It would usually be around this time in a ‘normal’ year that Emmott Snell Solicitors would have taken part in the annual Bedford Legal, which is a 10K sponsored walk around Bedford organised by the Eastern Legal Support Trust.
Four of Emmott Snell Solicitor’s clients (referred to in this article as ABE, AJC, ASI and ADJ to protect their identities) have successfully obtained out of court settlements after bringing compensation claims against Heath Mount School for sexual assaults they suffered whilst pupils at the school. Each was groomed and suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Curtis, a science teacher. They were all young children aged 7 to 8 at the time.
Editors note: This blog incorporates information previously published in November 2018 but provides a short update on developments since then.
For most of us, school was a place where we were safe and able to flourish and develop academically, emotionally and socially. Unfortunately, for some this is not always the case. Those entrusted with the care of children at school, including teachers and support workers hold a position of trust. Sadly some will abuse this position of trust to gain access, groom and abuse children, often targeting the vulnerable who are seen as easy targets.
Editor's note: This post was originally written in 2019 and has since been updated for relevance.
A victim of sexual abuse by a vicar has successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement in a civil claim against The Diocese of Chichester for sexual assaults she suffered as a child.
Over recent years, there has been a shocking increase in the number of students presenting with a mental health problem. Researchers in 2019 undertook an investigation into 38,000 university students in the UK and found that, alarmingly, half of these students had suffered with suicidal thoughts. Moreover, four out of ten of these students admitted to using drugs or alcohol to cope with their problems, whilst one in three had had experienced a serious psychological issue for which they felt they needed professional help.
We have recently been instructed by a victim of a former organist and choir master Neil Turner who was sexually assaulted by him over a period of many years.
A significant number of our elderly and most vulnerable members of society live in care homes (for a variety of reasons). Those of us who have relatives who are being looked after in these homes are entitled to expect them to be safe and well cared for. Whilst most do, sadly there are some whose care is below the required standard leaving its residents open to harm, abuse and injury.
A former member of a Church Sunday School has succeeded in a civil compensation claim arising from sexual abuse by a church youth worker and has successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement in a civil action.
The purpose of a civil claim is to seek recognition for survivors in the form of ‘damages’ or compensation for abuse suffered by them. This compensation attempts to put survivors in the financial position they would be had the abuse not occurred. Survivors have a right to pursue a civil claim, and the majority of successful claimants welcome the damages they receive. However, some survivors can be reluctant to pursue a claim, for a host of reasons including: