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WOMAN CLAIMS ABUSE IN CAMDEN LBC'S CARE

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A woman who claims she was subjected to years of humiliation, inhuman punishment and abuse in local authority care ...
A woman who claims she was subjected to years of humiliation, inhuman punishment and abuse in local authority care is battling for hundreds of thousands in compensation at the high court.

The woman, who was first taken into care as a baby in the mid-1960s after her father was murdered, says that, far from a loving environment, her treatment in care was nothing short of 'brutal'.

In the first care home where she stayed until she was around 11, her lawyers say her treatment was 'brutal, without affection or respect for children'.

As well as being verbally abused, she says she was beaten with a range of implements and her punishments included being made to stand on her head when she wet her bed and having her hand placed over a cooker flame.

She was forced to chew on a bar of soap and stand alone in a corner.

At the second home where she lived until she left care at the age of 18, she says her treatment was hardly better. Staff regularly beat her or 'sent her to Coventry' refusing even to acknowledge her existence.

She says she was also indecently assaulted at both homes and that her attempts to escape through 'self harm' were 'ignored'.

Now the woman is seeking six-figure damages from the Camden LBC who the court heard concede that she was 'mistreated' in care.

However, the council disputes the extent of the abuse and the psychiatric injuries she suffered, also claiming that she has in any event left it too late to sue.

Personal injury claims must normally be launched within three years and the council is now asking judge Simon Hawkesworth to 'strike out' her claim because of the delay.

The council says its defence to the action has been prejudiced but Alan Levy, for the woman, is urging the judge to exercise his discretion so that the case can go forward to a full trial.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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