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Woman abused by uncle awarded €460,000

Paul W Tracey Solicitors have achieved what is believed to be one of the highest settlements for a case of sexual abuse on behalf of one of their clients in a recent high court award in the Dublin High Court on the 6th June 2007.


The Irish Times, Thursday, June 7, 2007


Woman abused by uncle awarded €460,000


A Dublin woman who claimed she was repeatedly sexually abused and raped by her uncle over eight years has been awarded €460,000 damages against him by the High Court.


The now retired uncle had denied the claims.
The woman, now aged 46, had sued her uncle over sexual assaults and rapes of her on dates between 1970 and 1978.


It was claimed the abuse began with her uncle showing pornographic videos in her grandmother’s home when she was aged nine and that he had "groomed her" over the next few years towards more severe assaults and rape.
 As a result of the assaults, it was claimed the woman was severely psychiatrically affected.


In a reserved judgment yesterday, Mr Justice Vivian Lavan said he was satisfied the woman "had suffered and continues to suffer severe trauma and injuries as a result of her uncle’s actions".


The judge said he accepted the woman’s evidence as "genuine" and "honest" and he also fully accepted the medical evidence given on the woman’s behalf.
 The judge awarded her €300,000 for the pain and suffering she had endured to date and a further €150,000 for problems which, it was accepted, she would continue to suffer for the rest of her life as a result of the abuse.
 He awarded a further €10,500 in special damages.


Mr Justice Lavan noted that the uncle denied liability, he had maintained his innocence throughout and had never offered the woman an apology.
 Both parties were in court for yesterday’s judgement.


The court had heard the woman came from a troubled family background and was severely psychiatrically affected as a result of her experiences.
She had not spoken about the abuse for many years but, in the late 1990s, she become distressed and depressed and underwent treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
It was about that time that she first began to deal with the events, the judge was told.


She said the abuse took place during visits to a relative’s home in Dublin during the 1970s and in other locations.
Her uncle, she claimed, had gained her "confidence and trust" and then proceeded to sexually abuse her.


She said that in 1970, when she was just nine years of age, her uncle started showing her pornographic movies. She said this progressed to physical sexual abuse when she was 12 and full rape by the time she was 13 or 14.
By the time she was 16, the woman said her uncle would force her to have sex with him at every opportunity.


Source - The Irish Times


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