Abused boy wins Croydon Council pay out
The mum of a schoolboy abused for two years by a football club volunteer will receive £10,000 in compensation from Croydon Council after it failed to adequately support her son.
Paul Tupper, of Wallington, was jailed for five years in 2008, after being found guilty of 16 sexual assaults on a number of young boys dating back to 1977, including a boy from Croydon.
The Croydon football club volunteer abused the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for two years starting in 2008, when he was just five-years-old.
Now the Local Government Ombudsman has ruled the council failed to provide adequate support for the boy after he was abused, and said it must pay compensation.
The boy’s mother’s battle with the council began when it failed to carry out an adequate assessment of his needs, which should have enabled him to gain a place at a special needs school.
The council then recommended the schoolboy be referred to specialised sex abuse therapy, his mum to receive counselling and for family support to be provided, but it failed to see the recommended action through.
In 2010 the family moved to the south coast where the boy was immediately placed in a special needs school and undertook a course of counselling.
The mum said: “He has made a lot of progress. He is a changed boy from when he moved to now. He has calmed down and my son is the best now he probably has ever been since he was five-years-old.”
A report by the ombudsman criticised the council for failing to carry out the recommendations it made to support the boy and said the family suffered significant stress and distress which could have been avoided.
The boy’s mother said she is now seeking a solicitor to pursue a case of neglect against the council.
She said: “It isn’t about the money, I am not greedy. I want them named and shamed, I do want what we deserve out of them.
"If they had supported us he wouldn’t have burnt down our home, I wouldn’t have had to deal with my son trying to kill himself, because that is what happened to him.”
Any solicitors willing to help pursue the neglect case should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A council spokesman said: “This case dates back over a number of years. There are definitely lessons that we have learnt from it.
"The service is in a very different position today with a different management team, and those improvements were recognised in our Ofsted inspection last summer.
“The Ombudsman has also recognised some of those improvements in her consideration of this case and has acknowledged that the authority took steps above and beyond her original recommendations.”