A LAWYER representing victims of Rotherham’s child sex abuse scandal has welcomed compensation payments being paid by council bosses and police in six cases — with a further 75 claims still to be settled.
Child abuse expert David Greenwood, of Switalskis Solicitors, said: “These settlements are good acknowledgement that the scandal affected lives and it’s good that this is happening.
“The aim is definitely to get them settled out of court. It will be much preferable to have it done without the stress of court.”
The settlements — understood to be five and six-figure sums — were joint offers from Rotherham Borough Council and South Yorkshire Police.
Mr Greenwood (pictured) added: “I am not a lover of the word ‘closure’ but I think these settlements bring recognition and acknowledgement of what these women have been through.
“Hopefully, it will be spent wisely and in my view some of should be spent on therapy and taking time out to work through the issues.
“From my experience, talking therapy is really beneficial.”
Rotherham Borough Council said it had received 58 claims in relation to the abuse scandal.
Information released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that no claims were made between June 2012 and August 2014 — the period between The Times publishing stories about historic abuse in Rotherham and when the Jay report was published — and that there was no limit on the amount of compensation.
Mr Greenwood added: “I am working on 75 cases at the moment and we are working constructively with the council and the police because they are all individual cases — we put them into groups because there are complex issues with each case that need to be worked through.”
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said: “I know for a lot of the victims and survivors this was never about compensation — it was about getting justice.
"But I think it’s recognition that they have told the truth all the way through and it offers them some closure.”
A council spokesman confirmed that a number of claims had been settled but declined to comment further.
A police spokeswoman said the force was “working with the complainants and their legal representatives” in respect of the ongoing claims.