Football sex abuse inquiry chief to receive counselling

20th October 2017

Football sex abuse inquiry chief to receive counselling

The lawyer leading the inquiry into football’s child sex abuse scandal is to receive counselling to preserve his own mental health.

The accounts of the multitude of victims have been so harrowing that Clive Sheldon QC and a number of his team have taken up the offer of psychological help.

The Football Association’s independent inquiry is looking into abuse suffered by players from the 1970s to 2005. The inquiry, which began last December following allegations first made by ex-professional player Andy Woodward, has now met 15 survivors and will likely hear from a further 20 to 30 victims.

Sheldon and his staff, who have listened to stories of suicide, addiction and failed marriages — along with detailed accounts of the abuse — will be given therapy and psychological support to try to prevent post-traumatic stress.

Sheldon is an experienced QC who has conducted several investigatory reviews involving child protection and safeguarding issues.

The inquiry, expected to cost around £1m, is now expected to return its findings to the FA around April 2018. Four county associations have yet to respond to a letter sent by Sheldon in May this year, requesting cooperation with the inquiry.

So far, 741 alleged victims have come forward and 276 suspects have been identified. Operation Hydrant, the specialist police unit in charge of the operation, had received 1,886 referrals and a number of court cases involving professional clubs are underway.

How can Gotelee help?

If you are a victim of sexual abuse in football or in sport please contact us for help and legal advice.

We have a specialist team who can provide sensitive care and expert guidance to those who may wish to bring civil claims for compensation as a result of sexual abuse in their past.

The Suffolk law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Melton, Hadleigh or Woodbridge, is partnered with the Ipswich based charity Survivors in Transition (SiT). The charity aims to empower both female and male survivors to take control of their lives and cope better with the daily effects the abuse has left them with.

Gotelee are members of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, which enables us to bring together a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.

For more information or assistance on this matter, please contact Nadia Bolton on 01473 298125 or by email at nadia.bolton@gotelee.co.uk.

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