Record compensation for abuse survivor

Record compensation for abuse survivor

20 December 2021 By Naomi Neilson

A leading abuse law firm has secured a record $1.1 million in compensation for a survivor of sexual abuse at a notorious Perth children’s home.

Content warning: This article deals with child abuse.

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Maurice Blackburn secured the record compensation for AJ Coutts, a former 15-year-old ward of the state who was placed at the Warminda Hostel in 1978 where he suffered significant abuse at the hands of hostel worker Martin Cooper. Mr Cooper has since been convicted and jailed for child abuse.

Lawyer Keziah Holdsworth commended Mr Coutts, now 58, on his courage in seeking accountability for what happened to him as a child but that no financial compensation will “ever erase the harm caused by the horrific abuse”.

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“But this money will help him to put a roof over his head and achieve some financial stability for himself and his family in the coming years,” Ms Holdsworth said.

“We know there are many Warminda survivors out there that are still too traumatised to come forward. We hope this result sends the message that it’s never too late to seek justice and receive recognition through the civil system.”

Mr Coutts said the settlement had given him some closure: “I just want to close the book on what happened and move on with my life.

“I want the world to know what really happened to me at Warminda. And I want people to understand you can’t let kids be treated like this and get away with it.”

Record compensation for abuse survivor
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