Tag: rape compensation

Ex England Footballer Adam Johnson Handed 6 Year Sentence

Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson has today received a six year prison sentence for sexual activity with a child.

In January 2015 the professional footballer was convicted of performing a sex act on a 15 year old child. He also admitted to grooming and kissing the school girl, two offences he had strenuously denied right up until the first day of his trial in March this year.

Following his trial, the 28 year old was found guilty by a majority verdict of performing a sex act on the teenager in his Range Rover, having arranged to meet her by a Chinese takeaway near her family home.

Having amassed a total of twelve caps playing for his country, it was noted during sentencing that Johnson has now been stripped of these accolades.

Sentencing

According to the Guardian, Johnson showed no emotion as he was sentenced at Bradford Crown this afternoon. Judge Jonathan Rose, sentencing, told him:

“All of this is entirely your own responsibility and fault.”

Adding that Johnson’s victim had suffered ‘severe psychological harm’, the judge continued:

“Your standing and your offending are the only reason this child has suffered abuse.

“That was known to you – to put it another way she had only just turned 15 when you began grooming her, because as you were to admit you found her sexually attractive.”

Judge Rose went on to say that in full knowledge of the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, being under the age, his intention was to engage in sexual activity with her.

“You continued in your grooming of this girl even after you were engaged in sexual activity with her. You wanted no-one to know that you and she were exchanging messages.

“You asked her to find a place to meet that was private and secluded so no-one would see you in her company.”

He added:

“You made a deliberate decision to engage in sexual activity with this young girl, no doubt in the expectation that you would get away with it.

“Your future as a professional footballer must be in doubt.”

Along with his six year prison sentence, Johnson was ordered to pay £50,000 of the prosecution’s £67,132 costs.

A “calculated, considered and carefully-orchestrated” crime

Kate Blackwell, prosecuting, had previously told the court that Johnson should be jailed for up to 10 years, after he carried out a “calculated, considered and carefully-orchestrated” crime.

She went on to say that the offences committed against the victim have left the teenager with suicidal thoughts and “severe psychological harm”.

Blackwell said that the school girl has had to attend counselling sessions for her suicidal thoughts as well as for depression and anxiety. The prosecutor read out the teenager’s victim impact statement to the court in which she stated that she had been continuously bullied and that her schoolwork had suffered as a result of the case.

The prosecution also told the court that Johnson’s sister and others who were close to the former midfielder had “openly encouraged and promoted” his fans to “repeatedly and doggedly” abuse the victim on social media.

Adding that Johnson “was in the habit of meeting girls on the way back from training to have sex” with them in secret locations, Blackwell said that the footballer still represents a threat to young women.

Lucrative career lost

Defending Johnson, Orlando Pownall, said:

“He has lost a lucrative career he will never be able to retrieve. He has been stripped of his England caps and it might be said deservedly. He has been made the subject of national humiliation. These are all aspects of punishment that arise from his pleas and from his conviction.”

Pownell added that although Johnson has a “compulsive attitude towards engaging in sexual activity”, he is not a “predatory paedophile”.

DI Aelfwynn Sampson, of Durham Constabulary, said:

“This is a carefully considered and significant sentence which sends out a clear message.

“Fame, celebrity and a position of power does not give you the right to break the law in pursuit of whatever you desire. Members of the public are clearly entitled to express their opinions but the law remains clear and Adam Johnson broke it.”

“The age of consent is clear. It is set at 16 to protect young people from adults and also themselves. Johnson, a 28-year-old man, picked out a 15-year-old girl. His sexual intentions to the girl were clear as he admitted himself while giving evidence.

“He pleaded guilty to grooming her for sexual activity fully knowing how old she was from the start. She never lied about her age to him. He groomed his victim and gave her his personal phone number, arranged to meet her and gave her special gifts of signed shirts.

“Over a period of time they exchanged hundreds of messages. He made her feel special and admitted flirting with her to manipulate the schoolgirl in an attempt to satisfy his sexual desires.

“This girl should have been safe but she was used by the public figure she looked up to most. I hope today will bring some closure for her and her family. This case demonstrates that victims of these crimes will be taken seriously and perpetrators will be dealt with robustly.”

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

New Evidence Found: Ched Evans’ Rape Conviction under Review

Ched Evans, the former Sheffield United striker who was imprisoned for rape in 2012, is today to have his conviction reviewed by Appeal Court judges.

Evans was found guilty of raping a 19 year old woman at a hotel in Rhyl, Wales and was convicted in April 2012. He was released in October 2014, after serving half of his 5 year sentence.

The 27 year old former Welsh international admitted having sex with the woman, however he has always maintained his innocence, claiming the encounter was consensual.

