When The CICA Get It Wrong
A recent news story has emerged that a victim of the Rotherham sex scandal has been refused compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) on the basis that she had not been “manipulated”.
Sammy Woodhouse was only 14 years old when she was a victim of grooming and sexual abuse at the hands of one of three brothers who were involved in offences against more than 50 girls, including Ms Woodhouse. The man, 24-year-old Arshid Hussain was jailed in 2016 for a period of 35 years for committing 23 offences including rape and assault.
The CICA had originally refused to pay compensation in Ms Woodhouse’s case, providing a finding which stated “I am not satisfied that your consent was falsely given as a result of being groomed by the offender”, and continuing to say, “The evidence does not indicate that you were manipulated or progressively lured into a false relationship.”
The suggestion that Ms Woodhouse in some way consented to those heinous crimes and had not been the same victim that had resulted in a jury finding Mr Hussain guilty and subsequently being sentenced to 35 years in prison, demonstrates a total lack of compassion towards Ms Woodhouse and understanding of the CICA scheme on the part of the CICA.
A journalist from the BBC has asked the CICA for their response. The CICA referred the BBC to a statement made in the House of Commons by Secretary of State for Justice, David Liddington MP.
The statement said: “CICA has decided to mount an urgent re-examination of its own internal guidelines, in particular to make sure that there is no risk that a child could be disqualified from compensation because they had been groomed.”
It is very important to remember that the CICA are a Government Funded organisation whose staff will be given guidelines, targets and budgets to meet in order to mitigate the compensation that has to be paid out. There have been many changes in respect of the types and severities of injuries that are required in order to qualify for a payment of compensation over the years. Those changes have meant that the threshold of the injuries required has increased, thereby making it more difficult to make a successful claim. That said, this latest news story identifies that there is a clear business like mentality within the organisation that seriously needs to be addressed. It is clear that this case will not sit well with those victims who could be entitled to compensation from the CICA scheme, yet are reluctant to pursue the matter given the nature of what can often be a very sensitive and emotional crime that have resulted in injuries.
If you have been the innocent victim of a crime of violence and you have sustained physical or psychological injuries, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the CICA.
Contact Michael Lewin Solicitors for a free no obligation discussion as to how we can help.
Article Written By
Head of Criminal Injury
Call 0113 200 9787 to speak to one of our criminal injury team.