Lemn Sissay was finally rewarded compensation following a two year court dispute with a local council. During his time at Wood End Assessment Centre for children, he was physically abused, and as an adult sought compensation for his harrowing experience.
The Lemn Sissay Story
Lemn Sissay is a world renowned writer and radio broadcaster, whose notable works include poetry books such as ‘Rebel Without Applause‘ and ‘Gold From The Stone‘ as well as various BBC radio plays and appearances.
Sissay finally won redress last month after a lengthy two-year ordeal, in which he sought to be compensated for his mistreatment in care as a child. With his own painful ordeal and legal battle behind him, the writer now seeks to inspire others who were abused as a child to take action.
Early April saw the culmination of Sissay’s two year claim against the Local Authority he feels failed him during his childhood. The council agreed to Sissay’s six figure settlement and issued a formal apology to the writer.
It’s is well known, courtesy of his own documentaries, that Sissay grew up in care despite his young Ethiopian mothers pleas for him to be returned to her once she was able to look after him. Instead, Sissay was renamed after being placed in foster care. He would be placed with various foster families over the years, before eventually being placed at the Wood End Assessment Centre, where he was physically abused by the staff, something the centre has become notorious for in recent years after it was revealed that hundreds of boys were abused there between the 1970s to the1990s. Sissay would not be reunited with his birth mother until his late twenties.
The council eventually agreed to Sissay’s claim in order to avoid a last minute court case, one that would have been extremely costly for the local authority.
Six figure sums are quite rare in cases such as this, as victims of abuse usually receive less in successful claims. The case of Lemn Sissay, however, is a unique one; as the writer was able to rise above his difficult beginnings, he was able to clearly demonstrate the difference between his earnings and what he could have earned had he not been a victim of abuse.
The Wood End Assessment Centre in Wigan, where Sissay stated he suffered his abuse, has seen many people coming forward and claiming against the notorious establishment for the horrendous acts that occurred there. Simpson Millar have represented several of these individuals in the past,
On the redress itself, Sissay commented: “You ask for redress because of your own sense of self-worth. It wasn’t good enough for me as an artist to go banging on about my story without getting the institution that was my parent to recognise it on its own terms.”
On the case, Peter comments:
“Lemn Sissay’s publicity will hopefully encourage others to come forward in order to receive the redress they deserve.”
“Unfortunately, the current compensation awarded for the pain and loss of amenity awarded in these cases is rarely enough to make up for the life time of suffering a victim of abuse has gone through. ”
Have You Been A Victim Of Abuse?
If you’ve suffered from abuse in the past, it is imperative you speak up about it. A successful claim may by no means make up for the physical and psychological damage you have suffered, but it’s still important to seek out the redress you are entitled to, as it will contribute to your future moving forward.
Call our freephone number on 0800 260 5002, or send a secure E-message to one of our solicitors using our online enquiry form.