Sexual abuse by a teacher is a particularly serious crime as it involves an abuse of power.
When this occurs the victim is often entitled to receive compensation from the local authority who employed the teacher if it can be established that they failed to take steps to protect children in their care.
This case study tells the story of a pupil who suffered exploitation at the hands of his teacher, Robert Neill, and succeeded in recovering compensation from the local authority with the help of our specialist team.
It took place at Kennet School in Thatcham. A serious case review was carried out by West Berkshire Safeguard Children Board. This statutory body helps to make sure organisations throughout the community look after the safety and wellbeing of children. This highlighted failures at the school over its handling of offences committed there between 1985 and 2015. It was found the school had not followed professional guidance and the local council could have acted more quickly.
Despite our client’s young age, Robert Neill engaged in inappropriate sexualised conversations, exposed himself and assaulted him. He was in a position of trust and authority in his employment and he took advantage of this to exploit children in his care. There were numerous incidents of abuse and inappropriate behaviour which took place on the school premises.
Criminal conviction for the abuse
In 2014, our client reported what he had suffered to the Police. In early 2016, Robert Neill was tried and convicted of sexual offences against our client and other young boys. He was given a 21 year custodial sentence.
Around a year after the conviction, Rachel Thain, one of our specialist abuse solicitors, was instructed by our client to pursue a claim for compensation. Rachel agree to proceed on a No Win, No Fee basis. The claim was directed towards the local authority who were responsible for the school and employed Robert Neill.
Making the claim for compensation for the sexual assault
Evidence was gathered regarding the teacher's criminal conviction, which our client was able to rely on for the purposes of his claim for compensation.
A formal 'Letter of Claim' was prepared, setting out the abuse suffered by our client and the legal basis for the local authority being held responsible for paying compensation.
Out of court settlement for the teacher sexual abuse
An offer of £7,000 was made by the local authority once their investigations had been completed.
However, abuse lawyer Rachel felt our client was entitled to a higher award for what he had endured and on her recommendation the offer was rejected.
After some further negotiation, we were able to secure an increased offer of compensation totaling £15,000. Our client was very pleased with this outcome and accepted the offer.
How we can help if you have suffered sexual abuse from a teacher at school
If you have suffered sexual abuse from a teacher and wish to know where you stand regarding claiming compensation then contact us now for a free case assessment and details of No Win, No Fee funding. Call 0808 139 1597 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can find out more about our specialist abuse solicitors here, where you can learn more about their professional credentials and experience and put a name to a face. You can also email them direct from this page.