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Leicestershire Police Agree Claim

The Leicestershire Police have been contesting a claim for a reported amount of about £50,000 submitted by the relatives of Ms Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca. They allegedly suffered years of abuse and intimidation and had lodged complaints with the police on a reported 33 occasions, before the mother ended their lives. This was achieved during October 2007 when she reportedly set fire to a car containing herself and her 18 years old daughter, Francecca, who it is reported had a learning deficiency.

Although the police have not made any admissions regarding the deaths of the two women, reports show that they have settled the claim for damages submitted by the family of the mother, Fiona Pilkington. This is despite their making an attempt for it to be dismissed in November last year. The settlement amount although not disclosed, is reportedly a five figure sum.

The tragedy arose from a sequence of events over a period of ten years, when the Pilkington home was targeted by groups of youths. The mother and daughter were subjected to abuse in the form of stones and eggs being thrown and insults shouted at them. Jocelyn Cockburn, the family solicitor told the BBC that it had been important for the family to achieve justice for the horrendous years following the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Franccecca.

The case had created significant interest from the public, caused by their concern regarding the treatment to which vulnerable and disabled people in society are subjected. This particular case concerned the duties and responsibility carried by the police to protect people such as Fiona Pilkington and her daughter from anti-social behaviour and “hate crime”.

The claim submitted by the family followed reported findings by the Independent Police Complaints Commission that the Leicestershire police had failed to identify Fiona Pilkington and her daughter as being vulnerable.

Commenting on the settlement made to the family, Chief Constable Simon Cole, made a statement to the affect that this was a tragic case and he believed it hade been the right thing to do for everyone concerned and to draw a line under the litigation process.