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Abuse victims urge change in laws

A victim of child sexual abuse has handed a petition to Downing Street urging a change in law around sexual abuse.

Darren Furness, a former resident at St William's children's home in East Yorkshire in Market Weighton, has handed in a petition with more than 60,000 signatures calling for laws around victims of sex abuse claiming compensation to be changed.

Currently, under Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980, victims seeking personal injury compensation have three years to make a claim from the date of when they become aware of the damage or abuse. However, a court can apply discretion under Section 33 of the act.

Furness and the other victims want the current three-year limit for personal injury damages to be abolished.

Two of St William's former employees were jailed last year for abusing boys. The former head of St William's, James Carragher was jailed for the third time after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys there in January 2016. He was convicted of 21 indecent assaults and three serious sex offences, but cleared of a further 30 charges.

Former chaplain at St William's, Anthony McCallen, was sentenced to 15 years for a series of offences.

Now 249 men are suing the Roman Catholic Church over abuse claims against the home between 1970 and 1991.

Furness told the BBC: “We want the government to intervene and get rid of the three-year limitation period that's holding the victims of St William's back, including myself.

“People who've been abused will come forward when they're ready. People don't realise in their life that this was wrong because they're so mentally ill because of what's happened to them,” he added.

 

 

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