Monday, 29 April 2013

Is the North Wales recent report into abuse a surprise?

North Wales Police investigate abuse
North Wales Police warned sex offenders
The recent report into North Wales Children's Homes from Operation Pallial does not surprise me at all. I was involved with North Wales way back in the late 1990's. It was clear then that resources prevented the police from conducting as thorough an investigation as they would have liked.

It was thus no surprise that the victims thought there had been a cover up, when they maintained that abuse outside the children's home in a pub in Wrexham by visiting paedophiles had been ignored by the Waterhouse enquiry. The fact was that the enquiry did not have the budget to be as wide spread as it would have liked. They thus set the boundaries as abuse in children's homes rather than outside of the homes. This angered the victims and led them to believe that there was a definite attempt to cover up the abuse of well known individuals. The leakage of a name was fatal to the BBC as we all heard.

I am sitting in the Green Room at the BBC in Salford, having just done an interview as the President of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers. The interviewer was concerned that the victims are unlikely to get prosecutions and thus justice due to lack of resources. Will the message get through to the victims? I doubt it to be honest. Will they be angry? Definitely. They have had the courage to come forward, yet they will not be successful in getting justice before the criminal courts.

It is made clear in the BBC report that the enquiry led to "140 allegations of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992.

Seventy six new complainants have also come forward.

The claims centre on 18 homes involving offences against boys and girls aged between seven and 19.

A total of 84 suspected offenders have been named - 75 male and nine female. Of these, 16 have been named by more than one complainant.

It is believed that 10 of the 16 may be deceased."

The problem is of course that the abuse happened many years ago - like Savile - the alleged abuser is dead. Thus there is no possibility of a prosecution and no justice for the victims.

Unless they go to civil lawyers to claim compensation. It is common for Claimants to come forward because the police cannot prosecute. Their burden of proof is different to ours -

The Police - "Beyond reasonable doubt"
Civil Claims - "On the balance of probabilities"

We have brought many claims against the employers of abusers who are themselves dead. It all depends upon the preponderance of the evidence - and strength in numbers. The longer ago it is the more difficult the task.

Never say never. We specialise in winning the un-winable.

We have a specialised helpline for the victims of abuse  0845 604 7075

Sadly and understandably, many victims will have had enough and retreat back into their caves of inner contemplation that they have been living in ever since the abuse took place. Lonely and dank though the cave is, it is safer than the outside world of disclosure and pain.

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