In this real life case study of abuse by a scout leader we look at how we recovered compensation for a former scout
Our client was an active member of the scouts from the age of 10 after moving up from the Cubs. However, it was while he was with the scouts that he suffered sexual abuse by a scout leader.
It is not uncommon for sexual abuse to be carried out by predatory paedophiles who hold a position of trust and authority in society, such as, in this case, a scout leader. Children in these situations are particularly vulnerable.
Our client was unable to tell anyone what happened for many years. He suffered with difficulties with his mood from early adulthood, which continued and led to a diagnosis of a long term mental illness. In 2013, our client confided in a friend about his abuse by a scout leader. Much to his surprise his friend admitted to also suffering abuse at the hands of the same Scout Leader. Taking strength from the fact that they had both been abused and were in the same position the men felt empowered to finally act. They reported the matter to the Police and a criminal investigation followed.
It transpired the scout leader had abused numerous boys under his care and other abuse victims soon came forward. Following the Police investigation, the scout leader pleaded guilty to offences against our client and other boys. He received a prison sentence for his sickening crimes.
Once the criminal investigation had concluded, our client approached our specialist abuse team for advice on seking compensation for his abuse by a scout leader. Rachel Thain agreed to assist with a civil claim for compensation against the Scout Association on a no win – no fee basis. Rachel is highly experienced in abuse claims, including claims specifically against the Scout Association. It was because Rachel felt she would be able to achieve a successful outcome that she agreed to work under a no win –no fee agreement.
Rachel began obtaining evidence in support of the legal claim. This included evidence from the Police investigation along with a detailed witness statement from our client. A letter of claim was sent to the Scout Association, advising them of the claim, the circumstances of the abuse and the legal basis for holding the Scout Association responsible. As the abuse was perpetrated by the scout leader the Scout Association was held ‘vicariously liable’ for his criminal actions.
The medical situation was complex, but the expert we consulted felt that a significant amount of our client’s difficulties arose as a consequence of the abuse. This enabled us to successfully negotiate an out of court settlement which our client was happy.
“ I am pleased for our client that his claim reached a successful conclusion without the additional stress of Court proceedings. However, if it had come to it, both my client and Slee Blackwell were prepared to take it all the way on a No Win, No Fee basis. The Scouts presumably recognised this and were keen to avoid a trial themselves which would have attracted great publicity as well as significant legal costs.”