Clever detective work by lawyer wins CICA compensation claim

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 09:16 -- Slee Blackwell

A call to our free CICA Helpline and a clever piece of detective work by specialist lawyer Elizabeth Duncan were enough to secure a compensation payment to a victim of historic abuse
Our popular CICA Helpline was contacted by a woman who had suffered a very disrupted and challenging childhood.
Her mother had been unable to care for her properly and she was the subject of interventions from Social Services from a young age. While she was a still a child of primary school age her mother began a relationship with a neighbour. This neighbour was invited to “punish”  her and these “punishments” took the form of serious and repeated sexual assaults. She was eventually removed from her mother’s care and looked after by foster parents.
In the mid 1990s, she felt able to confide in her foster family and tell them about the horrific sexual abuse she had suffered. With the help of her foster family and social worker, she reported the abuse to the police. She underwent medical examination and was interviewed by police officers. However unfortunately the neighbour could not be traced and no prosecution was possible.
She believed that there was nothing else she could do to achieve justice, but having heard about our work on behalf of abuse victims online she decided to get in touch, calling our free CICA Helpline. Specialist abuse lawyer Elizabeth Duncan agreed to help with an application to the government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority CICA scheme  on a No Win No Fee basis. 
The CICA is a government scheme designed to compensate the innocent victims of violent crime, including abuse. Where the offences occur in childhood, and the police are also involved before the person turns 18, applications must generally be made by the applicant’s 20th birthday. Our client was in her 30s by the time she contacted us, but Elizabeth felt confident that the usual deadline could be overcome and therefore an application was submitted to the CICA as quickly as possible.
Elizabeth obtained the client's medical records which showed that her childhood abuse had caused long-running psychological difficulty. These records were used to support the argument for an extension to the usual deadline for making the CICA application. 
It is a requirement of the CICA scheme that offences are reported to the police and the onus is on the applicant to prove this. Unfortunately the police could not locate the records of their earlier investigation. However Elizabeth obtained the client's Social Services records and found within them a handwritten note from a social worker describing how she had accompanied our client to her police interview. This note included the name of the officer and the police station. 
This clever piece of detective work enabled Elizabeth to successfully argue that this was sufficient evidence to satisfy the requirements of the CICA scheme. This led to the CICA making an offer of compensation which our client accepted.
She was delighted with the outcome, saying she felt a huge sense of relief that an official government body had “heard and believed” her. She said that she felt it was an important step to being able to move on with her life. 
If you have suffered abuse in the past and are looking for an experienced lawyer to help you on a No Win, No Fee basis, then call our free CICA Helpline on 0808 139 1597 or send an email to us at

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