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.
The court ruled that the family from Dumfries suffered
psychological damage due to the failure of social workers during
the 1970s and early 1980s to protect them from their mother’s
The three sisters, now aged 42, 39 and 37, were sexually abused as
children and their brother, 41, physically beaten and
The court said they had suffered “inhuman and degrading treatment”
as children because Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council’s social
work department had failed to ensure that the man stayed away from
their home, even though it was known that he had been convicted of
sexually assaulting two of the girls.
Keith Makin, chief social work officer for Dumfries and Galloway
Council, which succeeded Dumfriesshire County Council and Dumfries
and Galloway Regional Council, said: “We sincerely regret the abuse
that members of this family suffered.
“Current practice is very different – the system has been
overhauled and many more safeguards are in place to protect
children in circumstances such as these.”