Case Study: £25,900 Awarded for a Criminal Injury Abuse Claim

Posted on: 7 mins read
Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

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When it comes to claiming compensation for abuse, many people don’t know the options available to them.

While civil claims are a more well-known way of getting compensation, few people know about the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), and that it may be an option for their particular case.

In fact, depending on the circumstances of the case, claiming compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can have its benefits.

It’s important to realise that, for survivors of abuse, making a CICA claim can feel intimidating, and can add unwanted stress to the process of claiming compensation, which is why it can be helpful to get the advice and support of a Solicitor.

With a strong legal team behind them, survivors will have access to support and important information about how the CICA works.

There are also certain requirements people have to meet in order for their case to be considered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which a solicitor will be able to explain.

At Simpson Millar, we’re committed to helping our clients find the best way of claiming compensation, tailored to their specific situation. We will look over the details of what happened to you and the evidence available so we can properly advise you on your options.

With this information, we’ll be able to help you make an informed decision about whether to apply to the CICA for compensation.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at a recent case study, where we were able to help our client claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for abuse he experienced when attending boarding school.

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How the CICA Works

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a scheme run by the Government which is designed to compensate survivors of violence. This includes sexual and physical abuse, similar to the experiences of our client.

As we’ve mentioned above, there are  certain eligibility criteria people have to meet before they can make a claim.

A person can be awarded compensation under the scheme if:

  • They sustained their injuries on or after 1st August 1964
  • The incident happened in Great Britain (The Scheme excludes Northern Ireland as they have their own schemes)
  • The crime has been reported to the police and the victim has cooperated with the police as far as reasonable practicable
  • An application must be made as soon as possible and within 2 years of the incident
  • Where the abuse occurred when the person is under 18 and it is reported to the police after their 18th Birthday then the application should be made within 2 years after the date of the first report to the police
  • An award can be made to the victim for either the acts of the sexual/physical abuse or a psychological injury

That is why getting legal support and advice can help survivors of abuse go down the right path when claiming compensation for their experiences, whether that’s through the CICA or through a civil claim. At Simpson Millar, we will look through the details of your case to help you decide the best way to progress.

 

The Resources Available to our Clients

We’re always here to signpost our clients to support services , to help them cope with the trauma they have experienced. There are many different ways in which people deal with abuse, which is why we’ll always make sure the advice and resources we provide are properly tailored to our clients’ experiences.

It’s essential to understand that survivors of abuse can struggle with having to recount the details of their abuse, and this process can bring up a lot of trauma and pain.

For this reason, we have a range of resources on hand to help our clients deal with these issues. From specialised therapy and support groups, we aim to make sure our clients feel supported in every way possible when they’re working with us, and once their case is over.

 

Our Client’s Situation

We recently represented Mr Wishart, who was sexually and physically abused whilst at St Thomas More’s Boarding School as a child in the 1970s.

Mr Wishart contacted us for initial advice, and we agreed to take on his claim against the potential owners of the school.

As we’ll explain in more depth later, this was a complex case, and one where our Abuse Solicitors had to  use their expertise in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our client.

 

Our Approach

At Simpson Millar, we have a team of Abuse Solicitors who are experts when it comes to dealing with claims of this nature. We understand the worries and concerns survivors may have when claiming compensation for abuse, as well as the mental health support they may need when they’re going through this process.

When dealing with these cases, we always aim to do so with sensitivity and mindfulness, so that our clients feel comfortable discussing their experiences with us. We understand that thinking about the abuse can be difficult for survivors, which is why we want to alleviate as much stress as possible.

We want to make sure that the process of claiming from the CICA is transparent and accessible as possible, so that survivors of abuse don’t have to go through additional stress and confusion when they’re claiming compensation. For this reason, we always make sure our clients know what’s happening with their case, and what they can expect going forward.

We work together with our clients at all times throughout the process of claiming compensation, to achieve the best outcome for them.

