Criminal Injury Solicitors: Court allows historic sex abuse victim to pursue claim
Abuse lawyer Liz Duncan welcomes an important court ruling which allows abuse survivors to bring CICA criminal injury claims aoutside the ususal time limits; even where a previous application has failed.
A judge has decided that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) should allow a victim of sexual assault to appeal a decision made in 1997 that denied him compensation.
The applicant in the case of R (on the application of CICA) v First-Tier Tribunal (CIC) & MB  EWHC 2745 had been sexually abused from 10 years of age through to the age of 14. He made an application for compensation to the CICA in 1997 which was refused because the CICA said he had not taken reasonable steps to help bring his abuser to justice. Some years later the applicant sought to have his claim reopened so that the 1997 decision to refuse him compensation could be appealed.
The tribunal judge considered the current legal system in relation to civil law cases of historic sexual abuse. The judge noted that account is taken of the fact that delay can be caused by the psychological impact of the abuse on the victim and therefore ordered that the claim should be re-opened.
The CICA sought judicial review of this decision. Thankfully for the abuse survivor the judicial review application was dismissed. The tribunal judge was found to have properly weighed the prejudice caused to the CICA and focused on the key issue, which was the non-co-operation of the applicant in bringing his abuser to justice. The tribunal judge was correct to take the up-to-date position of the civil legal system relating to historic sex abuse into account when considering the CICA claim.
This is a positive step for survivors of sexual abuse as it recognises the difficulties that they can face in dealing with what has happened to them in the past and feeling able to disclose details to the police and other authorities.
We are criminal injury solicitors and have a team of specialist abuse lawyers who are experienced at dealing with CICA claims which are outside the usual time limits to be brought or appealed.
We can usually deal with CICA claims on a “no win no fee” basis.
We operate a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL criminal injury helpline. Just call us on freephone 0800 037 8020 for a chat.
Alternatively you can email one of our specialist abuse lawyers at email@example.com