Ballet dancer faces lengthy jail sentence for sexually assaulting students

A former English National Ballet (ENB) principal dancer has been found guilty of sexually assaulting four of his students in the ballet company.  He had been a dancer with the ENB between 1993 and 2011, but now lives in Germany.

Yat-Sen Chang assaulted the young female students (then aged  between 16 and 18) at the English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy in London, between December 2009 and March 2016. 

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Abuse in football – Clive Sheldon QC report published

Yesterday saw the release of the long awaited report of Clive Sheldon QC into allegations of child abuse within football between 1970 and 2005.  The report was commissioned by the Football Association (the FA).

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Claims against social services

What will become of failure to remove cases?

Claims in negligence for failure to remove became increasingly common after the case of D v East Berkshire (CA, 31 July 2003).  Courts were asked to scrutinise the actions of social services when investigating child protection concerns or deciding whether to start care proceedings.  This run of cases stalled after the Supreme Court decision on CN & GN v Poole BC (SC, 6 June 2019) In CN, Lord Reed ruled that local authorities could not avoid liability on public policy grounds, but he distinguished between cases where they made things worse (‘positive acts’) and cases where they failed to make things better (‘pure omissions’).  A duty of care existed for positive acts, but not for pure omissions usually.

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IICSA, the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and Redress

In this our second blog comparing the recent reports published by IICSA into the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches we look at redress and accountability.

IICSA has reviewed the varying approaches taken with respect to redress across the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic Church, looking at how victims are compensated financially in addition to emotional support and apologies given.

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IICSA publishes investigation report into the Roman Catholic Church

This week IICSA published its investigation report into the Roman Catholic Church (the Church). The report aims to examine the extent of institutional failings by the Church in England and Wales to protect children from child sexual abuse and examine the Church’s current safeguarding regime. The report draws on evidence from the Inquiry’s three case studies and the final public hearing held in October and November 2019.

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High Court judgment on limitation and vicarious liability

BLM has recently successfully defended a claim brought in the High Court by a claimant against the De La Salle Brotherhood  (the Order).  The Order is a Catholic Charity dedicated to the provision of Christian education.

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Lambeth Redress Scheme – Update as of April 2020

The Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme (LRS) was launched on 2 January 2018 and can accept applications up to 1 January 2022.

The LRS provides survivors of physical and/or sexual and/or psychological abuse (whilst resident in a Lambeth Children’s Home) with an alternative dispute mechanism for obtaining compensation without having to go through the Courts.

It covers all Children’s Homes which were run by Lambeth Council and applies to all residents dating back to the 1930s until the Homes were closed in the 1980 and 90s.

Since the LRS opened a total of 1,479 applications have been made.

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Codeword scheme for domestic abuse victims

The Government recently hosted a virtual Hidden Harms Summit in Downing Street with the aim of supporting victims of abuse during the current health crisis.

The Summit was hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attendees included representatives from the National Crime Agency, National Police Chiefs’ Council, victims’ commissioners and leading domestic abuse and children’s charities.

The focus on the summit was to put measures in place to support victims of crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, child sexual abuse and modern slavery.

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The Windrush Compensation Scheme pays out £360,000 within first year but still facing serious criticism

The Windrush Compensation Scheme opened in April 2019 following an outcry over the treatment of British citizens from the Caribbean who faced deportation and the loss of access to public services after being wrongly swept up in an immigration crackdown.

In order for a payment to be made under the scheme, an applicant must first accept the offer made. If an applicant is unhappy with the offer made he/she can request a free internal review. If an applicant still does not agree with the outcome, the applicant can request a further review from the Independent Adjudicator.

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‘Zoombombing’

Around 60 children were subjected to footage of child sex abuse, while they were taking part in a fitness class on Zoom, on Tuesday 5 May. The Zoom call had been hacked by someone who streamed the video of the abuse into the session, in a practice known as ‘Zoombombing’. The class had been organised by a sports club in Plymouth and it is believe the hacker gained access as a result of the group’s login details having been published on public internet forums.

Devon and Cornwall police officers are working with Plymouth City Council’s social care team to identify all those who saw the footage, and may have been affected by seeing the images, so as to provide them with any advice or support, as required.

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