Sexual abuse victims have strong prospect' of gaining compensation

PUBLISHED: 12:08 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 May 2010

TWO victims of sexual abuse have won a key ruling in a legal battle to claim compensation from the man who assaulted them. The women were sexually assaulted while both were children. The man responsible for the offences was Graham Pope, 67, a car dealer,

TWO victims of sexual abuse have won a key ruling in a legal battle to claim compensation from the man who assaulted them.

The women were sexually assaulted while both were children.

The man responsible for the offences was Graham Pope, 67, a car dealer, of Thompsons Meadow, Guilden Morden, who was convicted of 15 charges of indecent assault between 1985 and 2000.

He was jailed for seven years by Judge Michael Kay QC at Luton Crown Court in December 2006.

In the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Treacy granted an order freezing £200,000 assets owned by Pope until the case had a full hearing.

The women, who for legal reasons cannot be named, had been told originally that they could not demand compensation because their claims came after a time limit.

But a landmark case in the House of Lords last week has changed the ruling.

The order prevented Pope from disposing of £200,000 worth of his property.

The court was told that Pope's property was currently being sold and was said to be worth an estimated £500,000.

Speaking after the hearing, Tracey Emmot, a specialist in child abuse law who is representing the women, said she was "delighted" that the court believed there was a "strong prospect" of success in the case.

"One of the women has been unable to work because of the attack," she said. "She went to university, but has since suffered a breakdown and is too ill to work."

She continued: "We hope to get compensation that will put her in a position where this never happened. If that is possible."

After Pope was convicted, Judge Kay described him as a "sexual predator".

He said: "Your conduct was totally abhorrent. You were cunning and manipulative and a serial offender."

Judge Kay added that Pope had "groomed" the children to meet his "perverted desires".

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