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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> ABC v West Heath 2000 Ltd & Anor  EWHC 2687 (QB) (23 September 2015)
Cite as:  EWHC 2687 (QB),  ELR 1,  PIQR Q2
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|- and -
|West Heath 2000 Limited
|- and -
|Part 20 Defendant / Third Party
Adam Weitzman (instructed by Berrymans Lace Mawer) for the Defendant
Johnathan Payne (instructed by Whitehead Monckton) for the Part 20 Defendant/Third Party
Crown Copyright ©
Sir Robert Nelson :
The development of the relationship between the Claimant and Mr Whillock
i) On 27 December 2009 Mr Whillock texted the Claimant asking if she had sent something as nothing had come through. Shortly afterwards a photograph of the Claimant in her underwear and topless was sent. Mr Whillock's reply was "Hello Princess. That's really beautiful. Thank you. So now go to sleep all snug with lots of hugs." Mr Whillock said in evidence that he did not arrange beforehand for the photograph to be sent in spite of his question to the Claimant as to whether she had just sent him something but nothing had come through. He said that he responded "That's really beautiful" because she said she needed plastic surgery and he was reassuring her and protecting her modesty. This answer did not inspire confidence in Mr Whillock's ability to give his evidence in an honest and truthful manner.
ii) On 1 January 2010 the Claimant sent a photograph of herself naked with a close up of her genitals and Mr Whillock replied "That's really lovely. Night night Princess x".
iii) On 5 January 2010 after four photographs of her either in her underwear or naked over the previous 4 days, she sent a message to Mr Whillock stating "here's wat u ordered x" together with a photograph of her genitals. Mr Whillock replied "That's so lovely. Can I kiss it one day? x Okay we'll take that as yes! Meanwhile you can use your imagination to send me some more when you want." Mr Whillock accepted in evidence that this response was shaming and inappropriate. He had, he said, in relation to his responses to the photographs of the Claimant's genitals, lost the point or sight of the person behind the image. It just became a sexual photograph to him which aroused him because he was drunk. He denied that he had had specifically asked for the indecent photographs though he couldn't say he didn't encourage her as he gave her ambiguous messages. He claimed in evidence that on each occasion after the indecent images had been sent he told the Claimant that it was inappropriate and that she must stop. There is however no reference to this in the texts either directly or indirectly; indeed approval of the images is there, not disapproval When the Claimant said "wat u ordered" she was not, she said in evidence, responding to his earlier request for snow scenes rather than the pictures of her genitals. The Claimant said that she sent him what he requested. There is nothing in the texts to suggest that Mr Whillock was requesting photographs of snow scenes, on the contrary he specifically asks the Claimant to use her imagination to send him some more photographs in response to her sending him a photograph of her genitals.
iv) On 6 January 2010 the Claimant sent a photograph of herself topless in the bath and another one of her naked. Mr Whillock replied "Mmmmm x" Mr Whillock said in evidence he thought this was referring to a meal which the Claimant had cooked. Another answer which did not inspire confidence in his truthfulness. Nor did his answer that he was supporting her self image and affirming her sense of self worth and value.
The Alleged Rape.
The effect upon the Claimant
The extent of the sexual abuse.
The Claimant's evidence
The Third Party's evidence
• He lied when he said that the emails began in 2009 not 2007
• He lied when he said that the reference to a lady carrying out a massage rather than a man was just a joke
• He lied when he said that his meetings with the Claimant were professional when in fact he was grooming her and encouraging indecent images to be sent to him
• He lied when he said that his description of a photograph of herself naked as "really beautiful" was about her fears of the need for plastic surgery and to protect her self image
• He lied when he said that he wanted and asked for photographs of more snow scenes
• He lied when he said he told her to stop – in fact he continued encouraging her
• He lied when he said that he'd asked Mrs Wells for permission to continue making late night calls
• He lied when he said that he asked her parents for permission to make those calls
• He lied when he said that nothing "inappropriate" had happened to her to Mrs Wells
• He lied to the police when he said he'd never encouraged the Claimant to send indecent photographs.
These lies were about what he had done and what he had intended to do and what had happened. In other words lies which go to the heart of the principal issues in this case.
The Rhodes Claim
Pain suffering loss of amenity
Loss of earnings
Pain suffering and loss of amenity £35,000
Handicap on the labour market £10,000
Psychological treatment £ 6,370