Case Summary


Citation 1994  QBD  Unreported 
Decision Date 18/10/1994
Scheme Pre-tariff Schemes
Paragraph Number 6(c)
Keywords Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 1990 – Paragraph 6(c) – Eligibility – Compensation - Conduct - Applicant’s criminal convictions – Convictions post dating interim award - Convictions unrelated to injuries
Headnote Summary of decision The applicant was found eligible for a full award and granted an interim award by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board pending further medical evidence and prognosis. By the time the Board reconsidered the matter 4 years later, he had criminal convictions. The Board disallowed any further award applying paragraph 6(c) of the Scheme. The Court upheld the Board’s decision: there is no requirement under paragraph 6(c) for the criminal convictions to be connected to the injuries sustained. Facts The Applicant (‘T’) was subjected to a crime of violence aged 11. A piece of metal was thrown at him and totally blinded him in his left eye. At a hearing before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (‘The Board’), T was found eligible for a full award and granted an interim payment of £12,500 as no medical prognosis was then available. The matter was to be adjourned for 2-3 years for the requisite medical evidence. At that time T had no criminal convictions. The matter came back before the Board 4 years later, by which time T had a number of convictions. The Board, in applying paragraph 6(c) of the Scheme and considering T’s convictions, concluded it would be inappropriate to make any further award. In their reasons, the Board stated: “The fact that the convictions occurred after the incident which caused his injury was in our view irrelevant in the plain terms of the Scheme”. T sought judicial review of that decision on the grounds that it was unfair (i) because the criminal convictions were unrelated to T’s injuries, (ii) at the time of his injury he had no criminal convictions and (iii) if the matter had proceeded as the Board intended, namely within 2 to 3 years, T would have been free of criminal convictions. It was submitted that the Board misdirected themselves in taking into account what happened subsequently and that there needed to be a connection between the injury sustained and the criminal conviction complained of. Held, dismissing the application (1) The plain reading of paragraph 6(c), namely the words ‘criminal convictions”, makes it clear that the drafters of the Scheme did not intend that the criminal convictions should in fact be related to the particular injury sustained. (2) The purpose behind the Scheme must necessarily be that those who are involved in criminal activity should not receive money from the public purse for an injury which they have sustained (R v CICB ex parte Thompstone & Crowe [1984] 3 AER 572 considered). The time of this must relate to the payment of the award rather than to receipt of the injury itself. (3) It was a matter entirely within the Board’s discretion not to award further compensation. The Board could have withdrawn the original interim payment had they chosen to do so. Their interpretation of paragraph 6(c) was perfectly proper. Parts of scheme and other legislation referred to in judgment 1990 Scheme, paragraph 6(c) Cases referred to in judgment R v CICB ex parte Thompstone & Crowe [1984] 3 AER 572 Representation Mr A Georges instructed by Canter Levin & Berg for the Applicant Mr M Kent instructed by the Treasury Solicitor for the Respondent
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