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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

HAMPSON HUGHES: HOLIDAY ILLNESS REPORT 2017

Hampson Hughes Solicitors, a law firm which specialises in holiday illness claims, has revealed the countries where British holidaymakers are falling ill.

The research, based on a sample of 567 holiday illness claims from the past year, highlights the countries where claimants became sick.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors’ Top Holiday Illness Hotspots

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Based on a sample of 567 travel law claims received by Hampson Hughes Solicitors from December 2015 – December 2016

Spain is Holiday Illness Claims Hotspot According to Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Claims from tourists who have contracted holiday illness while in Spain* account for around a quarter of all holiday illness claims dealt with by Hampson Hughes Solicitors (24.9% in total). From 2015 to 2016, the Liverpool based law firm sought compensation for 141 people who had fallen ill due to poor food hygiene standards at their Spanish hotel. *Including Canary & Balearic Islands

Shiamli Mehta-Cronie, Head of Holiday Illness Claims at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, said:

“I am alarmed by the increasing reports of holidaymakers being exposed to poor hygiene conditions while being placed at hotels in Spain.

“The well-being of holidaymakers should be of paramount concern to holiday tour operators but unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case.

“Annual holidays are a British institution. We work all year, save up and look forward to a break away in the sun to put our feet up, relax and spend time with our loved ones. But tour operators and hotel providers are constantly cutting corners in regards to basic hygiene and sanitation standards. This is causing tourists to become ill.”

Hampson Hughes Solicitors’ Holiday Illness Top Tips

Following the release of its Holiday Illness Report Hampson Hughes Solicitors is providing holidaymakers with useful advice should they fall victim to holiday illness.

What to do if you fall victim to illness on holiday

Where possible, Hampson Hughes Solicitors advise gathering evidence whilst in resort to in support of your claim.

• Take photos or videos of poor hygiene and food standards and illness/injury
• Report any issues regarding hygiene and food standards to your holiday representative and hotel
• Report any issues regarding illness or injury to your holiday representative and hotel
• Ask for your complaint to be noted and request a copy of the complaint
• Keep details of who you have lodged your complaint with

Do not let the tour operator under-value your claim

If a tour operator believes you have a valid claim, they may attempt to offer you vouchers as compensation.

Illness and injury on holiday may result in significant and on-going medical problems. A holiday voucher will not provide sufficient compensation for the illness suffered and the negative effect an illness may have on your holiday experience.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors advises against accepting any form of compensation from the tour operator. This will prevent you from making a claim in the future.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors Recent Success Stories

£3,800 Secured for Food Poisoning Abroad
Over £11,000 Awarded after Family Holiday Ruined
£7,500 Holiday Illness Compensation Secured

Expert legal advice from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you have been affected by holiday illness you could be entitled to compensation. Start your claim today by filling out our short contact form here. Hampson Hughes Solicitors offer a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Football Coach Arrested for Child Sexual Abuse

Close up image of a football on a football pitch

Another widely respected football coach, who is responsible for helping launch the careers of a number of household names, has been arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse.

Career

Michael Sean ‘Kit’ Carson coached at Norwich City from 1983 until 1993, before moving to Peterborough United. There he spent eight years, from 1993 to 2001, as Academy director. A string of players he coached at Peterborough went on to play at Premier League level.

After leaving Peterborough United, Carson went on to become head of talent development at Cambridge United between 2001 and 2005.

Arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse

The 73 year old coach was arrested at the end of January on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault.

Carson’s two former clubs have been working closely with police since the child sexual abuse in football scandal hit headlines last at the end of 2016.

Carson has since been released on bail until March 6th 2017.

Connection to Bob Higgins

Bob Higgins, the former Southampton coach who has been named in connection with allegations of historical child sexual abuse, also worked at Peterborough while Carson was there. The pair would have worked together for around 12 months at the club.

Carson paid tribute to the efforts of Higgins while at the club, telling the Peterborough Guardian when he left:

Higgins has denied all allegations of child sexual abuse.

“He has done a wonderful job with the youth team this season.”

Cambridge police appeal for information

In a statement, Cambridgeshire police said:

“Police investigating historical allegations of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire have arrested a man.

“Detectives arrested the man at a property in Cambridge [on Friday] morning. The man, who is in his 70s and from Cambridge, has been arrested on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault. He is currently in custody.

“Officers are working closely with partners, including the Football Association, the local children’s safeguarding boards for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Cambridge and Peterborough United, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough clinical commissioning group, and Cambridgeshire county and Peterborough city councils.

“We would encourage anyone with concerns about these allegations to contact police on 101 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.”

Sexual abuse & assault 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: BBC News; 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

Two Men Jailed for Manslaughter after Road Traffic Accident

A mechanic and the owner of a haulage company have been jailed after a road traffic accident involving a truck with faulty brakes killed four people in 2015.

Incident

On 9 February 2015 an employee of Grittenham Haulage, 20 year old Phillip Potter, was driving the 32 tonne vehicle down a steep road in Bath when the brakes failed.

Mitzy Steady and her grandmother Margaret Rogers were struck by the truck as they crossed the road. Four year old Mitzy died during the incident and Mrs Rogers was seriously injured. She spent a total of three months in hospital for her injuries and required below the knee amputation of both legs.

After hitting the little girl and her grandmother, the truck careered into a vehicle parked at the bottom of the road before overturning. The three men in the car at the time, Stephen Vaughan, 34, Philip Allen, 52, and Robert Parker, 59, were all killed.

Safety Check “Wholly Inadequate”

Bristol Crown Court heard how Grittenham Haulage, owned by Matthew Gordon, was “a shambles from start to finish”.

Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, also told the court how recommended brake efficiency tests had not been carried out on the 11 year old vehicle. Vaitilingam added that the final safety check on the truck, carried out by mechanic Peter Wood, was “wholly inadequate”.

Sentencing

On Friday 27 January, Gordon, 30, and Wood, 55, were each convicted of four counts of manslaughter.
Gordon was handed a prison sentence of seven years and six months. Wood was sentenced to five years and three months.

Mr Justice Langstaff told the pair that the brakes were in an appalling state, adding that the lorry should not have been on the road. He told Gordon:

“You were not concerned for the public.”

Potter, the driver of the lorry, was cleared by a jury at Bristol crown court in December 2015.

Source: Guardian