11.10.18

Council and police appeal against compensation for child abuse victim

Leicester's city council and police force are appealing a decision to award compensation to a sex abuse victim after a convicted paedophile was housed near the victim’s home.

Martin Todd, a convicted paedophile, was housed “a stone’s throw away” from the care home that the 15-year old victim was staying at in 2009. Todd then abused and attempted to rape the boy in 2011.

In August, Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council were ordered to pay £52,000 to the victim, but the council said the judgement puts them at risk of “significant further claims.”

At a recent council meeting, covered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the deputy city mayor for children and young people, Sarah Russell, said the authority’s insurers had taken the decision to launch the appeal.

She said: “In terms of the issue being pursued I want to be absolutely clear, this is not being pursued primarily around liability, it’s not about the amount of damages being awarded to the claimant.

“The case has the potential, with the way the wording of the judgement has been put, to set legal precedent which doesn’t only put the city council at risk of significant further claims but also local authorities and police forces around the country.”

In 2006, Todd was jailed for three-and-a-half years for 10 breaches of a sexual offence’s prevention order, and was re-housed at an approved address in Leicester in 2009 after being released.

The move followed a meeting between Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council’s children’s services and housing department.

Todd was found guilty of two counts of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old and one of attempting to rape him in a trial at Leicester Crown Court in 2011.

He was sentenced for a minimum term of five years.

The victim of the sexual abuse launched a claim for compensation in 2015, claiming the council and police force had been negligent.

At the hearing, Judge Alison Hampton expressed concern that the children’s services and housing department did not question the location of the address “a stone’s throw away” from the council-run children’s home.

She also said there was a “serious failure” to share information about Todd with other staff at the care home.

Leicestershire Police said they would not be commenting on the case while the appeal process was ongoing.

 

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