Sex abuse investigation launched over Carmarthen school and care home allegations dating back to the 1970s and 1980s

More than 20 allegations of historic sex and physical abuse at a West Wales school and care home are being investigated by police. Officers from the Dyfed-Powys force revealed on Monday that a new criminal investigation - codenamed Operation lmond - has started to look into claims relating to Rhydygors School, Johnstown, Carmarthen, and Cartref-y-Gelli care home, also in Carmarthen. The announcement follows a previous investigation dating back to 2000. No charges were ever brought. Operation lmond will look at the previous allegations as well as fresh claims made three years ago. Police pointed out that the allegations do not involve staff currently working at the school. which was built in the '70s and offers residential schooling for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The care home, meanwhile, has been closed for several years. 'Allegations span the years 1976 to 1986' police spokeswoman said: “Operation lmond is a Dyfed-Powys Police investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children at Rhydygors School in Carmarthen, during the years spanning 1976 to 1986. “This operation focuses on allegations made in 2000, and also in 2012. “In relation to the 2000 allegations, these were fully investigated at the time and referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS); however no criminal proceedings were instigated at that time. “In 2012, further allegations were made, which include a report of abuse at a care home, namely Cartref-y-Gelli in Carmarthen between 1986 and 1990. “It is important to note that all allegations made concern members of staff who no longer work at Rhydygors School, and Cartref-y-Gelli care home has been closed for a number of years.” More than 20 alleged victims he spokeswoman added: “Following an initial assessment of allegations received in 2012, and following consultation with the CPS, a new criminal investigation commenced with the remit to investigate all allegations made in 2012, and to also encompass previous allegations made. “Under Operation lmond, a dedicated team of specialist investigators has been set-up to ensure a thorough investigation is undertaken into the allegations made, and also to ensure that support is provided for the victims who have already been identified, which is currently in excess of 20. “Six people were arrested as part of the earlier investigation and interviews with other identified suspects are planned in due course. The investigation is on-going. “Cyfed-Powys Police are working closely with partner agencies as part of this investigation and the safety, welfare and protection of vulnerable people remain an absolute priority of all the organisations involved.” Verisona Law have considerable experience in dealing with cases of abuse and have recently settled a number of cases obtaining five figure settlements for individuals who pursued ardiff ouncil in relation to historic child abuse allegations. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence


Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."
Anonymous

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."

Anonymous


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