Payout disappointment for abused people with learning difficulties

A group of vulnerable adults who were “systematically
abused” while in care have been awarded damages of
£781,000, even though it was expected the figure could have
been more than £1 million, writes Clare

Lawyers for the group of 53 adults with learning difficulties
sued Buckinghamshire Council for the physical, sexual and emotional
abuse they suffered at two registered homes.

At a high court hearing last year, Mrs Justice Hallett condemned
the “appalling saga of abuse and neglect” initiated by
Gordon Rowe, who ran Stoke Place Mansion and Stoke Green House in
Stoke Poges between 1983 and 1993.

Rowe committed suicide the day before police were due to arrest
him in March 1996. Three others were later convicted of

It was expected that the group could have received more than
£1 million in compensation, and this week Kathryn Stone,
director of Voice UK, criticised the payout saying it should have
been more.

“No amount of money will compensate these people for the
appalling abuse they endured,” Stone said. But she added that
the families had not taken the action for the money. It was about
the principle that these vulnerable people were not being treated
properly in a place where they should have been receiving care and

“The lesson for local authorities is that if they do not
care for people properly, it will be a hugely expensive
mistake,” she concluded.

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