He was on a London night bus with his friend when he was approached and threatened with a knife by another passenger, who objected to his jovial behaviour. Following a verbal altercation a scuffle ensued and Mr B was stabbed twice through the heart. As a result of this, he suffered a deficit of oxygen to the brain and catastrophic injuries. Mr B, who was only 25 years old at the time of that incident, survived this ordeal but was left blind, with a serious cognitive impairment, in a wheelchair and unable to ever walk again or coordinate his limbs. He now requires round the clock care.
Mr B’s family submitted an application for compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). This is a Government scheme set up to compensate blameless victims of intentional violent crime.
The CICA refused to make any award to Mr B citing his conduct as their reason for withholding an award. As the CICA is a Government funded scheme the maximum amount of compensation that can ever be awarded is £500,000. Furthermore, an award can be withheld in its entirety because of a victim’s conduct.
Because of the specific circumstances of this incident, Mr B’s family were unable to find any solicitors, who were willing to represent him, in his claim. They had been advised by other solicitors that, because it was alleged Mr B was under the influence of alcohol, provoked the assailant and racially taunted him, the case was hopeless.
Joanna Mackiewicz at Levenes disagreed with the analysis of those Firms and took the matter on.
An appeal was lodged with the First-tier Tribunal (CIC) and Directions obtained requiring the CICA to obtain additional documentation, which proved helpful to Mr B’s case.
At the final hearing Kevin McManamon’s robust arguments persuaded the Tribunal that the assailant’s reaction to Mr B’s behaviour was grossly disproportionate and that at worst a reduction should be applied rather than no award granted. The Tribunal agreed and Mr B received 50% of the maximum award that the Tribunal was able to order under the CICA scheme.
Mr B was awarded £250,000.00, which of course will not compensate him for the horrific injuries suffered in this incident but will improve the quality of his life.
Joanna Mackiewicz and Kevin McManamon had day to day conduct of Mr B’s claim and Kevin McManamon represented him at the Tribunal hearing.
*Name withheld to protect the identity of our client.