Ruling means compensation fight can be launched

Luton lawyer to help two victims who want to sue man who attacked them

A dramatic ruling in the House of Lords last week means a Luton lawyer can now fight for compensation for two women who were abused as young girls.

Tracey Emmott, of Pictons Solicitors in Dunstable Road, Luton, is representing two women who were abused by car dealership owner Graham Pope, of Thompsons Meadow in Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire, who was jailed in 2006 for seven years for 15 counts of indecent assault.

They may now be able to sue him after law lords decided courts should be able to use their own discretion to extend a six-year time limit on making a claim. The ruling hit the national headlines because it means a woman attacked by Iorworth Hoare, the rapist who went on to become a 4 million lottery winner, can now sue him, despite the fact that the assault happened 20 years ago.

If a victim was under 18 when the crime took place, they have until six years after their 18th birthday to claim. Pope abused his victims between 1985 and 2000, and both of Tracey's clients are now over 24 years old.

They thought their chance for compensation had slipped away, and were understandably thrilled at last Wednesday's ruling in the Lords.

"There's still some way to got but we've overcome the first major obstacle," Tracey said.