CCRC Investigation & Appeal

After a 10-month investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice, it was revealed in October 2015 that new evidence had surfaced. Following the announcement of the new evidence, which the CCRC said ‘raises a real possibility the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction’, Evans’ case was referred to the Court of Appeal.

During a two day hearing at the Court of Appeal in London, Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Flaux and Sir David Maddison will review the case and make the decision to uphold Evans’ conviction, quash his conviction or demand a retrial.

Their decision will be made following submissions from Kieran Vaughan QC, for Evans, and also from Eleanor Laws QC, for the Crown. The victim will also have had to provide the CCRC with a new statement. According to reports, details of the legal argument cannot currently be reported.

Following the announcement of the decision to review Evans’ conviction, CCRC chair Richard Foster said:

‘The decision of the commission is not a judgment on guilt or innocence in relation to Ched Evans, nor is it a judgment about the honesty or integrity of the victim or any other person involved in the case.

‘Our role is to consider applications to see if, in our judgment, there is any basis on which to ask the court to hear a fresh appeal – that is our statutory responsibility.

‘In this case we have identified new material which was not considered by the jury at trial and which, in our view, might have assisted the defence.

‘In those circumstances, it is right and proper for the matter to be before the court so that they can decide whether or not the new information should affect the verdict in this case.’

Following his conviction, Sheffield United FC terminated Evans’ contract and he has not played professional football since his release from prison in 2014. He was initially offered to train with his former club; however Sheffield withdrew their offer after major backlash from supporters all over the UK. This included Olympian and lifelong fan of the club, Jessica Ennis-Hill, who said that her name would have to be removed from their stand if Evans returned.

The hearing continues.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

21 Year Old Man Jailed for Child Sexual Abuse

A 21 year old man has recently received a jail sentence for child sexual abuse – he began seeing his girlfriend when she was just 13 years old and he was 17.

In 2014, Ashli Blake leaped to her death by jumping from a monument in Rockbourne, Hampshire, following an argument with her boyfriend, Marcus Webb. Police discovered explicit photos of Miss Blake on Mr Webb’s mobile phone during their investigation into her death.

Trial

During his trial at Bournemouth Crown Court, it was revealed that during their relationship Webb would convince Miss Blake to perform vulgar acts during their numerous Skype conversations. Miss Blake would also send lewd photos of herself to Webb via Facebook upon his instruction.

Despite Ashli’s mother, Canasta, prohibiting Webb from entering Ashli’s room when he was in their house – and the young couple’s claims to have never engaged in sexual activity – Ashli discovered she was pregnant in 2012. Simon Jones, prosecuting, said:

‘The mother was not happy with the relationship because of the age gap. She allowed him to come to the house but he was not allowed in her bedroom.

‘She told him “you should not be sleeping with my daughter because of her age”‘.

‘The defendant told her he wasn’t sleeping with her but a few days later her mother found out she was pregnant and kicked him out.’

According to Mr Jones, Ashli wanted to keep the child, while her mother advised her to have a termination. Ashli took her mother’s advice and had an abortion, Mr Jones added:

‘Ashli’s mother told the police her daughter wanted to keep the baby but Ashli accepted advice and had a termination.’

In the months following the abortion, Webb mocked Ashli, even sending her a Mother’s Day card which was reported to the police.

Webb was soon apprehended and cautioned by Dorset Police for ‘engaging in sexual activity with a girl of 13’. Mr Jones told the court that this ordeal had a great impact on Ashli’s mental state and thus contributed to her death.

Shortly before Ashli died in the September of 2014, she sent Webb a text message, part of which read:

‘If we can’t be together I don’t want to be here.’

Sentencing

After admitting inciting sexual activity with a child and causing a child to take part in sexual activity, Mr Webb was jailed for four years.

Judge Brian Forster, sentencing, said there were ‘No words available to describe the impact of her death on her family.’

He added:

‘I accept you were both involved in a relationship and I accept you were distraught and very upset by her death.
‘However you exploited Ashli and forced her to carry out what are degrading sexual acts.’

Defending Mr Webb, David Povell, described him as ‘very immature’. Mr Povell told the court:

‘Marcus was not a man capable to deal with people his own age.

‘He remains a young man who comes across as a young teenager.

‘His intention was not about degradation, it was about sexual activity.’

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

British Airways to Compensate 38 of Paedophile Pilot’s Victims

Two and a half years ago, the Daily Mail exposed a British Airways (BA) pilot, First Officer Simon Woods, as a paedophile. The newspaper revealed how the 54 year old would don a fake captain’s uniform and groom young girls with BA branded toys before carrying out his attacks whilst overseas.

It has now come to light that the airline is to pay 38 of Woods’ victims a considerable amount in damages for their ordeals, although the exact figure cannot be revealed for legal reasons.

