Is it Ever too Late to Complain About Historical Abuse?

Kate Hall
Kate Hall
Senior Paralegal, Abuse

You may have heard about many historical abuse claims in the news over recent years. Some of these cases have been highly publicised, but what happens if you’ve survived abuse and you reported it, but no further action was taken? 

In the recent case of ex MP Imran Ahmad Khan, his victim, who was 15 at the time of the incident, originally reported the matter to the Police in 2008. While an official report was logged, no further action was taken because the victim did not want to make a formal complaint. However, 11 years later, in 2019, he did file an official complaint after his memories of the incident came flooding back.

In the case, which was heard at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Khan was charged with sexual assault. The jury were told how he forced the youngster to drink gin and tonic, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch pornography at a house in Staffordshire. It was then alleged that Mr Khan touched the boys’ feet and legs, coming close to the child’s privates as he went to sleep in a top bunkbed following a party. Khan denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison; Mr Khan is now appealing that decision.

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What can you do if You’ve Reported Abuse to the Police but no Further Action was Taken?

The Police will fully investigate your report, and this is often done by a specialist team of officersUltimately it is down to the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether they want to bring a prosecution. They need to be sure there is enough evidence.  If they decline, you can appeal using the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme. If this is still unsuccessful you can apply to a magistrate’s court to bring a private prosecution.  This is not an easy process, and we strongly recommend you speak to our specialist team of solicitors if you are considering this.

You may be able to seek compensation directly from the person who abused you or from other organisations who were involved.  Our team can advise you on the best ways to do this and support you throughout the process. Sometimes these cases can be dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis. 

Are There Time Limits to Bringing an Abuse Claim?

Courts do have times limits in place for bringing compensation claims. However, where the claim is for sexual abuse the Court does have the ability to disapply these time limits. The Court has this ability has they understand there are many reasons why victims don’t come forward straight away.

Please don’t let this discourage you from contacting us.  We have helped many survivors of historic sexual abuse and we can help you too.

What do you Need to Bring a Successful Abuse Claim?

In claims of this nature, especially where the abuse took place some time ago, the more evidence we can obtain the more likely the claim is to be successful. This will include any previous reports of the abuse, notes in medical records and any witness evidence.

What Type of Abuse Claim can you Bring?

Whatever type of abuse you have suffered and whenever it happened, our dedicated team of Abuse Claim Solicitors have years of experience helping people just like you. They know it takes courage to come forward and can be with you every step of the way to support you throughout the legal process.

For free legal advice call our Abuse Claims Solicitors

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