Today in the High Court in London a child abuser was ordered to pay his victim £28,000 damages (and a further sum to cover the cost of psychological treatment).
John Haughton, aged 67, who is also known as Ricky and lives at Moorland in Somerset was sued by his victim, who can only be identified as EB (because of an anonymity order), for compensation in respect of the sexual assaults he had committed against her when she was aged between ten and eleven. He had befriended her, and used the opportunities that arose to subject her to serious sexual assaults. The victim who is now aged 28 had complained to Avon and Somerset Police about Haughton in 2004, and two year's later he was prosecuted but acquitted following a trial at Taunton Crown Court. The jury had not been told, however, about Haughton's conviction in 2002 for sexually assaulting a young girl in similar circumstances. The victim was of the opinion that the jury had been deprived of important evidence as she saw it, and had been prevented from hearing the truth. She was determined, however, to prove that she had been sexually assaulted by Haughton, and that is why she embarked on proceedings in the High Court.
Haughton denied the allegations, but this time the Court heard about his conviction. The trial judge Mrs Justice Slade in giving judgment found that the victim had proved her case and described Haughton's behaviour as "despicable". She said that she would have found in the victim's favour regardless of the conviction. The victim who had to give evidence both in the crown court trial and then again in the High Court feels vindicated. It has been a long and hard fight for justice.
The victim's solicitor Alan Collins of Verisona Solicitors paid tribute to her: " It takes guts and spirit to come forward in the first place and explain to the authorities about the sexual abuse, but then to go and sue your abuser is quite something. The criminal justice system, in my opinion, did let her down, but amazingly she took that set back in her stride, and decided to do the job herself and bring her abuser to book. Her experience and determination should give hope to all those who suffered sexual abuse".
The victim is unavailable for comment or interview (an anonymity order is in place).
Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.
Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.
The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.
- Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.
Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence
- County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).
National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs
- Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.
- Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.
- Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.
- Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.
- Permanent carers, temporary carers
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