We have won substantial compensation for a man who was abused by a teacher in primary school.
D was abused by a teacher in primary school during the late 1970s. While he was at the school he was groomed and abused by the deputy head teacher. He was forced to masturbate the teacher, as well as being groped and fondled.
The abuse happened both in school and also on school journeys, including a camping trip. The abuse happened frequently throughout his time at primary school and only stopped when he left to go to secondary school.
The abuse had a catastrophic impact on his educational attainment. He mistrusted authority figures in general and teachers in particular. He truanted frequently and consequently did not achieve what he might have otherwise done academically.
As a result of the abuse he began experimenting with alcohol and drugs. It was his way of dealing with the intense feelings of shame he felt as a result of the abuse. This led to him becoming addicted to heroin and spending time in prison.
It was while in prison that he was able to first disclose what had happened to him. He told his probation officer initially and then his partner.
Some time later he was able to give a formal account to the police. His evidence ultimately led to the teacher being sentenced to serve a substantial prison term for offences against D as well as other children.
It was against this background that he contacted us about claiming compensation for being abused by a teacher. Specialist abuse lawyer Elizabeth Duncan agreed to deal with his case for him on a No Win – No Fee basis.
A formal letter of claim was sent to the council which had employed the teacher. The law of “vicarious liability” means that employers, like local councils, are legally responsible for the wrongs committed by their employees in the course of their employment.
We also obtained his medical records and arranged for him to be examined by an independent psychologist who prepared a report detailing the impact the sexual abuse had on him. The report also made recommendations for treatment to help him recover. By this point he was having treatment for his drug addition and had been clean for some months. The psychologist explained how the abuse had led to his drug use as a form of “self-medication” and made specific recommendations for treatment to help him continue with his recovery.
We were then able to negotiate a very substantial out of court settlement.
He was very pleased with the outcome of his case which he felt showed recognition of what he had suffered. The settlement also allowed him to have the treatment he needed. Following the conclusion iof the claim he said he felt like a weight had been lifted from him.