Payout for woman abused at three Coventry children's homes

Image caption,
Wisteria Lodge in Earlsdon Avenue South in Coventry has been demolished

A woman who suffered physical and sexual abuse at three council-run children's homes has been awarded an undisclosed five-figure settlement.

The woman, known as Miss G for legal reasons, was abused by four staff members at the Coventry homes after being put into care in 1985 aged 12.

The abuse at one home, Wisteria Lodge, included being locked in a room with minimal ventilation for days at a time.

The city council said it was continuing to work with West Midlands Police.

Miss G was first placed in The Grange education unit where she was assaulted on a number of occasions by a social worker, who has since died, lawyer Tracey Emmott said.

She was also regularly assaulted and subjected to intimidation, aggression and acts of violence after being moved to Wisteria Lodge children's home.

At the age of 13, she was moved to Stoke House, a secure unit, where she was seriously sexually assaulted by a staff member, who has since died, the lawyer added.

Miss G reported what had happened to her to Coventry City Council and police in 1999, but it was decided that no further action would be taken.

In 2001, she made a second complaint to the council which led to a Stoke House employee being dismissed following an investigation by the local government ombudsman.

'Right to justice'

Miss G, who has since suffered psychological difficulties, said: 'From their behaviour during my claim against them, I have no faith in either Coventry City Council's ability to learn lessons from the past or in their inquiry.

'I would urge other abuse victims to come forward.

"I have achieved a high degree of closure through both the criminal and civil legal actions and, like me, you have a right to justice.'

A spokesperson for the council said: "Claims against the council are considered on their individual merits and any payments made accordingly. The detail of any claim is confidential.

"The council is working with the police on its ongoing investigations into Wisteria Lodge and will continue to do so."

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