Last month, it was announced that convicted paedophile, Leslie Paul, would face a further five years in prison as a result of his offences against children at the South Vale Assessment Centre in West Norwood. While he was a residential care worker at the home in the 1980s, Leslie Paul would use his ‘position of trust’ to sexually abuse teenage boys who were temporarily placed there.
Unfortunately, these events were not isolated. Last July, the Independent Inquiry into Sexual Abuse (IICSA) reported the findings of their investigation into children in the care of Lambeth Council. They found severe failings in the protection of children from the 1960s to 1990s.
Lambeth Council launched a Redress Scheme in January 2018 to compensate people who were abuse, or feared being abused, while in Lambeth’s care. This scheme ended on 1 January this year, but it’s still possible to make a civil claim against Lambeth Council.
How Was This Allowed to Happen?
Between the 1960s and 1990s, abuse was happening in five of Lambeth Council’s care homes and nothing was done to stop it. Last year’s inquiry found there was a ‘cover-up culture’ which allowed for the abuse affecting more than 700 children.
Most of the abusers that have now been convicted had complete access to the children who were supposed to be in their care. They were either care home workers or unvetted volunteers who had regular and unsupervised contact with vulnerable children. One care home employee, Michael Carroll, had previously abused children in Liverpool before getting a job at a Lambeth care home in 1978.
The leader of Lambeth Council between 1986-88 has since said she “should have known, there should have been transparency for the services that we were supposed to be giving to vulnerable children”. But this doesn’t change the fact that the horrendous abuse was allowed to happen for so long and on such a wide scale.
"This case is yet another shocking example of abuse perpetrated by Leslie Paul, who’s horrific offences against innocent children have caused untold suffering and pain.
Our team of dedicated Abuse Solicitors have extensive experience representing survivors who were abused while in Lambeth’s care, and whilst the Redress Scheme is now closed, it remains possible to make a civil claim.
If you suffered abuse whilst in Lambeth’s care, we can offer you confidential advice and support tailored to your individual situation." Kate Hall, Senior Abuse Paralegal.
We know how difficult it can be to speak about abuse, and the prospect of starting legal proceedings can be overwhelming. Our Abuse Solicitors have been instructed by survivors of abuse on a variety of cases, we’ll handle your claim sensitively and make sure you’re supported at every stage.
If you’ve been affected by abuse at one of Lambeth’s care homes, including the now closed Shirley Oaks, we could help you get compensation and support. Get in touch with our friendly team for a free initial consultation.
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