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Saturday, October 29, 2016
Birmingham: abuse victim receives record damages
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¬†A man who was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest was awarded damages of more than £600,000 at the High Court today. The victim, known as A, is now 35 and suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The priest, Fr Christopher Clonan, died in Australia in 1998 while on the run from British police. An amount of £635,684 was awarded by the High Court in Manchester against the defendants, the Archbishop of Birmingham and the trustees of the Birmingham Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr Justice Christopher Clarke said: "The abuse went undetected for so long because, initially, A did not comprehend what was going on, and latterly he was too afraid to speak, thinking that he would not be believed, as Father Clonan told him would be the case." Peter Jennings, Press Secretary to the Archdiocese of Birmingham said: "Over the years since these tragic circumstances came to light, the Archdiocese of Birmingham has been in contact with the claimant and his family, and first provided practical help in 1992. "However, the substantial issues have had to be resolved in the formal matter of a Court hearing, not least because of the responsibilities of the Archdiocese to its insurers. The Court has now come to a decision on the amount to be paid in compensation, in the light not only of the claim made but also of the evidence presented to it. "The Archdiocese accepts the judgements of the Court and notes that it relates substantially to loss of earnings. "The Archdiocese deeply regrets that a priest should have totally misused his position of trust in such a way and apologises again to those who have been abused and offended. This trust was placed in him by the Church and especially by his parishioners. The damage that he has done is deep and lasting. "The Archdiocese hopes that this settlement will bring some resolution of the distress and anguish experienced by the claimant and his family. "The disappearance and death of the priest accused of this abuse means that he will never be brought before a Court of Justice in this country. He will, however, have to answer for his behaviour before God." Source: Archdiocese of Birmingham
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