BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 12:04 GMT
Legal victory for child abuse man
Sex abuser Neville Husband
Sex abuser Neville Husband was jailed for his offences
A North Yorkshire man who suffered sexual abuse as a child has won the right to sue his tormentors in a landmark ruling by Law Lords.

Kevin Young, now 46, claims he was abused at a Catholic boarding school and then by Neville Husband when he was in a Medomsley detention unit in 1977.

Husband was subsequently jailed for brutal sex attacks on teenage boys.

Mr Young's lawyers said they will now pursue civil claims against Catholic Care and the Home Office.

Solicitor David Greenwood, who specialises in child abuse cases, and is representing Mr Young, issued a statement after Wednesday's Law Lords' ruling.

He said: "We pursued the case of Kevin Young who claimed he was sexually assaulted at a Catholic boarding school and by Neville Husband while Mr Young was serving a short sentence at Medomsley detention centre in 1977.

"Husband, who became a church minister after quitting the prison service, was jailed in 2003 after admitting a string of horrific sex attacks on teenage boys."

The abuse itself is the reason why so many victims do not come forward until years after the event.
Law Lord Baroness Hale

Jordan's Solicitors are acting for 10 former inmates at the Medomsley detention centre.

Mr Greenwood added: "Kevin Young was one of the boys most brutally targeted by Husband and in April 2003 lodged a compensation claim against Catholic Care and the Home Office who ran the institutions.

"They tried to block the claim on the grounds that too much time had passed since the attacks took place."

Law Lord Baroness Hale said that victims of child abuse were often reluctant to report it at the time.

She said: "Until the 1970s people were reluctant to believe that child sexual abuse took place at all.

"The abuse itself is the reason why so many victims do not come forward until years after the event.

"This presents a challenge to a legal system which resists stale claims.

"Six years, let alone three, from reaching the age of majority is not long enough, especially since the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18."

Sex abuse church minister jailed
17 Feb 03 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific