Armadale Girls Awarded Compensation

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Six former wards of the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Ann which was destroyed by fire in May 2009 have been awarded aggravated damages by the court.

Each of the girls will reportedly receive over a million dollars.

The damages involve compensation for injury to their self esteem, feelings and dignity.

Judgement was handed down in favour of the six claimants yesterday in the Supreme Court, on the basis that the constitutional rights of the girls were breached.

The ruling was also made on the basis of negligence on the part of those responsible for their care and supervision.

The claims were instituted by the Office of the Children’s Advocate, OCA, while the claimants were still minors.

All are now adults.

The OCA says a settlement is better than putting the survivors through the entire trial process which would involve them reliving the ordeal.

Presiding Judge, Justice Kirk Anderson handed down the judgement with the consent of the lawyers from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

The cause of the fire and the operations at the Armadale facility were the subject of a Commission of Enquiry, chaired by former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Paul Harrison.

Lead attorney for the claimants, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown says it’s hoped that with the recommendations from the Commission of Enquiry and the judgements entered, there will be continued improvements in the care provided for wards of the state.

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In 2018, Tauna won the UNICEF Media Award for Excellence in Reporting on Children’s Rights. She graduated from CARIMAC in 2015 and joined NNN in 2016. Since then, she’s covered several high-profile court cases including the X6 murder trial, the police death squad trial and is currently covering the Uchence Wilson Gang trial. Thomas is the Producer of Talking History heard on Nationwide Radio every Saturday.