‘Dirty money’ to be given to wife
AUK JUDGE has ordered a man to give his estranged wife £100 000 (R1.7 million) from the compensation he received for suffering sexual abuse as a child.
Andrew Kerslake, 47, was given £175 000 by the government but regarded it 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, a judge ruled in Tippett’s favour and Kerslake was given 24 hours to pay a lump sum of £100 000, or risk going to jail for contempt of court.
However, Kerslake is not giving the money easily and has vowed to fight the judgment.
“I will fight it all the way and go to jail if necessary. Helen is money-grabbing – she and her new man will spend it how they like. It’s shameful she has even asked for the money, how can she get pleasure out of my pain?
“It doesn’t seem right – she wasn’t the one who was abused. I will do everything I can to defend the trust.
“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.”
Kerslake was molested between the ages of 5 and 10 by a family friend.
He finally went to the police in 1998 and his abuser was jailed for three years.
In 2002, Kerslake 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.
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.
Kerslake, who waived his right to anonymity as a sex abuse victim, was too ill to attend the hearing. However, his ex-wife attended and “argued she needed the money to buy a property for herself and her two youngest children, even though she is living with a new partner”.
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 for that.”
Both Tippett and Kerslake were married when the compensation was granted.
Tippett was studying for a humanities degree at university and while Kerslake, who now walks with crutches after hurting his back in a fall, was raising their four children.
Their 19-year marriage ended six years ago and Kerslake has become estranged from his children, aged between 7 and 22. He lives alone while Tippett works part-time in a church breakfast club.
The judge barred the media 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.
Kerslake has been given leave to appeal against the result and a hearing will be held later this year. Tippett, on the other hand, refused to comment on the matter.
‘How can she get pleasure out of my pain?’