Essex County Council pays £55,000 and makes an apology to survivor of abuse in children’s home
A man who was sexually abused by John Carpenter at New Century Road children’s home in Essex has been secured compensation and given a personal apology.
Posted on 31 October 2022
Essex County Council made a payment of £55,000 and offered the apology to the man who we have called Jack to protect his identity.
Jack was taken into the care of Essex Council when he was a young child, living with foster parents and later in children’s homes. Eventually, when he was aged 13, he was placed into the care of New Century Road children’s home.
While living at New Century Road, Jack was subjected to numerous incidents of sexual abuse by staff member John Carpenter, including inappropriate touching and masturbation. The abuse took place in the children’s home.
Jack also alleged that his avenues to disclosure were cut off by Carpenter who tried to turn other residential workers against him. Carpenter befriended Jack’s social worker, and had a key to Jack’s property after he was moved to semi-independent living.
After he had left care, Jack complained about the abuse to Essex County Council. Some years later when the authority launched an investigation into Carpenter’s alleged offences the local authority contacted Jack. Shortly after this, Carpenter took his own life.
The investigation by the local authority continued and Jack was eventually provided with a report which confirmed his account was believed. An apology was offered.
Several years later Jack decided to make a civil compensation claim against Essex County Council and approached the abuse team at law firm Leigh Day. However, Jack was unable to trace the report he had been given by the local authority.
Essex County Council provided Jack’s legal team with a copy of the report and evidence was also obtained which found that Jack had suffered with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to the abuse which he suffered.
Following Leigh Day’s negotiations with Essex County Council, Jack settled his claim for £55,000 in compensation and a personal apology.
“I pleased my abuse was finally acknowledged – I am very keen to get into therapy so I can heal after a life of anxiety and anguish”
Andrew Lord, senior associate solicitor in the abuse claims team at Leigh Day, represented Jack. He said:
“Jack was subjected to sexual abuse by an adult entrusted to care for him. What’s more, the perpetrator was calculated enough to cut Jack off from sources of support and potential disclosure. It was a significant and abhorrent breach of the position of trust.
"The civil claim for Jack posed a number of unique issues, and I am glad that we were able to successfully negotiate a payment of compensation and a renewed apology. Jack’s determination to seek justice was admirable, and his case shows that civil compensation claims can still be successful many years after abuse suffered.”
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