Client Z approached Farleys having attempted to bring a CICA claim herself.
Client Z had suffered terrible abuse during childhood. She was initially raped at the age of 12 and half and was raped on two more occasions and suffered further sexual abuse at the hands of her brother in law.
As with many abuse victims Client Z had had a difficult life with psychiatric problems resulting from the abuse necessitating counselling. She was only mentally strong enough to report the matter to the Police and assist in their investigations in January of 2012.
As with many victims, Client Z did not wish to do anything that may prejudice the criminal proceedings against her abuser. The last thought on her mind was a claim for compensation. She fully cooperated with the Police. It took until March 2014 for the criminal proceedings to conclude and for her abuser to be sentenced to 13 years in prison.
It was only when he had been successfully convicted that she considered the possibility of a claim for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Within 8 weeks of the criminal proceedings concluding she submitted her claim.
Farleys became involved when the claim was refused by the CICA under paragraph 88 of the Scheme.
88(1)(b) of the Scheme states:-
“Where the Applicant was a child under the age of 18 on the date of the incident giving rise to the criminal injury the application must be sent by the Applicant so that it is received by the Authority in the case of an incident reported to the police on or after the Applicant’s 18th birthday within two years after the date of the first report to the Police in respect of the incident”.
It took longer than two years for the Police to investigate the matter and bring the offender to justice.
Farleys took on the case for the Applicant and argued that the CICA’s stance was wholly unreasonable and that paragraph 88(1)(b) was prejudicial to Applicants who prioritised the conviction of the offender above their own right to compensation. Applicant’s medical records were obtained and considered and evidence sought from her GP as to the impact of the sexual abuse on her psychological state. A Review Application was prepared and submitted and on the basis of our representations the CICA were persuaded to award compensation of £22,000 to Client Z.
The CICA were recently taken to the Court of Appeal because one of their rules was incompatible with the Human Rights Act. The “same roof” rule prevented claims from people abused prior to 1979 who were living under the same roof as their abuser at the time.
It is hoped that there will now be further precedents such as Client Z’s which will also show that rule 88(1)(b) is also unjust and should be amended.
This claim was dealt with Jonathan Bridge who heads the Abuse Team at Farleys.
If you have been injured as a result of historical sexual abuse and are interested in submitting a claim please do not hesitate to contact our team of experts.