Care-home children sue over sex abuse

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The Independent Online

Twenty-two former children in care will today begin a civil action for damages for alleged sexual and physical abuse in homes in North Wales.

Twenty-two former children in care will today begin a civil action for damages for alleged sexual and physical abuse in homes in North Wales.

It is the first civil action to come to trial as a result of the widespread abuse that is now known to have occurred in the region over more than two decades.

Two more court actions involving homes in North Wales are scheduled to start in October and February. It is estimated that a total of 120 people are seeking compensation.

Today's action, in Chester, begins two months after the publication of the Waterhouse report which concluded that widespread sexual abuse occurred in children's homes in the former county of Clwyd between 1974 and 1990.

The action involves former Clwyd residents, including those from Bryn Estyn and Bersham Hall which were named in the Waterhouse report. One of the lawyers involved in the case said: "The 22 people in this action suffered a whole range of abuse - sexual, physical and emotional abuse. These are people who have stayed out of the media spotlight. Their lives have been seriously affected by the abuse they suffered - [they have had] partnership problems, marital difficulties, post-traumatic stress and so on."

No specific sum of money isbeing asked for but in similar cases victims of abuse have been awarded more than £100,000.

The two other court actions involve former residents of homes in Gwynedd, including one by 50 individuals from the privately owned Bryn Alyn.

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