 

How We Helped

When we took on the case, we began to investigate his claim by obtaining his records and identifying a viable Defendant to pursue. We worked with our client throughout this process, making sure that we kept him updated  on the progress we were making and what was happening with his case at all times.

During our investigations, we confirmed St Thomas More’s School was privately owned and the owner was now deceased. We were also unable to identify any valid insurance policy for the period in question. Unfortunately, this meant there was not a viable Defendant for us to pursue in relation to a civil claim and we advised Mr Wishart in relation to this.

As the civil claim did not have prospects, we advised Mr Wishart about making a Criminal Injuries Claim and he instructed us to submit an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on his behalf.

After submitting the application to the CICA, the applications were split into two as there were two distinct periods of abuse by different individuals.

The CICA then rejected one of the applications on the basis there was a lack of corroborative evidence.

Joshua Hurst prepared the evidence and submitted an application to review the CICA’s decision. The evidence submitted in support of the application to review the CICA decision showed that Mr Wishart’s abusers had abused other victims, and therefore there was clearly sufficient corroborative evidence to show the abuse had happened on a balance of probabilities.

 

The Outcome

In response to the application to review the CICA’s decision, the CICA awarded £3,900. Then in relation to Mr Wishart’s second application, the CICA awarded £22,000. Both awards were accepted by Mr Wishart.

Although the abusers hadn’t been successfully prosecuted, the CICA accepted there was enough evidence to prove that the abuse had happened.

This shows that, in a situation where a survivor of historic abuse may be unable to bring a civil claim against a Defendant, they may still be able to submit a Criminal Injuries Compensation application and receive compensation for the abuse they have suffered. This case is an example of how survivors of historical abuse are able to claim compensation even decades later.

We were pleased with the outcome of this case. While it is important to stress that no amount of money will be able to  make up for the trauma and consequences of having to experience any kind of abuse, we felt that this compensation would be able help our client move on with his life as much as possible.

 

Get in Touch

If you’ve experienced sexual, physical or any other type of abuse, get in touch with our team of Abuse Solicitors.

We’re experts in this area of law, meaning we can guide and support you through the claims process and keep you updated about the progress of your case at all times.

We will work with you to help you decide which route to go down. This includes advising you about making a civil claim and the requirements and eligibility for making a CICA claim.

At Simpson Millar, we understand it can be stressful and upsetting to revisit the abuse when you’re claiming compensation, which is why our expert Abuse Solicitors are here to help by providing you with support and advice along the way.

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Joshua Hurst

Solicitor, Abuse

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Joshua works as a Solicitor in our Abuse Department, which operates under the leadership of Liam Goggin.

Joshua has been with Simpson Millar since 2019, where he started as a Paralegal in the Abuse Department, a role he stayed in for two years. His dedication and drive then led him to a position as a Trainee Solicitor, where he worked in the Industrial Disease and Military Claims Departments. His passion for representing victims of abuse made him return to the Abuse department, where he completed his training contract and began working as a Solicitor.

He takes immense pride in representing victims of abuse, deeply valuing the trust his clients place in him. Every day, he's reminded of the importance of listening attentively, acting in the clients' best interests, and guiding them through their challenging moments. Ever since he began his legal career, Joshua knew he wanted to help represent victims of abuse. It means a lot to him when clients trust him with their stories and cases. His main goal is to help his clients as much as he can, so they can start to heal and move on.

References

UK Government. (n.d.). Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/criminal-injuries-compensation-authority

UK Government. (n.d.). Criminal injuries compensation: A guide. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/criminal-injuries-compensation-a-guide

National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). (n.d.). Civil abuse claims and CICA - What am I entitled to? Retrieved from https://napac.org.uk/blog-civil-abuse-claims-and-cica-what-am-i-entitled-to/

Mr Wishart’s Feedback

  • "Solicitors for the people. I was kept informed of my case at every stage by the fantastic Mr Joshua Hurst. The company are very approachable and friendly but also dealing with my case sensitively and securely. I couldn't ask for a better firm."

    Mr Wishart

    Client

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