Army cadets abuse was first uncovered in a BBC Panorama documentary that first aired in 2017, its findings was that abuse had occurred over many years in the cadets. This occurred throughout the various branches of the cadets and has affected each branch.

The documentary sees victims talk about a “culture of abuse from the offset”, during inductions, they were told to stand in a circle and punch the person on their left as hard as they could. He said they were told and taught to “take it like a man”, to do as you’re told and to respect your elders. Some employees and or volunteers helping the cadets are known to have taken advantage of this ideology to abuse children.

If you ever suffered abuse as an Army cadet we can help you. We offer a safe and confidential environment where we can discuss the abuse you suffered and help you get the compensation you deserve.

What are the Army cadets?

The Army cadets are a national youth organisation sponsored by the United Kingdom’s ministry of defence and the British Army. Although sponsored by the MOD, the army cadets aren’t part of the British Army or Army Reserves, and as such cadets are not subject to military “call up”. Some cadets do however choose to go on and enlist in the armed forces later in life.

In the army cadets, they teach children and young teenagers military training, shooting, navigation, skill at arms and much more. As it is the case for most of the other branches of the cadets, this organisation was created and used as a way of stopping children and teenagers from getting into trouble and staying off the streets. They were a way to teach discipline and a respect for the rules.

However, it has come to light that various instructors and senior members of the cadets breached the trust that these children had in them by abusing them or at least not sanctioning it.

Army cadets abuse

Army cadets abuse is thought to have been taking place over the past 40 years, the sense of comradery and discipline that was engrained into the cadets has been exploited time and time again by elders. It was also this which stopped children speaking up and telling the police in some cases, while in others senior officers are known to have persuaded the victims and their families not to do it.

Once such abuser is Brian Leonard, he was the commanding officer at the Tennel Grange Cadets case in Harborne and is known to have abused at least 10 former cadets over many years. There had been attempts to report Leonard’s abuse, one had reported the abuse to his girlfriend, who had then gone and confronted Leonard.

She had attacked him, but when a sergeant intervened and took her statement he told her not to go to the police, even though she planned to. Leonard said at the time that she would get into more trouble because they had proof of her physically assaulting him and causing damage at the centre. She gave a statement, which she was told would be passed on and an investigation would be carried out, she was never contacted again.

The Army cadets had several opportunity to stop abusers sooner but failed. Unfortunately, this pattern of refusing to investigate the allegations and encouraging the victims or those who report the abuse to not go to the police are far spread and frequent.

Sexual abuse compensation

It’s often possible to claim monetary compensation for sexual abuse suffered, whether recently or more historical events a claim is likely to be possible. More often than not the claim will be made against the organisation rather than the individual due to their lack of assets or funds to pay compensation.

This will be made on a vicarious liability basis, meaning the organisation will be liable to pay compensation for the abusive acts of the employee or volunteer. In some cases it may be possible to claim against the club under the basis that it was negligent in its duty to protect the children in their care.

We deal with all our claims on a no win, no fee agreement, meaning that you’ll never pay us a penny. We only get paid if the claim is successful, in which case, the defendant pays our costs. Call our team of experts now on 0203 9252 301 or complete an online enquiry form.

David Durkin-Finch


David has been part of the Cleversons team from the start. He's assisted hundreds of clients and takes great pride in all his work.

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