Tag: Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Child Sexual Abuse in Football | 250 Potential Suspects

Close up image of a football on a football pitch

Officers investigating child sexual abuse within football in the UK have now identified over 250 potential suspects and 560 victims.

Operation Hydrant

The inquiry, Operation Hydrant, is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and involves around 311 football clubs, across all leagues.

The latest update involving the inquiry came in January and at the time the number of potential suspects was 184, while the number of victims stood at 526.

According to the inquiry, the victims that have come forward are aged between four and twenty years, at the time of the abuse. Furthermore, 96% of victims are male.

Child sexual abuse in football

Last year a support hotline was set up after a number of ex-footballers – some of which with professional careers – reported they had been sexually abused as children by coaches and scouts involved in the game.

Since the hotline was set up, police forces all across the UK have reported an increased number of calls from people offering information, as well as victims.

However, this child sexual abuse scandal is not just confined to football. The NPCC has stated that 25 referrals to Operation Hydrant involve sports other than football. The inquiry has received complaints from victims of child sexual abuse involved in martial arts, rugby, golf, tennis, sailing, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics.

The Football Association has also launched an independent review into its handling of child sexual abuse allegations in the years prior to 2005. Clive Sheldon QC is leading the independent review.

Sexual abuse & assault compensation claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times. For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: BBC News

14 Year Old Boy Victim of Criminal Injury in St Helens

Image of blue and white police tape that reads police

Four teenagers have been arrested and released on bail after a 14 year old boy was the victim of criminal injury when he was attacked and stabbed by the ‘gang’ in St Helens last week.

Victim of criminal injury

Police were called to the scene after the teenager called for help from eye witnesses.

Officers sealed off Parr Stocks Road, St Helens, just after 11pm on Friday 31 March. The victim remains in a stable condition in hospital after receiving medical attention for a stab wound injury to his torso.

Arrests

A 17 year old boy was arrested on 2 April on suspicion of assault, but has since been released on bail.

Three more teenagers, aged 19, 18 and 16, have also been arrested on suspicion of assault. However, police have again confirmed that they have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Witness account

Kate Rigby, who lives directly facing the scene of the incident, told the ECHO newspaper:

“I was watching TV upstairs and came down to make a brew. I heard shouting outside and looked out to see four lads.

“One of them was on top of another in the middle of the road. I started shouting that someone was getting battered.

“I went outside and the three boys crossed the road and ran off. There was another lad there then, banging on windows, shouting someone’s been stabbed.”

Miss Rigby added she then went over to the teenager and said the wound looked serious.

She said:

“He told me he was only 14 and was really scared.

“I screamed for someone to get police and ambulance here and stayed with him until they came. He kept saying ‘what’s wrong with my belly’.”

Police appeal for witnesses

Anyone who may have information which could help the police is asked to contact detectives on 0151 777 6041, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Criminal injury compensation claims – expert advice

Criminal injury compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your criminal injury claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to those who have been victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Echo

Vicar Admits Possessing 179 Child Sex Abuse Images

An Essex vicar has recently admitted to being in possession of almost 200 images of child sex abuse.

Child sex abuse images

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Reverend Peter Low downloaded an assortment of images, some of which depicted the most serious category of child sex abuse.

In total, the 65 year old admitted to possessing 179 images depicting child sex abuse. 55 of those images were classed as indecent, nine of which were said to be at the most serious level. A further 124 images of child sex abuse in the Reverend’s possession were classed as ‘prohibited’.

Guilty plea

Low pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children. He also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing prohibited images of children.

Low, a clergyman of the United Benefice of Heybridge with Langford in Essex, is due to be sentenced on 2 May 2017. As part of his bail conditions he must have no contact with under 18s, unless supervised.

Response from Diocese of Chelmsford

The Diocese of Chelmsford said it was ‘appalled’, adding that online abuse of children “is not tolerated by the church”.

A spokesman for the Diocese went on to say that Low remained suspended from all his duties as a vicar and will face investigation after sentencing. The spokesman added:

“The diocese is appalled that a clergyman has fallen so far short of the standards expected by the church.

“The diocese strives to uphold the highest standards in safeguarding policy, training, practice and disciplinary action.

“The online abuse of children destroys childhoods and devastates society.

“It is not tolerated by the church.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Paediatrician Jailed over Child Sex Abuse Images

A North Devon paediatrician has been jailed for the distribution of films and images containing the most severe child sex abuse.

