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Local authority pays five-figure sum to abuse victim

Council moved child back to abusive mother

Birmingham City Council has agreed to pay a five-figure sum to a woman who was subjected to a childhood of abuse in settlement of her claim for damages for her pain and suffering, loss of earnings and ongoing psychotherapy.

Collette Elliot, 35, is still calling for an apology from the local authority which failed to take her into care despite being flagged as 'at risk' from two months old. Concerns about her wellbeing were passed to the authorities by neighbours, health visitors and teachers.

Luke Daniels of Irwin Mitchell, who represented Ms Elliot, said:

"This was a complex case which involved us having to go back through the history to identify at which point Collette should have been removed in to care and what experiences could have been avoided during her childhood.

"We hope the settlement helps Collette to access the specialist counselling she needs to be able to come to terms with what happened and move forward with her life. However, we are disappointed that the council has failed to apologise to Collette and will continue to support her as she seeks to receive this."

After a period in foster care when she was very young, Birmingham City Council social services team made the decision that it was in her best interests to move back with her mother permanently and she remained there subjected to years of physical and emotional abuse until she left home at 18.

Ms Elliot said:

"Whilst the settlement from the council is a step forward, I won't have any sort of closure until the council apologies for repeatedly letting me down and failing to protect me.

"Nothing will make up for what I was forced to endure but an apology would reassure me that lessons have been learnt by the council to prevent any other children suffering like I did."