Whatever the mechanism – justice for victims is required!

A big question is whether or not the case of the four young women will ever get to court.  There are hurdles. The first one being whether or not they get Legal Aid and if not will the solicitors take it on a no win no fee basis. This is potentially a long and time consuming case, and law firms are as restrained by finances and ‘risk’ as anyone other business. The strongest case can go wrong in Court.

These aren’t rich families so going private probably isn’t an option.

If these hurdles are overcome there is always the possibility that the Council will settle out of court. While there will be screams of outrage from the public it wouldn’t be hard to get a lawyer to say that the costs are so great that an out of court ‘no admitted responsibility’ settlement is in the best interests of the public purse. It’d keep the auditors happy and it could include a gagging clause.

A counter could be that such might act to protect individuals rather than the Council as a whole,  and as such might be a misuse of public funds.

Another thing that mitigates against a settlement is how many more cases could come out later? Having settled once it would be hard to deny future claims.

However, it is interesting that Rodger the Dodger has already publicly apologised to the victims, maybe good PR, but something Lawyers would advise a client never to do. It is admitting being in the wrong.

Tactically he could well be laying the ground for a settlement.

Why? Well Akhtar’s role in the handover of one of girls gives us a good example of why.

Akhtar ‘ defence of his role can be paraphrased as ;

“I got a telephone call from the Police asking me for Ash’s mum’s telephone number and I gave it to them,  that’s all I know ‘.

In UK criminal law he can kind of get away with that. I’m not a solicitor but on the basis that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise it would be difficult to prove 100% that this was untrue.  The only person who could disprove it would be the Policeman who contacted him.  But the chances of such testimony is highly unlikely,  as they may well then be incriminating themselves.

So Asbo is innocent. However, in the exciting and evolving mystery there is a twist worthy of Agatha Christie.

If the four young women get their day in Civil Court then the rules of evidence change.  Instead of having to prove beyond reasonable doubt, they only have to show that on the balance of probabilities, Akhtar was more likely than not to have done something more than just pass on the number.

“Is it likely that he only passed on the telephone number and did nothing more?”

Another reason why Roger and chums won’t want this coming to Court is because the girls will be able to name names without fear of civil action against them.  So long as the Judge is convinced that they are not committing perjury.

The Council will not want this in Court

Wil

11 thoughts on “Whatever the mechanism – justice for victims is required!

  1. Jessica has stated that Akhtar knew there was a sexual relationship between his relative Hussain and her a child of 14, she may be able to provide evidence of Asbo’s knowledge of the crime! As I understand it these four girls/women are bringing a class action against the council through Switalskis a West Yorkshire legal firm with long experience of dealing with child sexual abuse cases. I like you am not a lawyer, but I would have thought they had a good claim for legal aid. What I wonder is if Hussain is convicted for her abuse (has he been doing this to other children) and Asbo is found to have been complicit in it, will Jessica also be able to bring a claim for damages against the pair of them?

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      • All good lawyers look for the best person to sue. I do not think any individual will be chased legally and a settlement will be reached shortly if the legal department at the council do their job and try to limit costs. I do get the feeling that a few may feel so untouchable that they will offer nothing to the victims and try to ride out the storm. If this occurs I can see that those people will see their service come to an abrupt end and shamefully exposed.

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  2. Legal aid in this case is very unlikely however I guess the trend will continue to follow whereby the law firm looks for a moderate payout without implying guilt on those responsible for providing services to these individuals.

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    • That maybe so, but it is surely in the public interest fot this claim to go through! But regarding a moderate payout, these victims could be mentally scarred for life.If this is the case and culpabilty is establshed then I would have thought a very large sum of damages is warranted.

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  3. I wish it was so easy however due to the multiagency setting it might turn into one blaming the other and counter claims galore which will not help the victims therefore I am sure the law firm will want a settlement for as little work as possible.

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  4. In the civil courts they will go for negligence and look for damages for psychiatric harm. Generally these payouts are not very high in comparison to physical harm. I guess the council will bear this in mind and add a premium for a gagging clause and some disclaimer stating that payment is not evidence of guilt. Justice can be blind where settlements are offered in return for silence sadly.

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  5. Graham: you clearly have a greater knowledge of civil litigation than I have, but apart from SYP aren’t these multi-agencies all employed by RMBC and has not Stone apologised on its behalf for their collective shortcomings. As for damages for physical harm, could being made pregant twice at 14, which was the result of criminal acts, irespective of whether Jessica gave birth or the pregnancies were terminated, be considered physical harm?.

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  6. Sadly, No! A girl could bring a claim for rape under the tort of trespass to the person but this is very much evolving slowly case by case as this is a new avenue often used these days by women who are impedded in the criminal system. As I said before, the law firm will look who is best placed to pay and will financially calculate a positive outcome for their clients. I believe that no one will be held accountable criminally and a payment will be made by the council to these girls in return for not naming and shaming in the courts.

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    • This case will be of national and historical importance. Especially so as it involves longstanding child rape and gross and blatant incompetence on the part of RMBC and SYP.

      RMBC Legal Services are not renowned for expertise and they will be foolish to bury their heads in the sand just as do Kimber and Stoney who are hoping they will ride the storm. They won’t.

      Fortunately, Switalskis will not just exercise their legal prowess in such a high status case but be motivated by the moral and ethical desire to do what’s right for the poor victims.

      What is for sure is that RMBC (in time gone fashion) will continue to self deny, wriggle, squirm whilst Legal Services continue to scratch their heads. The public with Switalskis help, will be watching and waiting.

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