Lawyer Elizabeth Duncan recovers compensation from the council in a teacher abuse claim. Here is the success story.
N contacted us on the recommendation of his friend who our team had previously helped. Both men had been sexually abused by their teacher in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. N suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of his teacher. As well as being made to masturbate this man and being subjected to frequent sexual touching, N was raped by the teacher on a school trip.
The abuse continued throughout N’s time at primary school and it only stopped when he was old enough to move on to secondary school.
The abuse had a profound impact on N. He became distrustful of teachers and authority figures. He underachieved at school and dabbled in petty crime. After being arrested he turned his life around and became a successful business owner. However he continued to suffer from the effects of the abuse, struggling with bouts of depression, sexual difficulties and feelings of intense anger. He described himself as ‘painting on a smile each day so I could be who people expected me to be’.
N and his friend reconnected as adults thanks to social media. They supported each other through going to the police and the subsequent criminal investigation which led to their abuser being convicted and given a long prison sentence.
Specialist abuse lawyer Elizabeth Duncan agreed to represent N in the teacher abuse claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. She began her investigations by gathering evidence of the abuse, including police records.
A formal letter of claim was sent to the council which had employed the teacher. Employers are legally responsible for the wrongs committed by their employees in the course of their employment. Therefore the council agreed to deal with the teacher abuse claim.
Elizabeth traveled to Nottinghamshire to meet with N and take a detailed statement about the effects the abuse had on him, his education, work, life and mental well-being.
Copies of N’s medical records were obtained and Elizabeth arranged for him to be examined by an independent psychologist who prepared a report.
Because the council failed to make any settlement offers and we issued court proceedings to ensure progress was made and increase pressure on them. This had the desired effect and shortly after this the council made an offer of settlement. Elizabeth arranged a conference with a specialist barrister to discuss the offer and it was during this that N broke down and said that he had been living a charade of how he wished to be, not how he really felt. He had not been able to be honest with the psychiatrist about how the abuse impacted him and had been unable to read the report when it was sent to him. He said he had been ‘acting a part’ for so long but couldn’t keep it up anymore. He was exhausted and depressed.
Elizabeth encouraged N to see the psychiatrist again and he did so. The psychiatrist completely understood the difficulties he had in facing what he was suffering. This time he was able to be completely honest which meant the the psychiatrist was able to make meaningful treatment recommendations to help N deal with the issues facing him.
It also enabled us to negotiate a substantial out of court settlement with the council. Having received his compensation N said he felt enormously relieved to now be able to move on with his life.
If you would like to make a teacher abuse claim then call us in confidence on our FREE legal helpline 0808 139 1606. Alternatively send details of your teacher abuse claim to us by email at [email protected]