Sex-abuse victim wins £470,000

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A woman has won a six-figure sum at the High Court over the physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather as a child.

The victim, now in her 40s, was awarded damages and interest totalling £470,000 by a judge in London relating to abuse in the 1970s when she was aged seven to 12.

A ruling against the stepfather, who denied physically and sexually abusing her, was made by Mrs Justice Nicola Davies.

She announced that she accepted the woman’s “account of the abuse which she says she suffered as a result of the actions of the defendant (the step-father)”.

The judge added: “Accordingly, I am satisfied that the claimant has made out her case as to the physical and sexual abuse which she suffered over a period of five years for which the defendant alone was responsible.”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was awarded damages of £359,640, together with interest, making a total award of £470,034.90.

Included in the award was £70,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, sums for past and future loss of earnings, and £26,742 for future treatment.

After the ruling the woman, from Kent, spoke of her relief at the outcome of the case in a statement issued by Irwin Mitchell, the law firm which represented her.

Her lawyers said the abuse has had a “devastating” effect, leading to her being suicidal, severely depressed, a regular self-harmer and unable to hold down a job or commit to a long-term relationship.