CICA and eligibility despite other convictions

The claimant successfully applied for judicial review of a decision of the defendant panel to refuse to award him damages for criminal injuries. M had been kidnapped and assaulted by his wife and others.

M made an application for criminal injuries compensation but that application was refused by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. He had meanwhile pleaded guilty to unconnected benefit fraud and been sentenced to a conditional discharge. In addition, evidence was adduced that M had made a false declaration in a mortgage application.

The panel had refused to award M any damages as (a) it regarded benefit fraud as a very serious offence particularly when M was asking the public to compensate him from the public purse; (b) his convictions were recent; (c) it was dissatisfied with M's evidence regarding the mortgage application. 

HELD: In the circumstances of the case, where the panel failed to give any reasons for its departure from the guidelines, the decision to refuse M any compensation was inappropriate. M's benefit fraud was not extensive and further it was not clear to what use his mortgage application had been put, R -v- Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Ex Parte Thompstone 1 WLR 1234 applied.

R (on the application of Mahmood) -v- The Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Panel (2005)

Six year limitation on Assault

A general reminder: this applies in any assault/battery/rape case against the assailant.(see eg A -v- Hoare in last month’s Law Bulletin)

Protection from Harassment Act cases

The six-year limitation applies here too against the harasser or anyone else sued under the Act.

There is a useful overview of these cases in the latest news  letter and in PILJ November 2005 . Both discuss the potential floodgates opening after Majrowski -v- Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Trust for any action involving more than one insensitive act by an employer to an employee.

Some cases have apparently been stayed pending the appeal to the House of Lords.

PTSD cases

Some thoughts on cases run on the basis those with PTSD should have been treated earlier.

  • The case of Melville -v- Home Office, CA (Feb ’05 Law Bulletin) is authority for the proposition that, if you have internal standards for pro-active medical treatment for inherently stressful jobs, then you should use them.
  • The case of New etc -v- MOD (October ’05 Law Bulletin) is a High Court authority  for a claim for an employer’s failure to diagnose and treat PTSD.
  • Clare Mellor at Congress House has obtained guidelines for treatment of PTSD by Government agency NICE. It recommends early intervention after severe incidents with a potential for PTSD. It does not recommend de-briefing but is in favour of cognitive behavioural therapy and other treatments. This can be found at:

All of this will, we hope, be of use, in cases for local government or emergency service employees with severe PTSD.