Seventh alleged victim of paedophile MP Cyril Smith suing Rochdale council over claims no action was taken when he reported abuse
- Man claims he was abused at Cambridge House boys’ hostel in 1960s
- Former pupil is latest in string of alleged victims to start legal proceedings
- Lawyers say it’s ‘astonishing’ no action was taken when he reported assault
A seventh alleged victim of paedophile Sir Cyril Smith is suing Rochdale Council over claims no action was taken when he first reported the abuse.
The man claims he was sexually abused by the late Liberal Democrat MP while at the Cambridge House boys’ hostel in the 1960s.
The former pupil is the latest in a string of alleged victims to start legal proceedings against the authority over Smith’s alleged behaviour.
Law firm Slater and Gordon are now representing five men who say they were abused by him at Cambridge House, a council-funded hostel for ‘troubled’ boys in which he was closely involved at the time he was a Labour councillor.
They are also representing two men who say he assaulted them at local authority-run Knowl View residential school in the 1980s.
Solicitor Alan Collins of Slater and Gordon is acting on their behalf.
He said it was ‘astonishing’ no action was taken when he reported the assault to police at the time.
He said even now the alleged victims are not being consulted by the authorities, despite seeing their claims being repeated in the media.
Mr Collins added: ‘Greater Manchester Police have already said that if the same evidence was presented today there would have been a very realistic prospect that Smith would have been prosecuted and brought to trial.
‘No one in authority has taken full responsibility for the fact that the victims were let down and insulted.’
The scandal surrounding Smith has been back in the headlines in recent weeks following a book by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, which suggested – among other things – that there may have been a cover-up over abuse at Knowl View.
In the wake of the book police and a council-commissioned independent review, led by Neil Garnham QC and Hempsons solicitors, launched fresh inquiries into how allegations of paedophilia and child prostitution were handled in the 1990s.
Smith was installed as governor at Knowl View in 1992.
Police say 13 of his alleged victims – at both Cambridge House and Knowl View – have now come forward.
They are also looking at 20 other suspects in relation to Knowl View.
Rochdale council and Hempsons – who are expected to report back over the summer – declined to comment.