A MAN who was abused by his mother as a child is suing Scotland’s leading charity for victims of crime, claiming it caused him to miss out on tens of thousands of pounds of compensation.

His mother was sentenced to five years in prison in 2011 for the abuse, which took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

Victim Support Scotland (VSS) subsequently helped him apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which awarded him £17,500 in May 2013, in recognition of the crimes against him.

However VSS failed to advise the man he could also claim for loss of earnings, having lost his job as an indirect result of the physical and sexual abuse.

The man, known as Victim D, found he had lost out in November 2013, when one of his two brothers – who were both also abused – was awarded a much higher amount, in an award that did include a sum for loss of earnings.

Victim D subsequently lodged a £100,000 claim against VSS for negligence.

Sheriff Peter Braid, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, has ruled the charity failed to act with “reasonable skill and care”, and rejected arguments from its lawyers that VSS was not to blame for Victim D missing out, and that the charity did not owe victims a duty of care. Victim D, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “Victim Support Scotland has a good reputation for helping victims but it really let me down with something I thought it was capable of doing.

“I also found it shocking to hear the charity argue it had no duty of care to victims when it took on their CICA cases.

“I applaud the charity for what it gets right for the thousands of people it helps every year, but it doesn’t change the fact its mistake with my case has prevented me from being able to secure the entitled means to get my life back on track.” Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard a VSS worker gave Victim D a leaflet on the services the charity proves, which included help with CICA claims.

The support group, which has an annual income of about £4 million and is 90 per cent funded by the Scottish Government, took on the victim’s compensation claim.

But when Victim D revealed his abuse resulted in a job loss the charity failed to highlight a potential loss of earnings claim in addition to the claim for the abuse itself.

When he later queried the fact he had received less than his brother, VSS asked the criminal injuries body to review the award, but CICA refused.

The hearing over Victim D’s £100,000 compensation claim has concluded, with a final sum to be determined at a future hearing.

In a written judgement, Sheriff Peter Braid ruled VSS had a duty to handle the claim with reasonable skill and care, a duty to address the loss of earnings and to help D seek to have the award reviewed. “In all of said duties, the defender failed,” he said.

A spokesman for legal firm Digby Brown, which represents Victim D, added: “Victim Support Scotland is a support group that offers lots of services for lots of people. However we believed if it accepted instructions to represent the client then it did owe him a duty of care to get it right.”

Kate Wallace, chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, said it respected the sheriff’s judgment.

She added: “As the court process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

“As a national charity our remit is to provide emotional and practical support to people who have been affected by crime across Scotland. We have been doing this successfully for the last 30 years and it is our priority to provide the highest possible quality of service.”