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Victims of Violent Crime - Don't Delay Your Claim for Compensation

Victims of violent crime generally have to apply for compensation within two years – however, in one exceptional case, a pensioner had her hopes of a payout boosted almost 50 years after the father of her children was knifed to death.

The 70-year-old woman was aged 21 when her partner was stabbed in the street in 1966. The man who killed him was later convicted of manslaughter and served an 18-month prison term. The traumatised woman suffered a nervous breakdown and both her children, who were very young at the time, were taken into care.

In 2008, her son lodged an application on her behalf with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. However, the claim was refused on grounds of delay and the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) later upheld that decision. It found that it would not be reasonable or in the interests of justice to waive the two-year time limit. It was no excuse that, in part due to her mental health problems, the woman had for decades been unaware of the existence of the compensation scheme.

However, in upholding an application for judicial review of that decision and directing a reconsideration of the matter, the Upper Tribunal found that the FTT had taken an inconsistent and flawed approach to the evidence. Amongst other things, the woman's lack of awareness of the scheme had wrongly been held against her and the FTT had irrationally assumed that her compensation claim in any event had little prospect of success.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.