Three sisters sue council over alleged child abuse by foster couple branded ‘two of the worst humans’


Three sisters have launched legal action against a council after they were placed with foster parents they accused of abusing them.

The siblings claim they were beaten and sexually abused by John Cassidy and his wife Alma over nearly two decades at their home in Glasgow.

John Cassidy was said to have been ordered to leave the house following abuse claims from three other women, the Daily Record reports.

But council officials allegedly failed to check on him afterwards, allowing him to return home in secret to continue his horrific campaign, it is claimed.

Both of the Cassidys are now dead and were never arrested or charged over the allegations.

The women claim the abuse was carried out in Glasgow over nearly two decades 

In a statement made through their lawyer at Digby Brown Solicitors, the sisters, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said:

“John and Alma Cassidy weren’t just two of the worst fosterers imaginable – they were two of the worst humans.”

The women allege Alma Cassidy physically assaulted them during the day while her husband carried out sickening sex attacks at night.

The siblings have launched legal action against .

They say the authority were at fault for placing them with the couple and for failing to stop John Cassidy having access to them.

It is believed the council could face a potential six-figure payout to the victims.

The sisters say the abuse took place in the 1990s and 2000s. They added:

“They (the Cassidys) are both now deceased so have escaped prosecution. But justice shouldn’t die just because your abuser does.

“We believe Glasgow City Council are at fault as they selected and paid the Cassidys to care for us and are in disbelief at how easy it was for John’s abuse to continue even after they were alerted to the risk he posed to us.

“It makes us wonder how many other abusive fosterers are out there, but also how many survivors have been let down not just in Glasgow but potentially across the country.

“To anyone who is aware of abuse that happened or is happening, please have the courage to step forward and help survivors find justice and rebuild their lives.”

The sisters’ bid for justice became possible after a landmark law change scrapped time limits on historic abuse.

Previously, abuse victims could only make a claim within three years of turning 16 – known as a “time bar”.

Specialist abuse lawyer Kim Leslie is working on behalf of the women

But studies suggested women often don’t talk about abuse until 18 years after it happened. Men may not speak about it until 25 years later.

As a result, the Scottish Government introduced the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act on October 4.

The Supreme Court in London recently ruled council bosses were accountable for abuse carried out by foster carers.

Last month, judges ruled that Nottinghamshire County Council were responsible for the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of a foster child in the 1980s.

They concluded council bosses were responsible because they paid the foster parents public cash to care for children on behalf of the local authority.

This is known as “vicarious liability”, which allows survivors to raise claims against groups including religious bodies, councils and football clubs.

Kim Leslie, partner and specialist abuse lawyer at Digby Brown, said:

“As a foster parent, John Cassidy held one of the most responsible roles in society. We believe he abused his position to repeatedly assault children in his care over a number of years.

“Initial investigations of Glasgow City Council’s own files show they were made aware John Cassidy was a potential risk to minors. But we believe they did not take appropriate protective measures which resulted in the continued sexual abuse of the children.

“We have intimated three claims for vicarious liability in relation to historic childhood abuse.”

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “A claim has been received and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.” 



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