Upper Tribunal’s Landmark Ruling
In a landmark ruling, a 28 year old man born with severe learning difficulties after his mother was raped by her own father, has won the right to claim compensation.
The mother of the man, who for legal reasons is identified as Y, was abused by her father from the age of 11. Y was born after his mother had been raped by her biological father. As a result, Y suffers from a number of debilitating conditions. His conditions include issues with his hearing and sight, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties.
This decision by the Upper Tribunal comes 5 years after an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was rejected. This application argued that a crime of violence had directly contributed towards the personal injury sustained by Y. A further appeal to the First Tier Tribunal was also rejected.
However, Judge Levenson of the Upper Tribunal quashed the original decision, referring the case back to CICA for further analysis.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
The CICAs argument is based on the use of the phrase ‘personal injury’, whereby given its true meaning is the injury of a person. It claims that as the applicant was not a legal ‘person’ at the time the crime was committed against his mother, it is impossible to identify an injury.
The CICA also claims that that if the crime had not been committed, Y would not have existed in the first place. Its case was put forward by Ben Collins QC, who stated that ‘harm caused before birth which has consequences after birth cannot be treated as an injury to a living person’. This is mirrored in the ruling made by the Court of Appeal concerning children born with foetal alcohol syndrome.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
However, Judge Levenson argued that Y is eligible for a pay out under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS), as the scheme provided for compensation to be payable to “an applicant”.
He went on to say:
“Clearly, at the time of the claim the applicant is a person,
“There is no provision in the scheme that the applicant must have been ‘a person’ at the time that the crime of violence was committed.
“In everyday terms and in common parlance, it seems to me that he has suffered injuries.
“Those injuries have been sustained in, and are directly attributable to, a crime of violence.”
Greg Neill, head of Abuse & Criminal Injuries here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors and member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), said:
“This is a landmark ruling for individuals such as Y, those suffering from a genetic disorder as a result of a criminal act, who despite their often severe disabilities would otherwise be offered no hope of receiving compensation for their condition.
“I am hopeful that the ruling will encourage more testing of other CICA grey areas, which could potentially open more doors for claimants in the future.”
Criminal Injury – Expert Advice
We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.
However, we are here to offer you professional & friendly advice if and when you need it. We will provide you with the expert legal representation you deserve.
If you or someone you know would like expert advice on the type of case outlined above, please contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email [email protected]
Source: BBC News