no longer keep quiet.
“It wasn’t easy telling people what happened but doing so was a huge relief. This man had dominated my life for too long and by speaking out it felt like I was starting to try and get back some control.
“Nothing can ever make up for what happened but I’m determined to try and focus on the future. I know I’ve got hurdles ahead but I just hope others who have been abused find the strength to report what happened to them.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting survivors of sexual abuse at our abuse and criminal injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.