Brother and sister win £301,051 damages over sexual and physical abuse

Court news
Court news

A brother and sister have won more than £300,000 damages from the adoptive parents who sexually and physically abused them.

The 54-year-old man, who can only be identified as LXA, and 53-year-old BXL, were placed with Edward Willcox and his wife Cynthia in April 1970 after they were abandoned by their natural parents.

LXA went into local authority care in August 1978 while BXL left home when she was 16.

At Southampton Crown Court in May 2015, Willcox was sentenced to four years imprisonment after he was found guilty of indecent assault, indecency with a male child and child cruelty.

Cynthia Willcox was given 12 months imprisonment for child cruelty.

Sentencing, Judge Rowland said that the jury had found that they both carried out "a campaign of physical abuse" against their adopted children.

There were frequent and severe beatings on the most trivial of pretexts and Edward Willcox sexually abused both over a long period.

Willcox died in July 2017, a few days after his release, but LXA and BXL continued their damages claim, which was launched in 2016, against his estate - of which Cynthia Willcox is the personal representative - and Mrs Willcox.

In a ruling given on Thursday, after a hearing at London's High Court, Judge Robinson awarded BXL £186,011 and LXA £115,040.

He said that the abuse was responsible for the adjustment disorder and depression they suffered and affected their earning potential.

The award to LXA included a sum of £35,000 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, £40,000 for lost earnings and £4,800 for future therapy.

BXL's compensation included £80,000 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment, as the judge said she had been subjected to "particularly serious" sexual abuse.

Other sums included £92,564 for loss of earnings and £4,800 for therapy.