Police raid in 2015

47 year old Dr Jonathon Walsh was arrested in 2015 after police raided his home. Officers from the child exploitation unit seized his computer and a memory stick during the search. No child sex abuse images were found at the time, however there was significant evidence that he had been accessing child sex abuse material, as well using file wiping software.

Child sex abuse images

Walsh, a respected consultant paediatrician in the children’s and adolescent services department of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, was sacked from his job after admitting 17 charges relating to child sex abuse images. The charges included nine counts of distributing indecent images of children, as well as six counts of making them.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Walsh told his solicitors he downloaded the content because he was ‘bored’ with his job.

The court also heard how none of the material related to patients at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. However, the vast majority of the footage related to ‘Category A’ images – the most serious of its kind – and some videos were several hours long.

Sentencing

Judge Geoffrey Mercer told him:

“Over a period of at least some months, the precise period is unclear, you were involved in downloading and distributing extreme movies and images portraying sexual abuse of children and you went to considerable lengths to try and conceal what it was you were doing. You are 47 years old and a man of good character and I have read a number of references provided by people on your behalf who speak very highly of you.

“You have practised as a paediatrician for a number of years. To state that your sexual interest in children, which outlines these offences, causes real concern in relation to someone in your position is a massive understatement. But it needs to be clearly understood that there was no offending in the context of your work and these offences were non contact offences.

“Your career is now, of course, at an end. To quote from you from one of your letters you have written to me ‘through my actions I have lost my job, my career and my reputation and caused great harm to the ones I love.”

Walsh was sentenced to three years for each of the distributing offences. He was sentenced to a further 12 months for downloading offences. All sentences will run concurrently.

NSPCC response

An NSPCC spokesman said:

“Although it has been acknowledged that none of the images related to patients at the hospital, Walsh was working in a position of significant responsibility and trust when he comitted these crimes. Behind every image of online child abuse is a child who has suffered a horrific ordeal in the real world. It’s clear from Walsh’s extensive library that his only care was his own twisted gratification and it is right that he now faces the consequences of his actions.”

Response from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

George Thomson, medical director for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, added:

“This case has deeply shaken everybody at NDHT and we know it has been a shock to the community. We have worked closely with the police throughout this case and we know that none of these crimes relate to contact offences, and none of the images relate to patients at North Devon District Hospital.

“At the launch of the police investigation in September 2015 we took immediate action to exclude Dr Walsh from working at the Trust and informed the General Medical Council. Dr Walsh was dismissed with immediate effect when he was charged in June.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: devonlive.com

Criminal Injury: Former Soldier Jailed for Attack

A 25 year old ex-soldier has been jailed for 16 months after he bit off a man’s ear in October 2015.

Halloween Attack

Geraint Jones was out with friends on Halloween night when someone ‘pushed and shoved’ him in a pub in his home town of Aberystwyth, mid-Wales.

Cardiff Crow Court heard how he moved onto another bar, The Academy, before he purposefully went back into the pub in which he had been pushed to look for the man who did it.

He mistakenly identified Gwynant Jones as the man who had pushed him and bit into his ear, severing part of it.
The court heard Gywnant’s earlobe was found on the floor by a barman but could not be reattached.

Judge Geraint Walters said to Jones:

“You now accept that in your state of drunkenness you misidentified that man. The man that you chose therefore as your victim was wholly innocent of any wrongdoing.”

Addressing the ear biting, the judge said said:

“You don’t need me to tell you that that is the most savage use of force. I can’t personally claim to understand why you behaved as you did. There was something almost clinical in the use of force.”

The judge went on to say he had asked himself why Jones, who is studying international history and politics with the intention of becoming a diplomat, had committed the offence in the first place. He added he believed reasons “ran much deeper” than anything that had been said in court so far.

Guilty plea

The court was told how Jones pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Gwynant Jones in November 2016, but denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent. A jury found him not guilty of the latter offence in court last month.

James Hartson, defending, asked the judge to suspend Jones’ sentence so that he may continue to study after being offered the chance to return to Aberystwyth University to complete his degree. He added:

“The defendant is deeply ashamed and remorseful.

“In fact he is appalled by his actions. Even when giving evidence to the jury he admitted that what he did was disgusting and disgraceful.”

