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Child victims of grooming refused compensation because they ‘consented’

A woman sexually abused as a child by a Muslim grooming gang leader was told by a British government authority that she had "consented" to being assaulted.

Published: October 18, 2017, 10:40 am

    Sammy Woodhouse was denied compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) because, CICA Woodhouse had not been “manipulated” by the gang.

    But Woodhouse’s lawyer, David Greenwood has argued that for a child to consent was “just not legally possible”.

    Greenwood noted: “I am utterly shocked by the notion that decision-makers in a government organisation can consider that 14 or 15-year-old girls can consent to sex with adults. They decided she must have consented when it’s just not legally possible.”

    The BBC reported that a Freedom of Information request revealed that she had been one of some 700 child victims of sexual abuse, including Muslim grooming, to be refused payments.

    Several charities revealed recently that since the CICA scheme was launched in November 2012, almost all 700 child victims of sexual abuse had been refused payments.

    Woodhouse has fought back, however and CICA is now reviewing its guidelines, the government has confirmed.

    Woodhouse has bravely waived her anonymity to help other victims. She was only 14 when the 24-year-old Arshid Hussain lured her into the assault. Known as Mad Ash around Rotherham, Hussain was eventually jailed in 2016.

    From South Yorkshire, “Mad Ash” was one of three brothers behind the grooming and sexual abuse of more than 50 girls including Woodhouse. He was jailed for 35 years for 23 sexual abuse offences including indecent assault and rape.

    CICA had originally refused compensation in Woodhouse’s case, stating in its response: “I am not satisfied that your consent was falsely given as a result of being groomed by the offender. “The evidence does not indicate that you were manipulated or progressively lured into a false relationship.”

    Woodhouse appealed against the decision and was then offered a small settlement in order to shut her up. She refused, and eventually she was awarded the maximum amount she qualified for because she had not given up her drive for justice.

    She said: “If an adult can privately think that it’s a child’s fault for being abused, beaten, raped, abducted, I think you’re in the wrong job.”

    When the BBC asked CICA for their response, referred the media to a statement made in the House of Commons by Secretary of State for Justice, David Liddington MP.

    He said: “CICA has decided to mount an urgent re-examination of its own internal guidelines, in particular to make sure that there is no risk that a child could be disqualified from compensation because they had been groomed.”

    Police meanwhile have launched a probe into an alleged sexual grooming ring targeting teenagers in Glasgow.

    Girls as young as 14 are being abducted, a social worker told the Evening Times in the area which is “rife” with child exploitation. According to a relative: “This really is just our worst nightmare, it’s this Rochdale and Rotherham-type stuff but it’s happening here in Glasgow in a big way. Nobody seems to be doing anything to stop it, all the girls have been made to believe these men are their boyfriends. It is white females they are hitting on, aged 14 to 19.”

    In London, last month, three members of a Muslim sex gang who used drugs to turn abuse victims into addicts and forced them to have sex if they wanted more drugs were sentenced to a total of 56 years in prison. Seventeen men and one woman from Newcastle were sentenced for crimes including rape, sexual assault, inciting girls into prostitution and drug dealing.

    Prosecutor John Elvidge said the victims who gave evidence in court were white British and the male defendants were “all of Asian extraction” but insisted that the crimes were not racially motivated.

    But some 64 percent of British citizens believe that Arabs have failed to integrate into British society, and that their presence has not been beneficial, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by the Council for Arab-British Understanding and the Arab News newspaper.

    Only 28 believe that migration from the Arab world has been beneficial to the UK.

    Sarah Champion, a former Labour MP, said that the British left was turning a blind eye to Muslim sexual grooming gangs for fear of being branded racist.

    Labour members and politicians have “never been challenged by a reality that’s different” from their “multicultural world.” she said. She was forced to resigned after she wrote in an op-ed: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

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