Specialist Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Secure Judgment For Survivor Allowing Him To Have Application For CICA Compensation Reconsidered
A man refused compensation after being sexually abused as a child will have his case reconsidered following a successful landmark Court of Appeal judgement.
The man, who was groomed at the age of 12, made an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a government body set up to compensate victims of violent crime. However, he was refused compensation on the grounds that the crimes against him weren’t classed as “crimes of violence” under the CICA’s scheme.
Following the decision the man in his 20s from the home counties instructed specialist public law and human rights lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate. The man was groomed when he was a child and was told not to tell anyone about it. This took place over several months.
The Court of Appeal has today handed down judgment ruling the threats the man was subjected to as part of the abuse caused him fear of immediate violence. It means his case can now be reconsidered by the CICA.
Expert Opinion“The last nine years have been very difficult and traumatic for our client and his family. This judgment comes as a huge relief and means our client can now have his application reconsidered by the CICA and hopefully can focus on putting the last few years behind him and rebuilding his life. The judgement also has widespread implications for many other people in the country who can seek compensation for crimes of abuse committed against them.” Lisa Richardson - Solicitor
Following the initial decision to refuse him compensation, the man requested a review.
The First Tier Tribunal, which hears CICA appeals, stated it was not satisfied the threats caused the man to fear immediate violence and the crimes in question also did not meet the criteria of a physical attack or a sexual assault. During an appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the decision was upheld.
During a Court of Appeal hearing Irwin Mitchell argued the Upper Tribunal was incorrect in determining the man was not the victim of a crime of violence in the form of a threat. Lawyers questioned whether “a threat against a person, causing fear of immediate violence” which refers to the criminal offence of common assault in the law of England and Wales, should be given a narrower interpretation under the CICA scheme than under the common law.
In handing down judgment, the Court of Appeal found that the First Tier Tribunal should have concluded that the man was the subject of threats which met the requirements of the CICA scheme. The Court of Appeal determined the Tribunal was wrong to say the victim had to fear immediate violence at the time the threat was made, and that he needed to know the exact form of violence which was being threatened.
In the Court of Appeal judgment Lady Justice Nicola Davies, with Lord Justice Phillips and Lady Justice Carr, today ruled “there is no cogent reason to find that Parliament intended the scheme to take a narrower approach to the requirement of ‘fear of immediate violence’ than that contained in the common law.”
Lisa Richardson of Irwin Mitchell added: “It is important that the human rights of survivors of abuse are fully respected. This is an important case as it provides further clarity on when a victim of crime may be eligible for compensation. This will hopefully mean that many other survivors of abuse won’t have to go through such a case in the future to establish they’re a victim of a crime of violence under the national CICA scheme.
“We look forward to our client’s application being reconsidered and seeing him move forward with his future ambitions.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting survivors of abuse, including historic abuse, at our dedicated abuse and criminal injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0808 256 1200.