Abuse claims against schools
We are often asked to pursue abuse claims against schools. In this short case study, abuse lawyer Rachel Thain reports on a school abuse claim she has recently concluded which resulted in our client receiving compensation.
Witherslack Hall School
Our client was a resident at Witherslack Hall School, which is part of an ongoing criminal investigation under Operation Tweed.
Whilst at Witherslack Hall School he suffered physical abuse in the form of regular beatings from members of staff at the school. On one occasion, he was assaulted in a manner that resulted in him requiring hospital treatment. Our client had suffered a laceration to his head requiring stitches.
Making an abuse compensation claim
The former pupil of the school approached us for legal help and we were happy to offer guidance on bringing a compensation claim. This resulted in specialist abuse lawyer rachel Thain agreeing to take on his case on a no win, no fee basis.
Although the abuse had taken place when our client was a child, he had only recently reported the matter to the Police. He was therefore able to make a CICA criminal injuries compensation claim within the standard two year time limit. This is not always the case as some victims of abuse do not feel able to confront their experiences and take legal action for many years. However, cases of what is termed ‘historic abuse’ can still be pursued and where someone is out of time then we can seek dispensation.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme
We prepared the compensation application and submitted this to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the government organisation that awards compensation to blameless victims of violent crime.
The CICA commenced their investigations into the abuse suffered by our client during his time at Witherslack Hall School. This involved contacting the Police for further information regarding the allegations. We also submitted photographs of the scarring to our client’s head resulting from the incident at the school where he required hospital treatment.
The compensation award
The CICA accepted the application for compensation and made our client an offer of compensation which he was very pleased to accept.
Commenting on the case and the award of compensation, Rachel said:
“This was a vulnerable young man who instead of receiving structure and support when placed at Witherslack Hall School, instead suffered physical violence from staff. This left him with scarring that is still visible decades later. I am pleased we have been able to help achieve a successful outcome for him in this case and hope it will go some way to giving him a sense of justice and closure for what he suffered.”