Judge Walters said the effects on the victim were ongoing and that surgery to reconstruct his ear had so far been unsuccessful.

“I am prepared to accept that the severing of the ear was as a result of you gripping the ear forcefully with your teeth and in some part because others tried to pull you apart from your victim.

“The reality is, none of that is a comfort to your victim.”

The judge added he had deliberated not handing Jones a custodial sentence, but that he had an obligation “as far as the public is concerned”.

Criminal injury – expert legal advice

Criminal injury compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to those who have been victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme is governed by the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian

Domestic Abuse Victims: Two Year Wait for Compensation

Image of bronze statue of justice

The latest government statistics show that domestic abuse victims have to wait an average of nearly two years to receive compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

The CICA is the government body that awards compensation to people who have been blameless victims of violent crimes, both physical and mental.

The CICA customer charter states that applicants can expect to wait up to twelve months to receive compensation. However, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), its most recent figures revealed that it takes an average of 612 days, or 20 months, for the CICA to pay out.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, expressed his concern over the delays:

“It is truly sickening that victims of domestic violence are treated with such utter disregard.

“Domestic violence is still horribly common, and the fact that so many women, and some men, suffer from these crimes and are then let down by the government in their time of need, is an indication of the shamelessness of this Tory government. These delays must end immediately and this department must be properly resourced. No excuses are acceptable.”

Delay could be ‘beneficial’

Justice minister Phillip Lee revealed the statistics in a written answer to Fiona Haggart, Labour MP and a member of the all-party parliamentary group on domestic violence. Lee added that more than 230 victims received compensation in 2016, with a minimum payout of £1000. The average payout for a domestic abuse victim if £7,500.

Lee went on to say that in some cases a delay could prove beneficial to the victim, as it would allow assessment of long-term implications of any injuries or mental health issues:

“In some complex cases, where medical treatment is ongoing or the level of recovery is unknown, it may be in the best interests of an applicant not to settle their claim until the long-term implications of an injury can be properly assessed.”

Attempts to improve efficiency

According to the MoJ, CICA has developed an online portal and increased staff levels by around 15% in order to improve efficiency.

Since November 2016, victims have had the option to give declarations online or verbally agree to a statement over the phone. CICA said this method would reduce the time between a declaration and a decision.

Recently the government have moved to reduce the amount of stress felt by domestic abuse victims when it comes to dealing with the legal process. Following the acquittal of Ched Evans, former Sheffield United footballer convicted of rape in 2011, based on evidence given by his accuser’s former partner’s a campaign was launched by women’s rights and victim support groups. The campaign has led to new legislative measures preventing victims from being interrogated in court by former partner’s.

Abuse & criminal injury claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical or non-physical abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on abuse and sexual assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian

Gun Crime in Merseyside Prompts Crimestoppers Appeal

The rise in gun crime in Merseyside has prompted the charity Crimestoppers to launch a campaign aimed at combating the issue.

Man shot in Wavertree last night

Only last night, a 26 year old man was shot and killed outside a chip shop in Wavertree. A 19 year old man, thought to have been with the victim at the time of the shooting, was admitted to a nearby hospital with gunshot wounds. His condition is thought to be serious but not life threatening.

An eye witness at the scene told the Liverpool Echo:

“He had about nine shots in him and I held my hands with pressure over the wound while another girl pumped his chest”

Merseyside police have confirmed they will hold a press conference at 12.30pm today.

Gun crime in Merseyside

Since April 2016, there has been 77 firearm discharges across Merseyside (excluding last night’s incident). 3 of those incidents resulted in fatalities, while 28 resulted in non-fatal injuries. The year before saw fewer incidents with a total of 60 discharges, two deaths and 11 injuries.

Crimestoppers campaign

The Crimestoppers campaign to tackle gun crime in Merseyside, which starts today, was prompted by the death of 44 year old Thomas Baker. Mr Baker was killed last week outside a gym in the Old Swan area of Liverpool and he was, at the time, the third gun crime fatality in nine months.

The campaign is aimed at areas most affected by gun crime in Merseyside, including Speke, Bootle, Norris Green, Wavertree and Old Swan. A van with a digital screen will drive around those areas, broadcasting ’emotive imagery’ to passersby. The campaign will also involve targeted social media advertising.