Woods abused his victims at numerous five-star hotels used by BA, with his offences going undetected for thirteen years. Only when Woods was charged with separate child sex offences in the UK were his other incidents of abuse revealed.

Woods committed suicide just days after he appeared at a London court charged with the abuse in August 2013.

Lawsuit

At the time the enormity of his crimes was revealed by the Daily Mail, 38 of Woods’ victims brought a lawsuit against BA – claiming that the airline failed to protect them from the abuse carried out by the First Officer.
The legal firm representing his victims in Africa claimed that whilst flying for BA, Woods molested girls as young as four over a twelve year period during stopovers in Uganda and Kenya.

The lawsuit focused on whether BA ‘had a duty of care for the children abused in the countries Wood visited whilst working for the airline and taking part in charity work’ and whether the airline was to be held liable for his offences.

A spokesperson for the law firm said:

‘For three years we have been fighting for compensation for these young girls, whose childhoods were destroyed by the sexual abuse they were subjected to by Simon Wood, a British Airways pilot.

‘Now British Airways has agreed to compensate our clients, these girls will be able to complete their education, which for many was seriously disrupted because of the abuse. They will also be able to access therapeutic treatment to help relieve the psychological pain that has resulted from the abuse.

‘This settlement should send a message to organisations which send employees to work or volunteer with children. They need proper safeguards to prevent such horrific acts.’

Reacting to the news of the settlement, one of the victims said:

‘The money will help my school fees because it has been a problem to me. And when I finish schooling I would like to start a business which could help me in the future.’

Previous indecent assault accusation

After Woods’ crimes were revealed, questions arose as to why he was even permitted to work with or near children. He was known to police after he was accused of an indecent assault on an eight-year-old girl he met while volunteering for Diabetes UK in 2000.

The first known contact Woods’ had with children in Africa was in 2001 when he frequently visited an orphanage in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi. It was also reported that he was on of twenty BA crew members to volunteer to spend Easter with the children at the orphanage, bringing medicine and donations as well as gifts.

After this he would often choose routes into East Africa that were not used regularly by other pilots, using his stopovers as an opportunity to abuse vulnerable children that lived in poor areas.

In a statement, BA said:

‘The allegations against Simon Wood have been shocking and horrifying.

Though we do not bear any legal responsibility for Simon Wood’s actions, we recognise the impact they had on his victims and the distress and suffering they caused.’

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Daily Mail

Sexual Abuse: Inquiry into Church of England ‘Cover Up’

Sexual abuse within Church of England

It has recently come to light that the Church of England was aware that a predatory Bishop within the Church was a ‘serial abuser’, who subjected multiple ‘young men’ to sexual abuse over two decades.

Peter Ball, who counted the Prince of Wales as a ‘loyal friend’, was finally jailed in 2015 after pleading guilty to multiple sexual abuse offences. The Bishop was free to carry out his abuse due to the ‘deeply sinister cover up’ put in place by the Church.

‘Sinister Cover Up’

Previously undisclosed documents, compiled at the time by a private detective working for Ball’s legal team, state that nothing was done about Ball’s abuse in order to ‘prevent a scandal in the press’. The report advised senior figures within the Church that Ball had confessed to ‘abusing not only his office but many young men’.

The documents, reported by the BBC, indicate that the private investigator had access to Ball’s victims before police did. The report is described as being ‘for the information solely of the Bishop of Chichester, the late Eric Kemp, and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey’ and clearly indicates that Ball confessed to the sexual abuse.

Ball resigned as Bishop of Gloucester in 1993 after being arrested for indecent assault, but after a two year hiatus he returned to work. The documents claim that Ball was let off with just a caution at the time, after his lawyers negotiated with Wayne Murdock, an apparently ‘sympathetic’ police officer. Following his return to the Church, he relocated to the Bath and Wells diocese until 2010.

The BBC has reported that the previously undisclosed documents reveal that Mr Murdock had talked with Ball’s legal team at the time regarding ‘the need to prevent a scandal, especially as Peter was a frequent visitor to Sandringham and is friendly with Prince Charles’.

The former Bishop was sentenced to 32 months in jail last October, after he admitted to the sexual abuse of 18 different young men and teenagers.

New Inquiry

Now a new inquiry is set to investigate exactly how much senior figures within the Church knew about the abuse, and the extent of the cover up that followed. The inquiry was first ordered by Most Rev Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, last year. Former council chief executive, Dame Moira Gibb is to lead an independent review into how the Church first responded to the case.

The Archbishop has described the incident as a matter of ‘deep shame’. Archbishop Welby went on to say:

‘I am hugely grateful to Dame Moira for agreeing to take up this vital role,

‘We have offered an unreserved apology to all the survivors and commend the bravery of those who brought these allegations forward. It is a matter of deep shame that a bishop committed these offences.’

