One of the real sad things about Pannone’s settlement in the case last week against the Salford Diocese is that because of the settlement there was no publicity and so St Bede’s College and the Salford Diocese did not get the hammering they deserved. But before I go any further let me correct a wrong that I should have corrected in last week’s blog posting. Pannone now of course do not exist, they went the way of most some weeks ago and are now part of the Slater & Gordon empire, however Pannone is still Pannone to Manchester watchers but let us hope their policy might change with the new name, but I doubt it.
Richard Scorer is now the National Senior Injury Manager (sounds ominously threatening) for Slater & Gordon.
Now for all I know the two lads who settled last week with the Salford Diocese must have needed the few bob they were offered but they were not helped by, according to lots of people, by the Pannone policy of getting to court quickly and getting out quickly, lengthening the action means a slower return on money and a crafty lawyer can soon persuade a nervous litigant when to cash in his chips.
Settlement it seems is what Pannone seek, look at their House Blog of 4th November 2009 where their Kim Harrison is positively crowing about the fact that they had just received a settlement of between £15,000 and 20,000 for a client who was abused by Fr William Green whilst a pupil at St Bede’s College. What is £15,000 – £20,000 for 30 years of trauma, Kim Harrison needs to understand a few things about trauma and how it fuck’s up one’s life and the trauma does not end on pay-day either, you carry it with you for the rest of your life, you under-achieve in your career, you find it impossible to commit to relationships, you often find no way out but suicide. £15,000 - £20,000 is peanuts for the damage caused. In America the judicial system have far more empathy for the abused and often pay out 50 times more to the victim. Why is an American far better treated than an Englishman?
On the day after the Bishop’s wankered apology of the 15th March 2011, Richard Scorer was interviewed by the Manchester Evening News, why I do not know because he had nothing to do with the process, they did not think of interviewing me, who had started and led the debate from its conception in February 2010. Keegan the arsehole ace cub reporter who took five months to write the 500 word article about the Bishop’s apology and his bigger arsehole editor ONeal, both Old Bedians, did not want to disparage Bede’s any more than it was, so they kept well away from Co Roscommon.
Scorer said in that interview “the danger is that once you have sat through hundreds of accounts, you can become case hardened. You have to remind yourself that empathy is all-important. I hope it is something I have always had”. I wonder whether three years later if there is any vestige of empathy left. He seemed even then in November 2010 to have no empathy for my case, when it took him 10 minutes to decide that I had no chance, but I think he regretted his hastiness afterwards.
He robotically said when asked if he had a personal grudge against the Catholic Church “No , not at all. I’m not a Catholic but I married one”. It’s one of his stocks, he said the same to me.
In the MEN interview he went on to say when accused of being an ambulance chasing lawyer “for most of our clients it’s not about money. For instance, if the Catholic Church had held its hands up and said ‘we’re sorry’ the victims would have been satisfied. Fundamentally they wanted acknowledgement from the Church that they were wrong. The amounts paid out in these cases aren’t enough, unlike the US where you get very big awards because they are made by juries. Here awards are made by judges under the rules of normal personal injury cases. They do not seek to punish the wrongdoer, but to put the victim in the financial position they would be without the abuse. Because so many victims have spent their early lives in the care system, the Church has argued that as adults, they would not have amounted to much anyway. I try to get the best settlement possible and ensure part of that goes towards paying for therapy. Some never get over the abuse but others go on to live a happy and fulfilled life”. I would like to know how he knows that? Is he sitting in the heads of all his clients? Why does he sit back and allow the system to set the pace? Why is he not out there fighting for change?
Any way I do not think that he thought those words of his through at all, because only five months earlier he had dismissed my case saying it was not worth running with because the victims were all well educated and suffered no loss and therefore receive no compensation off a judge. Whereas a competant lawyer would argue with no difficulty that no matter what station in life you attain, your trauma would have lowered your eventual level of success. To me Scorer tries to say all the right things which have been said often by others before him. It is like his new book, it contains all the right ideas that have been used by others before him but nothing new, nothing to cause a spark, no new thinking. So why write the book?
Let us start to ask why is an abused American worth 50 times more than an abused Englishman and why is the Catholic Church not punished severely for the damage they have caused? These are the two questions I would like answering over the next short while.