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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We foster and took in a girl of 11. Social Services did not

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We foster and took in a girl of 11. Social Services did not provide full information of her background. Had we known this we would not have taken her. We were only told subsequently and by then she was settling in very well. She was with us two years and made an allegation that my husband 'snogged' her. The case went to the CPS and they have said no further action. We want recompense for the torment that ensued after the allegation. She had a background of sexualised behaviour. We feel the LA had a duty if care to my husband and withheld infirmation. The information came to light after the allegation that a risk assessment had been done for her previous carers but not passed on to us.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
You are raising an interesting point actually. My own personal advice to everybody is never to get involved with a person with a background of making allegations of abuse. Maybe they are telling the truth. Maybe not. Maybe they just a tendency to report trivialities. Maybe they take revenge when they can't have what they want by making allegations of abuse. Either way, you do not want to be a guinea pig to find out. It is encouraging that you seem to already know this. Many people do not.
However, on your primary point. There is an argument that the LA should have told you. It depends. They do owe you both a duty of care. The question is whether it has been breached.
The problem with this is that you start off from the premise that she was lying. Of course, she was lying. Many of these allegations are nonsense. However, you need to face the fact that you will have to deal with people who will interpret this situation to suggest that your husband probably was guilty and he just got away with it. Sadly, that is why people subject to these nasty allegations should be anonymous. A decision by CPS not to prosecute is not enough to prove innocence.
You do need to bear in mind that you will have to prove innocence if only on the civil standard. That is not the same thing as showing that your accuser was disbelieved.
It depends who much money you have to throw at this. I do think you have an argument. You might well lose in court. It might be a protest action. But it is about time somebody did put on the statute books that there is a public interest in us all knowing who has and who has not a tendency to make allegations of abuse. You would not want to put this on that basis of course. You may still have taken her if you had known but probably what you would have done is ensure that your husband was never alone and vulnerable with her.
In terms of compensation, the difficulty is quantifying your losses. But I think from what you say that establishing a principle is the important thing here.
You might find somebody to act for you at the Bar Pro Bono Unit. This is an interesting and developing area of the law. The whole issue of causes of action open to the victim of a false accuser and consequences for accusers has been bubbling recently. I would imagine that somebody would be interested.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69514
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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