The new revelations have come as no surprise to the former bishop’s victims, who have said that the report shows the extent of the two decade-long ‘sinister cover up’. The decision not to prosecute Ball after the offences he committed in the early nineties has already been labelled as ‘wrong’ by prosecutors. They claim the amount of evidence available at the time was enough to bring charges against him.

Involvement of Leading Establishment Figures

However, the remarkable campaign that was set up by numerous leading Establishment figures to protect Ball was revealed last month. Letters were sent at the time to police chiefs and the Director of Public Prosecution by figure heads including Tory MPs, two Archbishops, public school headmasters and a senior judge, describing Ball as a ‘saint’. They even went as far as to claim it was ‘literally inconceivable’ that he could have committed the offences.

During sentencing at the Old Bailey, Bobbie Cheema QC for the prosecution told the court that Ball’s lawyers had claimed to have received a letter from a member of the Royal Family in 1993, in which they expressed their support. The CPS however, claims to have no knowledge of this or to have seen the letter.

A Clarence House spokesperson said:

‘As we said at the time of Peter Ball’s sentencing, The Prince of Wales made no intervention in the judicial process on behalf of Peter Ball. The CPS confirmed then that the information it possessed did not indicate any interference in the case by The Prince of Wales.’

One of Ball’s victims, Phil Johnson, was indecently assaulted by the former Bishop when he was 13 years old; he has branded the revelations an ‘outrage’. Mr Johnson said:

‘The only concern to the Church appears to be protect its own reputation. It is appalling to think that they knew there were other victims out there but did nothing to try to help them.

‘The Church has extremely serious questions to answer surrounding this.’

In a statement to the BBC, Mr Murdock – the so called ‘sympathetic’ officer who is responsible for letting Ball off with a caution – described his original investigation as being ‘conducted with the highest standards of integrity, transparency and impartiality’. Mr Murdock added that the ‘decision as to how the case was disposed of in 1993 was ultimately taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions’ and claimed no deal was struck.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary, who has reviewed their original handling of the case in 2012, said:

‘The original investigation was of a thorough standard and there is no reason to believe that anything was overlooked.’

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

Man Sentenced to Life for Attacking Young Mother

A man has been sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of ten years, after he admitted to raping a young mother in her own home. Trevor Lawler also admitted to attempted rape, threats to kill, assault by penetration, trespass and wounding with intent at Manchester Crown Court this week.

Attacked in front of baby

The court heard how Lawler, 32, claimed he had escaped kidnappers to trick his way into the home of the 24 year mother. The intruder proceeded to beat and rape the woman in front of her 12 month old baby, before she managed to flee to a neighbour’s house and ask for help.

Manchester Crown court heard that once Lawler had entered the woman’s home, he shoved her up against the wall where he repeatedly punched her – as she was still holding her young child.

Lawler then stood over the woman, shouting ‘if you don’t shut up, I will kill you stone dead right now’. He then raped her, at one point addressing the baby to say ‘this is all your mother is f****g worth’.

Lawler’s victim fought back, biting a chunk of skin from his hand in the process.

The court heard that the woman was so badly disfigured from the beating that when she ran for help, her neighbour could only recognise her by her voice.

Previous Attack

Police were able to identify Lawler as the attacker due to DNA after examining the piece of skin that the woman was able to bite off and store in her mouth. Following this, it was discovered that Lawler had actually attacked another young mother only hours earlier.

His other victim, 33, claims she was sleeping in bed beside her 7 year old son when she awoke at 4.40am to find Lawler straddling over her. When her son began to cry, Lawler told the woman to ‘shut him up or I will slit your throat’. He then began to remove his trousers and tried to rape her. It was only when the woman’s boyfriend returned home that Lawler fled, in just his T-shirt and underwear.

Arrest & Sentencing

Following the attacks and both women identifying him as their attacker, Greater Manchester Police launched a widespread manhunt for Lawler. He was apprehended and arrested in Manchester City Centre later that same day.

The 24 year old victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered multiple ‘graphic’ injuries during the attack on 10 July2015. She sustained a 4.5cm cut to her face that has left a permanent scar and a broken nose, along with bruising and swelling to her leg, hip, arm, lips and eyes.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, she said:

‘Because of the injuries I could not see my own son for three days as my face was so bruised he would not have recognised me.

‘The family dog didn’t even recognise me. I felt disgusted with myself and felt violated. I still see my baby’s face watching Lawler attack me and I will never forget how he looked as he watched from right next to me.

‘My child should never have had to witness this. I have always been able to look after myself but this made me feel helpless in my own house. I can no longer stand to hear the Irish accent because it reminds me of him.

‘I believe when he gets let out of prison he will kill someone. I pray that when he gets out of prison he doesn’t come back to finish what he started.’