Child abuse victims ‘missed out’

YOUNGSTERS who were abused at a children’s home in Knutsford could be entitled to more compensation today than they received three years ago.

Cheshire County Council awarded 11 victims of Bruce McLean £98,000 after 11 years of abuse at the home in Northwich Road.

But on Monday their solicitor Peter Garsden said they could have received more cash now following a change in the law.

“It is something I have been campaigning about for a long time,” he said.

“There was a judgement in the Court of Appeal that recognised the court should be compensating not only the effects of abuse, but also the immediate injury and humiliation.”

Mr Garsden said the change in the law followed the scandalous systematic abuse of youngsters living in a number of children’s homes in North Wales.

Paedophile Bruce McLean, formerly of King Street, Knutsford, was jailed in 1997 for nine years after being convicted of indecently assaulting 10 children.

The sexual abuse took place over an 11-year period even though the county council had warned bachelor McLean about his conduct towards the children.

After the final payout in 2001, Mr Garsden said that ‘no amount of money’ would make up for their suffering. He immediately called for a change in the law after five other victims withdrew their claims because they were unable to prove McLean had caused them mental anguish.

“The amount awarded is a pittance really,” he said. “They should have received at least £100,000 each for the humiliation they suffered.”

Seddon Homes have since built a housing estate on the site of the former Kilrie children’s home.

Bruce McLean who was jailed in 1997 for nine years after he was convicted of indecently assaulting 10 youngsters.

April 1997

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Ex-fireman Bruce McLean, 41, was said to have abused children in his care after taking them to see the soccer giants train and play at Old Trafford. 

The abuse took place over an 11-year period while McLean was a care worker at Kilrie Children’s Home in Knutsford, Cheshire, and a soccer coach at Egerton Boys’ Club, it was claimed at Chester Crown Court. 

McLean, of Northwich, denies 12 charges of indecent assault involving nine boys and one girl between July 1979 and August 1990.