Coleman Legal Partners were recently involved in the successful High Court Civil jury trial regarding childhood sexual abuse. The claimant in this case alleges she was raped and sexually abused by her brother, between 1976 and 1980, when she was just eight years of age, and was awarded €150,000 damages by a High Court jury on the 13th November 2015. In her action, the Plaintiff claimed that her brother was aged 12 or 13 at the time, and the abuse continued for about four years. It was only after counselling sessions years later, that she was able to deal with and realise the full extent of the psychological damage resulting from the sexual abuse. When she revealed the abuse to her family, she received very little support and was not believed by either her parents, nor her siblings, save one sister, now deceased.
The civil action was at hearing for eight days and the jury of five men and seven women returned with their verdict after just over three hours of deliberation on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th of November 2015.
In reply to the question as to whether the Defendant carried out assault and battery on his sister on any of the occasions alleged by her, the jury replied: “Yes”. It was also found that he had falsely imprisoned her on many occasions also. The jury assessed general damages to date and into the future at €125,000 and aggravated damages at €25,000.
The Defendant denied all the claims and was supported throughout the eight-day trial by his wife, four sisters and his brother, who nearly all gave evidence for him.
The effect of the abuse resulted in the Plaintiff suffering from psychiatric difficulties, depression, difficulties connecting with her children, and marital difficulties. In recent years her life has improved and she has retrained and returned to work. The Plaintiff has been disciplined and productive in availing of all of the support services available to her and is seeking the help she needs to repair the damage that has been inflicted as a result of years of child sexual abuse.
If you have been affected by or have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse you can contact Kathrin Coleman by email or on 01-5313800 in confidence to see how you can vindicate your rights.