Ex- Army Cadet Leader, Stephen Finnigan, sentenced to 29.5 years | Bolt Burdon Kemp Ex- Army Cadet Leader, Stephen Finnigan, sentenced to 29.5 years | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Ex- Army Cadet Leader, Stephen Finnigan, sentenced to 29.5 years

Stephen Finnigan, age 63, has today been sentenced to 29 years and 6 months’ imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court for 29 sexual offences against boys between the ages of 11-14. Finnigan groomed and sexually abused young boys over a 12-year period abusing his position of trust as an army cadet officer.

Finnigan was convicted in November 2023 for crimes committed between 1980 and 1992 and has been in prison awaiting his sentence.

I was at court today on behalf of my client as Finnigan was sentenced. Finnigan attended the hearing from prison via video link. We heard from the Crown Prosecution Service and from some of the survivors directly who gave victim impact statements to the Court. Finnigan continued to deny his crimes. The words of the survivors of Finnigan’s abuse rang with great weight in the courtroom today as they shared about the impact of Finnigan’s crimes on them. While Finnigan had to be muted and shook his head throughout the hearing, it felt very important that Finnigan was required to listen.

The sentencing judge remarked that the survivors have gone through a long criminal process which ultimately led to a jury finding Finnigan guilty. The sentencing judge, addressing Finnigan directly, stated, “You were a determined predator who abused your position of trust and responsibility and power.” The judge told Finnigan that he believed Finnigan presents a “significant risk of serious harm to the public.”

Today’s sentencing hearing was for Finnigan’s crimes against 5 individuals, but it is also a reminder to survivors of abuse, even historic abuse, that you can still come forward. These 5 survivors have been incredibly strong to have reported Finnigan to police and pursued the criminal proceedings to conclusion. I hope that today’s hearing offers them encouragement and is another step in their paths to recovery and justice.

A sentencing hearing is often the conclusion to criminal proceedings and can give survivors of sexual assault and abuse a way to find some closure. However, it is so important that survivors know that they may also be able to seek compensation for the abuse that they suffered.  Compensation can’t change what happened or the gravity of how abuse impacts a person, but what it can do is give survivors of abuse resources for their recovery journey. Compensation can provide funds for mental health treatment and acknowledgment of financial losses both past and future all while keeping the survivor the centre of the story.

If you have been a survivor of abuse either by Finnigan or someone else and would like to have a free conversation with a solicitor to get some help and advice, please do reach out. We are a specialist team of abuse solicitors, and we only represent victims and survivors of abuse. We can speak with you about your legal options for a civil claim for compensation on a no-win no-fee basis. Whether you’ve already told someone about abuse that you experienced, or if you’ve never told anyone before, we are compassionate listeners and experienced solicitors.

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