Victim of Pembroke child sex abuse ring fights for compensation
A victim of an infamous child sex abuse ring in Pembroke in the late 1980s has filed a compensation claim against Pembrokeshire County Council for "massive failings" in his care by Dyfed County Council.
Steven*, who lives in North Pembrokeshire, was a victim of the Pembroke sex abuse ring, which consequently resulted in the conviction of six men in June 1994.
In 1997, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board awarded £12,500 compensation, which was accepted by the local authority on his behalf. Steven believes he is entitled to more compensation, which he thinks could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, from Pembrokeshire County Council because of the previous authority's failings.
He decided to file for more compensation while writing a book about his ordeal.
Last year, Steven asked for all of his files from the council and received 11 boxes of paperwork two months ago.
Speaking exclusively to the Western Telegraph, Steven said: "As I was going through what happened, I was picking up all these things that were really wrong and making me angry.
"I thought, that's wrong, I'm going to fight this and that's what I'm trying to do, to fight this."
Steven said the documents are proof of a catalogue of failings, which included placing his half-brother, who had sexually abused him, in the same children's home.
Steven believes he was entitled to between £20,000 and £37,000 in compensation and the council should have appealed the offer of £12,500.
He also said the council failed in its duty of care by placing him in an out of county care home, where he self-harmed but was never taken to see a doctor, was restrained too often and received no formal education for nearly a year.
Steven claims he was not given sufficient support prior to his appearance as a key witness in a major criminal trial - an experience, which has left him damaged for life with frequent nightmares.
Steven also said he was harmed by the delay in placing him with appropriate foster or adoption parents, and was mistreated by foster carers and residential social workers.
Since writing to the council on February 1st, Steven has received £1,500 in replacement of a leaving care grant he should have received.
"The council haven't helped me in any way, they have messed my life up," Steven said.
"I understand I was a problem child and I accept that. The reasons why I was a problem were self-explanatory really.
"There's people out there who have had things done wrong to them and they need to know and think I might have a case here."
Steven said his childhood was like "musical homes" as he moved across the country between children's homes and foster families.
He said: "I was never able to make any friends. I was never normal and that's all I ever really wanted to be. "I wanted to be adopted or fostered and go to school and for some reason that could never happen."
Steven said that what he went through affects him every day and he has tried to take his own life numerous times.
A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire County Council said: "We are aware of the allegations, which mainly appear to relate to the days of Dyfed County Council, pre-dating this current authority.
"We are unable to comment on individual cases but we always seek to resolve any concerns the public have in as timely a way as possible."
*Name changed to protect identity