Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 09:17 UK

Man sues Trust for foster 'abuse'

Foyle bridge, Derry
The Derry man claims he was beaten and kicked by his now-dead foster parents

A man from Londonderry is suing the Western Health Trust for damages because he alleges he was beaten and kicked by his now-dead foster parents.

The 20-year-old, who doesn't want to be identified, said the abuse happened when he was aged between seven and 11.

It is understood that the Western Trust is denying that it failed in its duty of care. It has declined to comment.

The man claimed the abuse began after a month. "I started getting hit with a stick and a belt," he said.

"That continued on over four years, and then one evening, I swore.

"The foster dad came up and punched and kicked me repeatedly, and then I rang the police and social services," he said.

The man's lawyer, Mark Quigley, said his client is taking the case in the hope that procedures may be tightened up, if the Trust is found to have breached their duty of care.

"Our client was very unfortunate in his own personal circumstances at home, and it required the intervention of the Trust to ensure that the level of care which was afforded to him would be that which one would expect.

"However in placing him in the foster care they did they systematically failed in their duty to ensure that the standard of care would be adequate and appropriate, and that is essentially the basis of the action against the Trust," said Mr Quigley.

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