Andrew Kerslake regards the settlement as ‘dirty money’ and has put it in a trust
A judge has ordered a father to give his estranged wife £100,000 from the compensation he received for suffering sexual abuse as a child.
Andrew Kerslake, 47, was given £175,000 by the Government but regarded the cash as ‘dirty money’ and put it into a trust, to be given to a charity when he dies.
But as part of her divorce settlement, his ex-wife Helen Tippett, 42, applied to a court in Wales to demand a share of the fund, claiming it was a marital asset.
After a hearing held in private, Judge Stuart Batcup ruled in Mrs Tippett’s favour. Mr Kerslake was given until tomorrow to pay a lump sum of £100,000, or risk going to jail for contempt of court.
The case can be reported after a legal battle by the Daily Mail, which was banned from the hearing despite new rules allowing accredited journalists into all levels of family courts.
Mr Kerslake said yesterday: ‘I will fight it all the way and go to jail if necessary. Helen … and her new man will spend it how they like. It’s shameful that she has even asked for the money, how can she get pleasure out of my pain and suffering?
‘It doesn’t seem right – she wasn’t the one who was abused. I will do everything I can to defend the trust for the future.’
He added: ‘The money was paid to me for what happened long before I met my wife. There is a principle here. I can’t understand how the courts can award my compensation to my ex-wife. It doesn’t make sense.’
Mr Kerslake was molested between the ages of five and ten by a family friend.
After he finally went to the police in 1998, his abuser was jailed for three years.
In 2002, he was given the £175,000 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which pays damages to victims of violent crime. He set up the Andrew Kerslake Trust to be used to help other victims of predatory paedophiles.
Mrs Tippett has argued that she needs the money to buy a property for herself and her two youngest children – despite now living with her new partner
By the time of the hearing the fund had grown to £200,000 and the judge ordered the money be split equally between the pair. Mr Kerslake, who has waived his right to anonymity as a sex abuse victim, was too ill to attend the hearing at the Family Court in Pontypridd, South Wales, on May 25.
Mrs Tippett attended and argued she needed the money to buy a property for herself and her two youngest children, even though she is living with new partner Jarrod Williams.
Mr Kerslake said: ‘My wife wanted to spend the lot, she wanted a beautiful house, she had all sorts of ways of spending it. But to me it is dirty money. I was abused over 500 times, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and nothing could compensate me for that.’
Mrs Tippett and Mr Kerslake were happily married when the compensation was granted.
The hearing was held at the Family Court in Pontypridd, South Wales (pictured)
Mrs Tippett was studying for a humanities degree at university and Mr Kerslake, who walks with crutches after hurting his back in a fall, was raising their four children.
Their 19-year marriage ended six years ago and Mr Kerslake has become estranged from his children, aged between seven and 22. He lives alone in a housing association bungalow in Llanharan, a village near Bridgend in south Wales, while Mrs Tippett works part-time in a church breakfast club.
The judge barred the press from the court, claiming the publicity was not in the interests of the couple’s children, who could read reports of the proceedings on the internet.
Mr Kerslake has been given leave to appeal the result and a hearing will be held later this year.
Mrs Tippett refused to comment on the case.