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Lady Justice Statue

Should victims of crime with unspent convictions get compensation?

It’s a topical issue this week as the plight of Roy Larner, a declared “hero” of the London terror attacks appropriately nicknamed the “Lion of London” for his bravery, has been denied compensation for his injuries and suffering due to his criminal conviction.

Roy stepped in to save the lives of others but suffered significantly at the hands of his attackers. He was stabbed 8 times in the neck, arm and chest requiring 80 stitches and inevitably leaving him significantly physically and mentally scarred after his ordeal. Compensation would normally be payable by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which is a government fund set up to pay compensation to those who suffer at the hands of others committing violent crimes. However, it has been unveiled that since the attack Mr Larner has received two suspended sentences and as such he has unspent convictions. Under the Scheme ran by the CICA anyone with an unspent criminal conviction doesn’t meet the criteria to be able to apply for compensation.

For many this is difficult to accept in light of what he has endured and many cannot understand why he cannot submit a claim such as those pursued by his fellow victims. It’s a point that will continue to create debate and hopefully inspire campaigning to get changes to the criteria. Matters are under review by the government. However, it remains to be seen if changes will be implemented. Mr Larner himself is appealing the decision and it will be interesting to see if any information materialises to suggest that what he endured during the terror attacks and the implications that this has had for his mental health and quality of living were contributory factors to what later ensued.

Roy isn’t alone is not being able to claim compensation. Many victims of crime don’t know where to start to consider making a claim and given that Legal costs cannot be recovered from the CICA it’s often difficult to get legal advice and assistance. SHU Law are able to offer free legal advice and assistance in helping victims of crime determine if they meet the criteria of the scheme and also submitting the claim on their behalf so as to spare them from the distress of having to do this themselves.

If you or a family member have been the victim of a violent crime then please call us on 0114 225 6666 for free advice.

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