GreenwichNews

‘It’s hurtful, it’s disrespectful’: Victim of care home sexual abuse speaks out after council pays damages late

A woman who was raped and physically abused in a children’s care home has spoken out after the local authority delayed damage payments.

The 57-year-old, represented by Andrew Grove and Co Solicitors, was due to receive payment from Greenwich council on June 21, after a legal process which lasted almost two years.

Having received the payment weeks after the agreed deadline, her solicitors have accused the local authority of “prolonging” her suffering.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is a former resident of Frant Court Children’s Home, who said she sustained sexual and physical abuse by staff in the 1980s.

Speaking to the South London Press, she said: “It’s hurtful, it’s disrespectful, and it shows a lack of awareness and commitment to changing the care system for the children today and in the future.”

Frant Court was a children’s home in East Sussex for teenage girls from vulnerable backgrounds. It was owned and managed by Greenwich council. 

One care worker, James Cruickshank Boyes, was sentenced in 2011 for two counts of rape and 13 indecent assaults on female residents at the home. 

But, solicitors from Andrew Grove and Co said their investigations have revealed that other members of staff were also abusing residents. 

The woman said: “I never had support at the time. I’ve tried therapy on and off over the years – some of it helps and some doesn’t.”

Since leaving the care home, the woman said her life has been marred by abusive relationships, alcohol and drug usage and homelessness.

Five years ago, she approached Andrew Grove and Co, who were able to negotiate and settle her claim against Greenwich council at the end of May 2024. The basis of the agreement was that funds should have been paid by June 21.

The woman said: “I went to the Solicitors because I wanted closure – I wanted someone to acknowledge what had happened to me.

“I don’t understand why the council held out and made me fight.”

The 57-year-old who suffers from heart and lung disease said she will use the money to pay for a mobility scooter which she has been unable to afford.

Katherine Yates, from Andrew Grove and Co Solicitors, said that while she was pleased some closure had been achieved for her client, she was unhappy about the delay.

She said: “This is unacceptable and displays a contempt not just for basic contract law but also for my client who suffered a great deal of abuse while at Frant Court and feels that she is still being abused as a result of this delay.” 

A Greenwich council spokesman said: “We take our responsibilities to children in our care past and present extremely seriously. The damages have been paid and we apologise for the delay and any further suffering and distress caused to the survivor as a result.”

Andrew Grove & Co Solicitors is still encouraging survivors from Frant Court who have yet to come forward to get in touch by telephone on 01223 367133 or 07810 224545 or by email at katherine@andrewgroveandco.com or charlotte@andrewgroveandco.com. All claims are funded on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.  

Pictured top: Greenwich council (Picture: Google Street View)


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