A MAN who was raped in a local authority special school when he was just 12 years old has won a compensation payout.

The victim, now in his 40s and from Accrington, was a pupil at Stonecross School, in Ulverston, which was run by Lancashire County Council until it closed in 1984.

He suffered ‘horrendous abuse’ in the historic grounds at the hands of a social worker, which left him with psychological trauma that has had a prolonged effect on his life.

The 12 months of sexual abuse and rape has affected his ability to form relationships and pursue a ‘normal’ working life, according to his solicitors Farleys.

He has been awarded a £54,000 payout, after rejecting an initial £35,000 offer from LCC.

The sum is to pay for his lifelong medical condition as a result of the abuse.

Farleys Solicitors confirmed there was a successful prosecution for sexual abuse in 1980.

Jonathan Bridge, of Farleys, in Blackburn, said: “Our client has suffered for many years as a result of this abuse, and the settlement achieved can at least go some way to him obtaining closure on the horrendous events he suffered as a child.

“This settlement goes to show that cases involving abuse can be pursued for many years after the events occurred, and do not necessarily have to involve court proceedings which, for obvious reasons, clients would rather avoid.

“We are in no doubt that our client was not the only child to suffer at the hands of abuse at the school during this time.

“Our client has given us permission to publish the details of his case in order to make others, who may also have suffered abuse, aware that they can pursue action against their former abusers, despite the time lapse since the events took place.”

A county council spokesman confirmed there were no other active proceedings involving abuse at Stonecross School.

“We take all allegations seriously, including those of a historical nature,” he said. “The civil claim was settled on the basis of no admission of liability by the county council.

“Each case is considered on an individual basis, as we have a duty to be prudent with public money.

"However, in some cases it is less costly to make such a payment than to incur heavy legal costs.”