The European court of human rights has ordered that three
Scottish sisters and their brother receive a payout totalling
£57,000 following neglect by social workers,
writes Nicola Barry.
The court ruled that the family from Dumfries suffered
psychological damage due to social workers’ failure to protect them
from their mother’s abusive partner.
The three sisters, now aged 42, 39 and 37, were sexually abused
as children and their brother, now 41, was physically beaten and
The European court of human rights in Strasbourg said they
suffered “inhuman and degrading treatment” as children because
Dumfries and Galloway regional council’s social work
department, was aware the man had been convicted of sexually
assaulting two of the girls, but failed to ensure he stayed away
from their home.
Dumfries and Galloway council is the successor to Dumfrieshire
county council and Dumfries and Galloway regional council, which
have been found to have failed in their statutory duty to the
family concerned during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Speaking for the former administrations, chief social work
officer Keith Makin said: “We sincerely regret the abuse that
members of this family suffered.
“Current practice is very different,” Mr Makin told
Community Care. “The system has been completely
overhauled, and many more safeguards are in place to protect
children in circumstances such as these.”