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BBC Wales's Louise Elliott
"The largest award was 94,000, the lowest 2,000"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Louise Elliott
"Today's case involved 11 former residents of children's homes"
 real 56k

Thursday, 27 July, 2000, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Abuse victims awarded compensation
Child abuse inquiry graphic
Former abuse victims are seeking compensation
Eleven former residents of children's homes have been awarded more than 300,000 compensation for the abuse they suffered while in care in north Wales.

In addition to these initial cases, the High Court in London today heard there are a further 17 claims going to court in the autumn.

Solicitors have also indicated they have received inquiries from more than 100 other potential abuse victims.

The case involved 11 former residents at children's homes who were seeking compensation from what they describe as traumatic and debilitating effects of sexual, physical or emotional abuse.

Sir Ronald Waterhouse
Sir Ronald Waterhouse: Report into child abuse

Many of their experiences were highlighted during the long north Wales tribunal.

It resulted in a series of recommendations from Sir Ronald Waterhouse to protect young people in care from abuse.

This new judgement by Mr Justice Scott Baker and the level of compensation awarded will be of interest to more than 100 other potential claimants.

The claims were brought against Flintshire County Council by people now in their twenties and thirties who were cared for by the former Clwyd authority.

There is a great sense of indignation that vulnerable teenagers should have been treated so disgracefully

Mr Justice Scott Baker

The largest award was for 94,000, while the lowest was 2,000.

Interest - which has yet to be assessed -- will add substantially to the awards, the court was told.

The judge, Mr Justice Scott Baker, said :"There is a great sense of indignation that vulnerable teenagers should have been treated so disgracefully in places where they and the public had every right to believe that they should be safe."

He said psychiatric damage caused by abuse was particularly hard to evaluate in monetary terms, particularly when the damage was inflicted on teenagers who had not developed completely as individuals.

It is understood there could be appeals in at least two cases.

In court, it was revealed there are 13 claims yet to be heard from people who were cared for in the former Gwynedd authority and another four from Clwyd.

But Steven Meesham, from the victims' group NORWAS, has called compensation "outrageous and insulting".

He said those compensated should appeal against the amount.

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See also:

02 Mar 00 | Wales
Law change to protect children
15 Feb 00 | UK Politics
Government acts on abuse report
15 Feb 00 | Wales
Decades of silent suffering
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