01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Lawyer says £9.4m damages paid to victims of abuse at Lambeth children’s homes is ‘not enough’ as two thirds still to apply to redress scheme

Lawyer says £9.4m damages paid to victims of abuse at Lambeth children’s homes is ‘not enough’ as two thirds still to apply to redress scheme



A specialist lawyer who is representing victims of ‘horrific’ abuse and neglect at former London children’s homes fears many will never see justice as only around a third have so far applied for compensation they are entitled to.

Lambeth Council has revealed it has paid out damages totaling £9.4m to people who were children at various homes which were open from the 1930s until the 1980s and 1990s, having received 1,002 applications for damages in the first year of operation of its Children’s Homes Redress Scheme.

The compensation scheme was launched last January to compensate survivors of sexual, physical and psychological abuse, with individual damages awards of up to £125,000 made available to reflect the most serious of cases.

Under the scheme, all former residents of a Lambeth Children’s Home who were living in and ‘subjected to a harsh environment’ are eligible to receive what is described as a ‘Harm’s Way Payment’ of up to £10,000.

That has led to damages of £7.7 million being paid to 851 applicants over the first year of the scheme, recognising that they feared they would be physically or sexually abused, or were neglected or suffered cruelty.

However, just 68 applicants have so far received damages under the ‘Individual Redress Payments’ element of the scheme, which recognises the suffering of sexual abuse and, or physical abuse and psychological injury – with total damages paid out so far in such cases totalling £915,680 – an average of around £13,500 per claim.

The scheme closes to applications after 5pm on January 1, 2020, and Malcolm Johnson, a senior solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors and a specialist in supporting people who were victims of abuse in childhood, says he fears many victims could miss out.

He feels that not enough has been done to help survivors, and that too few payments have been completed recognising the most serious cases of physical and sexual abuse, leading to long-term suffering.

“The figures of £9.4m in damages and 1,000 applications to the scheme in the first year may sound substantial initially, but we must not forget that the estimates when this scheme was established were that there had been around 3,000 potential victims, and that damages payments could reach in excess of £100m,” he said.

“With that in mind, in reality this scheme has so far only reached the tip of the iceberg in terms of facing up to the past and delivering redress to all those people who suffered so horrifically as children under this authority’s watch.

“It is not enough after a year as we now have around eight months left to support survivors through the process and ensure that they are given all the support they need to get the redress and damages they deserve.”

Only 68 cases in which damages has recognised physical and sexual abuse

Mr Johnson says he is not surprised to see only a small number of Individual Redress Payments applications – under which damages payments of up to £125,000 could be awarded in recognition of physical, sexual or psychological abuse.

“The council says it offers survivors swift and compassionate redress, but the figures only really suggest that is the case with regards to the lower level damages payments,” he said.

“We are representing a large number of survivors, and the difficulty is persuading the council and their solicitors of the damage done to these people and crossing the high threshold set out under the scheme.

“Make no mistake, there was a culture of abuse that flourished for decades in Lambeth’s homes, both in foster care and at residential facilities. In all my years representing survivors of abuse in different boroughs up and down the country, I have never seen anything on this scale.

“The awards need to be relative to their suffering and that is what the scheme is in place to do. It is there to recognise the awful level of suffering so many children endured.

“We have encountered issues in this area and it is another reason why people need to come forward as soon as possible so that we can make representation on their behalf as strongly as possible.”

Lambeth Council has confirmed that the vast majority of claims relate to the Shirley Oaks facility (72%), which was one of the biggest children’s homes in the UK.

Others have related to South Vale, Wood Vale, Chevington House, Gresham Place and St Saviours facilities, as well as Highland Road and Angell Road.

In addition to the payments under the scheme, the authority has confirmed that there have been six applications where the total value of redress exceeded the maximum of £125,000, with payments totalling £747,450 paid against these applications through civil claims.

The authority, which became the first council in the country to develop a redress scheme after the scale of abuse its former children’s homes was revealed by survivors who alleged abuse on an “industrial scale”, says people in Australia, Canada, the USA and the rest of Europe have applied as well as people from England.s

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

mj@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

helpful informative efficient and…

"helpful informative efficient and friendly these are all the qualities I found with the firm… "

Sharon Coultas

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

it took a long time but i definitely…

"it took a long time but i definitely got the result i wanted and deserved… "

Jan Mack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good efficient service

"Very good efficient service"

Amelia Jacobs

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service throughout my case

"Excellent service throughout my case Handled with ease and quickly"

Wayne Carter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service in difficult…

"Excellent service in difficult circumstances Secured my compensation and won my case when other solicitors… "

Michael

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic team & Sarah :)

"Fantastic team and Sarah my Solicitor! Sarah has Handled everything for me, right up until… "

Sibel Sibel

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

Rated 9.1 out of 10 based on 467 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2019 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90