Abuse victims claim pounds 14m in payouts

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The Independent Online
More than 120 young men who say they were abused in children's homes in Cheshire are seeking compensation of up to pounds 14m.

Lawyers acting for victims have also been granted legal aid to press for a public inquiry into the biggest child-abuse scandal in Britain, in which 111 people have been accused of abuse and 10 men have now been jailed.

Following the conviction on Friday of Keith Laverack, a former housemaster and teacher who molested and raped teenagers at homes in Cheshire and Cambridgeshire, a public inquiry has been urged into the infiltration of homes in the North-west by paedophiles. Laverack was one of 12 paedophiles exposed by one of the lengthiest investigations into child abuse ever undertaken.

Eleven have received long prison sentences. More than 1,300 former residents of homes in Clwyd, Cheshire and Merseyside have alleged they were abused during the Seventies and Eighties, and more than 200 people have been named as alleged abusers.

One in three police forces in Britain have been investigating allegations of abuse in residential homes. In some cases alleged abusers, almost all care workers, left a trail of allegations in other areas across the country where they had worked.

There are increasing fears that publicised cases are the tip of an iceberg and that Britain's children's homes have been a magnet for paedophiles.

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