The abuse team at Leigh Day has successfully negotiated a six-figure sum for a woman who was subjected to repeated sexual assaults by a family member during her childhood.
The client, who wishes to remain anonymous, brought the claim directly against a family member after they were convicted of numerous non-recent sexual offences against her.
Following the criminal trial the client sought legal advice after being informed that she was ineligible for a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority award, as at the time of the assaults in the early 1970s she and the perpetrator lived together as members of the same family. This ‘same roof rule’ was revoked in late 1979 but offences committed before that time are still subject to the rule.
During the civil legal proceedings lawyers at Leigh Day were required to submit an urgent application for a freezing injunction over the Defendant's property. This was due to his continuing early failure to engage with the claim and evidence that the property may be disposed of. After serving the freezing injunction – which prevented the Defendant from selling his home before the end of the civil case - the Defendant was prompted to seek legal advice and the matter was settled for a six-figure sum two weeks prior to the civil trial.
"This case highlights the complexities in bringing civil legal proceedings against perpetrators of abuse, but we were pleased to be able to secure our client's compensation through the appropriate legal routes.
“Whilst the legal test to be satisfied for a freezing injunction is onerous, we were able to prove to the Court that it was necessary due to the Defendant's evasive attitude to our client’s claim.
“We hope that with the resolution of this case our client is able move forward with her life and access any support which she requires."
The client said after the case had concluded:
“I am relieved that this case has now finally been concluded and admit that the successful outcome gives me a sense that some justice has been done after what I have been put through.
“It is grossly unfair that survivors of abuse are discriminated against because of the "same roof rule" and can only seek recompense by raising a civil case. However, with the support and guidance of Leigh Day they have been sensitive and patient throughout, whilst explaining the procedures and litigation jargon. This made it easier for me to understand so that I made the right decisions to bring this civil case to a satisfactory conclusion and I cannot thank them enough for taking my case on."