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Survivor of abuse and child cruelty at Coventry children’s home receives compensation

A man who was in the care of Coventry City Council as a child at Wisteria Lodge children’s home in Earlsdon has settled a civil claim for compensation for the abuse and mistreatment he experienced.

28 May 2020

The man, who was in the care of the City Council in the late 1980s / early 1990s, brought a civil claim following the conviction in January 2019 of care worker Russell Garner for cruelty to children at the home.
 
This was one of serial trials of former care workers at Wisteria Lodge for offences of assault and cruelty. In February 2016, two residential social workers, Alan Todd and Kenneth Owen, were jailed for deliberately physically and psychologically abusing children at Wisteria Lodge and one of them was also convicted of sexually abusing girls at the children’s home.
 
During sentencing of Garner and two other Defendants, the trial judge in the criminal proceedings, Judge Barry Berlin, said there was a pattern of psychological and physical abuse at the home: "There was a culture amongst some members of staff that saw children as dregs of society, as who would believe them if they complained?"
 
Alison Millar, head of the abuse team at Leigh Day, who represented the man, said:
 
“My client described a culture at Wisteria Lodge where abuse was normalised. He was received into care for his own protection, because of conditions in his family home, but instead, shockingly and sadly, experienced further mistreatment.
 
“I hope that the outcome of this civil claim will also provide some further acknowledgment and recognition that my client’s complaint was validated and the treatment he received wholly and completely unacceptable.”
 
Alison’s client commented:
 
“I am very happy with outcome of my case. Leigh Day were professional and prompt, and I consider that I had the smoothest of experiences in the worst of circumstances.”

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