Abuse victims giving evidence at inquiry to receive legal costs

Victims of alleged child abuse giving evidence at the first
public inquiry by the children’s commissioner for Wales are to be
paid a maximum of £10,000 towards their legal costs,
writes Alex Dobson.

The eight claimants who are due to give evidence at the Clywch
into the activities of alleged paedophile, John Owen, had refused
to take part unless they were given funding for independent legal

Solicitor Lynda Roberts, who is representing the alleged
victims, said: “We are pleased that the commissioner has offered to
pay, but it is disappointing that the amount has been limited.”

The Commissioner, Peter Clarke, said that he had made the
decision after careful consideration and had taken into account the
fact that there was a QC to assist witnesses, and that there was to
be no cross-examination.

The alleged abuse was said to have taken place at a school in
South Wales where Owen taught as a drama teacher. Owen was found
dead last year after committing suicide the day before he was to
stand trial on criminal charges relating to the alleged abuse.

The Clywch inquiry resumes on 15 April.




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