Murdered girl's mother to sue

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The Independent Online
THE MOTHER of schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson, murdered on a school trip to France nearly two years ago, yesterday launched a civil claim for damages against the education authority which organised the activity holiday.

Sue Dickinson, 40, from Launceston, started civil proceedings against Cornwall County Council for alleged negligence and breach of duty in the circumstances in which Caroline died.

Caroline, 13, was raped and murdered in a youth hostel in Pleine Fougeres, Brittany, on 18 July 1996. She was on a five-day trip with 39 other youngsters and five adults from Launceston Community College. Her killer has not been caught.

Mrs Dickinson has never spoken publicly about her daughter's death, but has supported the continuing efforts of Caroline's father, her former husband John Dickinson, to press the French police for a more effective investigation.

Her solicitor, Ian Langsford read a statement which said Mrs Dickinson wanted to make it clear that her decision to proceed with court action was not motivated by personal gain. "If she is successful she intends to place any compensation in a trust fund for her daughter, Jenny," said Mr Langsford.

Mr Langsford said if Mrs Dickinson's case was successful, the likely award would not be more than pounds 15,000.

Cornwall County Council said it had been advised by its insurers that it had no liability for the murder. The authority said it regretted the fact that Mrs Dickinson felt it necessary to issue proceedings.