Gary Murray, Crimestoppers’ regional manager, said:

“We want to appeal to local people to tell us who is responsible for these crimes, without fear of repercussion, but we also need to find out where these guns are being stored so that the police can make our streets safer.

“We know that picking up the phone or logging on to our site is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. But in 28 years, we have never broken our promise to the public that those who contact us will always remain anonymous.”

Latest gun crime figures

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a 2% rise in firearm offences in the UK for the year ending March 2015. This is the first increase in gun crime in a ten year period, with a total of 7,866 offences taking place. 19 of those offences involved fatalities.

Criminal injury – expert legal advice

Criminal injuries compensation may be available if you have experienced physical trauma or psychological trauma as a result of a violent crime. Speaking to a member of our team about your criminal injury may be the first time that you have spoken to anybody about your experience – this is common among our clients. We guarantee complete confidentiality throughout your claim.

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to those who have been victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Liverpool Echo; Guardian

Sexual Assault: Woman Attacked in Own Home

Image of Stockport Town Hall

A police investigation has been launched following the sexual assault of a woman in her own home in December, while her children slept in another room.

Incident

According to police, the victim was in bed in her home in Heald Green, Stockport, when she heard repeated knocking at her front door.

When she answered, a stranger grabbed her by the throat, before pushing her to the ground and sexually assaulting her. The attacker only fled the scene due to the 35 year old victim’s loud screams.

Police investigation

The offender is described as being in his early twenties, Asian, around 6ft tall and of a slim build. He was wearing dark blue loose fitting jeans, and a dark green zip-up hooded top at the time of the sexual assault.

The sexual assault took place just before 10.30pm on Wednesday 21st December.

DI Julia Bowden of GMP’s Stockport borough said:

“This was a terrifying attack for both the victim and her children who heard their mother’s screams.

“They are currently being supported by specially trained officers. Incidents of this nature are horrifying but rare and we are doing everything in our power to find the man responsible.

“We have a team of highly skilled detectives working round the clock and there will be additional officers patrolling the area.

“I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time to please contact us immediately.”

The incident comes just weeks after a similar attack in Old Trafford, Manchester in which a 22-year-old woman was raped at knifepoint in her home in mid-November. So far, police have not linked the two attacks.

Sexual assault & abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual assault and abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Guardian

101 Year Old Man Faces Jail for Historical Sex Abuse

Image of Birmingham Crown Court

Today Ralph Clark, a retired lorry driver, was convicted of a total of 30 historic sex abuse offences. At 101 years old, Mr Clark is thought to be the oldest defendant ever to stand trial in a British court.

Historical sex abuse

Standing trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Clark pleaded guilty to nine historic sex abuse charges relating to a young boy. However, a jury found him guilty of a further 21 assault and indecency offences, relating to two girls he attacked in the 1970s and 80s.

The court heard how Mr Clark told police he was ‘immune to feelings’, describing his actions as “something that happened” for which he showed no real remorse. Prosecutors added the man was “lucid” with an “excellent memory”.

Detective Constable Emma Fennon from West Midlands Police’s historical sex abuse team also described Mr Clark’s offences “horrific”, confirming that Clarke showed no remorse.

Possible prison sentence

Discussing the merits of sending a 101 year old individual to prison, Det Con Fennon added:

“The day that not prosecuting someone who hurts a child is not in the public interest, we may as well all pack up and go home.”

She went on to say that his age was “no defence to what he has done”.

While Judge Richard Bond, presiding over the case, told the court he needed to “ponder with care” regarding the sentence handed to Mr Clark and that the public would be ‘horrified’ if he did not receive a custodial sentence. He added:

“The reality is that he’s so old it’s unlikely he’ll be released back into the community.”

Mr Clark, who was born in 1915, is due to be sentenced next week.

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times. For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: BBC News; Guardian

Barry Bennell in Court for Historical Child Sex Abuse

Image of Crew Magistrates' Court

Former football coach and convicted paedophile Barry Bennell is due to appear in court today for historical child sex abuse.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it received evidence from Cheshire police in September this year relating to claims of historical child sex abuse involving Bennell.

62 year old Bennell has been charged with eight sexual offences relating to a boy under the age of fourteen. He is charged with one count of assault with intent to commit buggery, two counts of inciting a boy aged under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency and five counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1981 and 1985.

Bennell is due to appear via video link at South Cheshire magistrates court in Crewe later today.

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times. For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.