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Wife awarded half of husband’s abuse compensation

A man who was subjected to sexual abuse as a child has now been ordered to give his ex-wife half of the money he was awarded as compensation.

The now 47 year-old was given £175,000 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board back in 2002. The South Wales man was abused by a family friend between the ages of five and ten. He did not come forward about the ordeal until 1998 but fortunately the perpetrator was found guilty and sentenced to prison for three years.

However the man saw the compensation as “dirty money” and decided he would put it all into a trust which would be given to a charity of his choosing upon his death. The fund has since grown to around £200,000.

The fund has become the focus of divorce battle between him and his ex-wife. After 19 years of marriage, the couple split and she believed this fund should be treated as a matrimonial asset and divided accordingly.

At a Family Court hearing in Pontypridd, South Wales, Judge Stuart Batcup ruled in the wife’s favour. He ordered the husband to pay her £100,000 from the fund or be held in contempt of court and face a jail sentence.

After the ruling, the defiant husband told the media he would “fight it all the way and go to jail if necessary”. He said it was “shameful that she has even asked for the money, how can she get pleasure out of [his] pain and suffering?”

The decision “doesn’t seem right” he continued, because his wife “wasn’t the one who was abused”. He could not understand “how the courts can award [his] compensation to [his] ex-wife”, insisting that the ruling “doesn’t make sense”.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. James Franklin says:

    What a disgrace. I hope he wins an appeal as this is a miscarriage of justice.
    (*Comment edited by the moderators)

  2. spinner says:

    The English and Welsh family courts really are evil.
    (*Comment edited by the moderators)

  3. TC says:

    This is dreadful and I feel so sorry for the husband, however, they were married, the money forms part of the marital “pot” unfortunately and it appears, has been treated as such. I saw this happen to a friend except it was medical negligence compensation after she sustained life changing injuries during surgery. It is hard for the victim to separate the money in those circumstances, from the situation for which they have been compensated. Understandably so. Unfortunately, the law appears to make no allowances for this.

    • spinner says:

      Matrimonial property in most jurisdictions including Scotland is defined as property acquired during the marriage specifically excluding property acquired by way of gift or inheritance. Your friend was given compensation to deal with her life changing injuries by way of a gift as in she did not earn it and her husband certainly didn’t contribute to her receiving it. This compensation was calculated to pay for additional help she will need during her life, how can it be morally right that an English family court can gift any of it to her ex-husband.

  4. Paul says:

    Courts not out of touch ? This is a plain crazy decission as far as I can see.

  5. Bond says:

    Yet again another miscarriage of justice . A man with ethics already put the money in trust years ago , an ex wants to get her hands on it ,. The law needs amending to exclude such obvious injustice . The law needs to be seen to be morally fair otherwise what is the point of a judicial system promoting so called just. A charity loses out to .

  6. Andy says:

    In such cases as these and of course the decision made.
    It relates to all finances that were under what is known as assets. This is usually the case of financial disputes but such examples are to be questioned such as this case in question.
    The situation was he was awarded the sum and then gave it to a charity of his choice what would of the court ruling be applied then..he had a award but now has got no award as gifted away…
    Would the court then implicate that he must give half of what was gifted or would he give half of what is now….now nothing..

    This just shows the courts are out of touch with today’s life styles and such decisions made are far far from realistic…The case was years ago the award was for the situation that was forced upon the person who took the abuse…
    So why has the court given half of the award when as commented his pain now given half away to the ex…funny if this was the reverse…see what would happen then..
    (*Comment edited by the moderators)

  7. Andrew says:

    Pity he didn’t just give it to charity straight away!

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