Briton Douglas Slade ordered to pay five Filipinos compensation over sexual abuse

The four men and a boy sued Douglas Slade for compensation, alleging he had abused them in the Philippines.

The court was told that the five had been abused between 2009 and 2015 and their ages now ranged from mid-teens to 20.

Slade, 77, was not convicted in the Philippines and has denied any wrongdoing.

However, Judge Mark Gargan said that, despite this, Slade had probably abused the five Filipinos.

He made five individual damages awards – £35,000, £25,000, £27,500, and two of £20,000.

The case is the first time foreign nationals have made such a claim against a Briton in a British civil court.

Solicitor Alan Collins, who works for law firm Hugh James and represented the five Filipinos, said the ruling could have wider implications.

“This landmark case is unprecedented for a High Court in London, showing how the legal system in England and Wales delivers justice for victims of sexual abuse whether they live in England or overseas,” he said.

“The judgement has finally provided a sense of vindication for the victims after Slade avoided justice for so many years through his lying and deception, and I’m sure this case will set a precedent for others in a similar situation to seek justice.”

Slade is from Bristol but is currently in a prison on the Isle of Wight.

He lived in the Philippines for many years but was arrested when he returned to England three years ago.

In 2016, he was convicted of abusing five boys in Britain between 1965 and 1980.

During the civil case in London, he gave evidence through a screen at his prison in Newport, saying he had not abused the five Filipinos and that they were lying.

The five Filipinos gave evidence through video link in Manila.

Detective Sergeant Paul Melton described the evidence given by the Filipinos as “harrowing”

He said: “Slade always thought himself to be beyond the reaches of justice.

“I maintain that no child will ever be safe in his company.

“He is without doubt the most dangerous and manipulative child sex offender I have ever encountered.”

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Government ordered to repay £1m to trafficking victims after High Court ruling

It follows a successful challenge by two claimants, a 19-year-old asylum seeker and a victim of sex trafficking, against the cuts.

Their case was supported by charities for victims of trafficking.

At the beginning of March, almost two months before Savid Javid became home secretary, the weekly cash amount payable to more than 1,000 potential victims of human trafficking was slashed by 42%.

Their weekly allowance fell from £65 to £37.75, but they will now be repaid the missing £27.25 per week after the court ruling, at an estimated cost of more than £1m.

Mr Justice Mostyn found the government failed to comply with obligations under the 2010 Equality Act.

The judge had been told how the teenage asylum seeker had fled persecution and severe exploitation at the hands of traffickers.

The reduction in payments was said to have damaged his mental health and exposed him to a risk of falling back into the hands of traffickers.

Silvia Nicolaou Garcia, a solicitor from law firm Simpson Millar who represented the teenager, said the payment cut forced her client into an “increasingly untenable and, frankly, inhumane situation”.

“He couldn’t afford the travel necessary to meet with his solicitors, which he is required to do on a regular basis, he had accrued debt and he could no longer afford to buy clothes, food, or mobile credit to allow him to keep in touch with his professional support network or his friends,” she said.

“We hope that the reversal of the cuts, and a back payment to cover losses, will help to provide stability and, importantly, safety for him.”

The other claimant, known as “K” and described as suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after being sex trafficked, said after the ruling: “I was so low because I was not able to do the activities which had been helping me before my money was cut.

“Now that I can afford to re-engage with my support network and activities, it makes me hopeful for my future.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey attacked the prime minister, who has long championed efforts to tackle modern slavery, over the case.

He said: “Theresa May once rightly called modern slavery the great human rights issue of our time, but her government cut support for victims by 40%, leaving them vulnerable to further exploitation.

“Now that the court has ruled those cuts unlawful, the government must reverse them and ensure that victims receive the help they need to escape the terrible bonds of slavery.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We accept the court judgement and will set out our response in due course.”

The spokesman added that ministers are committed to ensuring victims of modern slavery got the support they needed.

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