August 2012

Sex abuser Gary Froggatt must pay one of his victims £228k in compensation

A SEX-ABUSE victim has won more than £200,000 in compensation from a former swimming instructor.

The man, now in his 30s, is one of three men who were abused as children by Gary Froggatt, who was jailed for 19 years in 2010.

The recent victory is particularly poignant as the sentencing judge ordered Froggatt to pay his victims a total of £170,000 but the ruling was overturned at appeal.

But this one victim was determined Froggatt, 58, would not get away with it and decided to fight him in the civil courts.

A judge at Nottingham County Court has now ordered Froggatt to pay him £228,374, which will come from the proceeds of selling his house in Kirk Hallam.

The man, who was groomed and assaulted by Froggatt between the ages of six and 13, said: “It feels good because he’s already got his life taken away but now he has nothing to come out to and look forward to.”

Out of the damages the victim, who cannot be named, was awarded, £60,000 was for the trauma he experienced at the hands of Froggatt.

The rest was the cost of counselling and loss of earnings.

He suffered mental health problems as a result of the abuse, including anxiety and panic attacks.

He said he found it hard to cope with work and relationships, and had lost his business and home.

Solicitor Simon Richardson, who fought the civil trial against Froggatt, said in the hundreds of cases he had brought, this was in the top four for the amount awarded for the trauma of the actual abuse.

Mr Richardson, a partner in Smith Partnership solicitors, added: “I was always confident that my client was telling the truth and backed him on a no-win, no-fee basis.

“Whilst the memories of this childhood experiences remain painful, this will hopefully be a turning point in his life and a very serious punishment for his abuser.”

In a trial in 2010, Derby Crown Court heard Froggatt had taken the boys to pools, including Queen’s Leisure Centre, in Derby, and Victoria Park Leisure Centre, in Ilkeston, before taking them back to his home and sexually abusing them in the 1980s.

It was almost 20 years later that they reported the matter to the police. On March 9, a jury convicted Froggatt, of Ladywood Road, of six charges of committing a serious sexual offence on a child, two of inciting a serious sexual offence and two of indecency with a child.

He was also found guilty of seven offences of indecent assault with a male person.

Froggatt, who denied all the charges, will have to sign the sex offenders’ register when he is released from jail. He has also been given a sexual offenders’ prevention order that includes a ban on entering parks, amusement arcades and swimming pools.

April 2010

Swimming instructor abused children for a decade

A CHILD abuser has been locked up for 19 years and ordered to sell a £200,000 house to pay compensation to three victims.

Gary Froggatt, 58, used his position as a swimming instructor in Kimberley and Ilkeston to abuse boys as young as six, Derby Crown Court heard.

He was convicted of 17 counts after a trial in which victims gave evidence against him. Charges included indecent assault and inciting a sexual act with a child.

The abuse began more than 20 years ago and lasted more than a decade.

Judge Andrew Hamilton jailed Froggatt, of Ladywood Road, Kirk Hallam, Ilkeston.

He said: “Everybody trusted you because you didn’t have a label around your neck saying you were an abuser of children. But you should have done because you were.”

The judge gave Froggatt six months to pay two boys £80,000 compensation and £10,000 to a third boy.

One victim’s father said he was unable to work because of difficulties caused by the abuse. He said: “My son doesn’t like going out and needs counselling. In 1993, he was in such a state he would have topped himself rather than go to the police, he was that ashamed.”

Detective constable Sophie Chapman, who investigated the case, said: “Three very courageous young men put their faith in the police that justice could be served and it has.

“Any victims should come forward in cases like these. We always take them very seriously. Hopefully the compensation will help these young men draw a line and start living their lives again.”

In mitigation, Gurdial Singh told the court there had been no violence or intimidation of the victims. Froggatt had no previous convictions.

Froggatt was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.