Victims of abuse in north Wales awarded damages

    Thirteen victims of child abuse have been awarded damages
    totalling more than £300,000 by the high court, by
    Alex Dobson
    .

    The victims, who were all former residents of children’s
    homes in North Wales and Shropshire, run by the privately owned
    Bryn Alyn Community, received compensation ranging from £5,000
    to £47,000 for abuse that took place at the homes between 1973
    and 1991.

    Bryn Alyn was run by former managing director, John Allen, who
    was convicted in 1995 of six offences of indecent assault on
    residents and jailed for six years. The company went into voluntary
    liquidation in 1997.

    Billhar Singh Uppal, solicitor for the claimants, said: “This is
    a victory for the claimants who were required to prove everything
    including the abuse. While the judgement is in favour of the
    claimants – a recognition that the system of care was wholly
    inappropriate and that the abuse took place – the funds awarded by
    the judge in each claim, are capable of review by the court of
    appeal.

    “Permission to appeal has been given in three cases and each of
    the remaining claimants will consider the question of appeal as to
    damages,” he said.

    * Peter Clarke, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales,
    will now carry out his role of safeguarding the young people of
    Wales in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the
    Rights of the Child.

    Jane Hutt, minister for health and social services at the Welsh
    Assembly, said: “This is yet another first for Wales and for the
    UK. Not only do we have the UK’s first independent, statutory
    children’s commissioner, but these regulations represent the
    first legislation in the UK which refers in this way to the
    convention.”

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