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Abuse lawyers win ground breaking case in local authority cover up

President of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, Stockport based Peter Garsden, has today welcomed a Court of Appeal ruling which he believes will have national implications for all local authorities defending child abuse compensation claims. It is a landmark decision that will have national implications in all child abuse cases.

Until now, when lawyers have requested personal records to support allegations of abuse in local authority managed homes, as well as tracking the possible psychological damage to the client as a result, local authorities have routinely removed any third-party information.  This has resulted in evidence that could be used to corroborate the abuse being hidden, particularly where the names of vital witnesses have been deliberately masked out with black highlighter/redacted.

Today’s judgement found in favour of Mr Dunn and his right to a fair trial.  Following the ruling, lawyers pursuing claims will be able to access full records without the names of valuable witnesses being deliberately masked out/redacted.

Previously, lawyers have been denied access to the names of witnesses because of the privacy laws surrounding data protection. This has meant that, at great expense to Local Authorities, teams of data experts had to go through reims of records, in order to mask out any third party names before handing them over. This landmark ruling means that in legal cases, this will not be necessary any more, thus saving cash strapped local authorities millions of pounds, and better access to justice.

In an age of austerity this will be welcome news to local authorities trying to save money.

The Court of Appeal based their decision upon articles 6 and 8 of the Human Rights Act which insists upon the right to a fair trial balanced against the right to privacy. The decision came down on the side of transparency and openness so as to avoid any cover ups of evidence. This decision will help all other victims of abuse, who are trying to uncover the names of vital witnesses in records, which previously have remained hidden.

Peter Garsden, Principal of QualitySolicitors Abney Garsden and president of ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers) said: “I am encouraged by the backing that the courts have given to full and open disclosure of the names of witnesses in this case because without such details I would not have been able to fight for my client’s rights.  This is a groundbreaking decision and will have national implications for all local authorities.  It will mean that legal teams will be able to see all the evidence without the removal of names.”

If you are a member of ACAL, you can read our summary of the case here. If you are not a member and would like to join – go to our application page here.

8 thoughts on “Abuse lawyers win ground breaking case in local authority cover up

  1. All i have to say is : Some of them who have not behaved professionally and have covered up abuse are going to go down.. and about time, too

  2. I was subjected to extremely serious abuse as a vulnerable minor in a boarding school near Oxford. My time there ended with a suicide attempt on 6/12/82 after being sexually assaulted by a "doctor" who was supposed to be counselling me.

    It has taken me thirty years to investigate the matter myself. Both the school and the Warneford Hospital have withheld information that I know exists

  3. The crime has been the subject of a cover up by Thames Valley Police and the GMC in spite of extremely strong evidence and documentation.

    I have a utube video which can be found by googling "A message to David Cameron" which is a response to Camerons assetion that people should report high level pedophiles to the police.

  4. No real investigation has been carried out and the law has been denied. The paperwork has been examined by Alan Collins the child abuse solicitor who says there is a case to answer but he appeared to misunderstand what I wanted.

    This is not just about money – nothing could really give me back my career – bu the fact that the doctor who abused me still has access to children. My MP, Alan Whitehead, said "he sounds like Shipman… and you have to put in your own complaint" and added that if I could prove that what I said was true he would lose his job. Whitehead has refused to help.

    There is further third party paperwork which I suspect is utterly damning as the health authority deny its existence. I know it exists as Tracey in records told me I needed permission for its release.

    Is there a public spirited solicitor out there who will help?

  5. There is further third party paperwork which I suspect is utterly damning as the health authority deny its existence. I know it exists as Tracey in records told me I needed permission for its release.

    Is there a public spirited solicitor out there who will help? The paperwork is on my blog

  6. I er would like for some one like peter garden to get in touch with me for i were sexuly abused in the homes in the 60 and also i was fisigal abused also they moved the nun and changed her name that was 1966 as far i never mentiond it over 47 years so why now in august last year i fell and couldnt get up this happerned all the time broken legs arms they called me cloumsy the home was out of the way and the nuns were not monitors so they closed it down when i turned 18 i never told nobody about it then in 2001 a nspcc officer called to see me to get my story i told her and she said are i am going to sue and i said no i am not a victim she told me the nun was dead but she wasnt i should have had my day in court not only sticking me in a cubued for days at a time she slaped my face and i fell down the stairs and she never took me to hospical in that act she mad me walk on a broken ankle now i have to wear ankle brasis for the rest of my life as the specialist said you were a victim

  7. The authorities covered up child abuse in both coventry and Wales. …
    I’m suing the police and nhs for child abuse and perverting the course of justice…
    my kids where kidnapped by housing options whom where experimenting on benefit claimants following serious hate crime……
    I will make sure they go down trust me…my daughter stevie was used as bate by police whom abused and harassed her severely in a cover up for abuse through shared accommodations across country……I was blackmailed by authorities for a cover up for return of my twin daughters….I have photos of the a betters. ……The police did nothing….I was blackmailed on 4 several occasions. ..I was robbed of my life’s paintings thrown on the road been like it for 20 months…..British citizen can’t even get work…..

  8. Children services normally are brill this was hate crime and fraud……they abused in in the cells and gassed me the same day they arranged for me to see my children…….still heard nothing……All my art was stolen and I’m now suing swansea for child abuse and kidnapping….As i was blackmailed

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