Our client’s CICA application was originally rejected for being out of time. On our advice she appealed. The appeal was successful and the CICA will now be paying her compensation.
If a crime is reported to the Police when the victim is a child, the rules of the criminal injuries scheme state that the victim must make an application to the CICA for compensation by their 20th birthday. If they miss that deadline they lose the right to receive compensation under the scheme.
The CICA recognises that victims of sexual abuse don’t always feel able unable to come forward within the required timescale. They therefore allow the time limit to be extended in exceptional circumstances.
However, there is often a dispute about the circumstances in which it is appropriate to exercise that discretion.
Rachel Thain of our Taunton office recently represented a woman who was sexually abused as a teenager. Although she was brave enough to report the matter to the Police at the time, her allegations were not taken seriously and no action was taken.
Unfortunately our client went on to suffer significant mental health difficulties as a result of the abuse.
After many years a number of other women, who had also suffered sexual abuse from the same man, spoke out. This resulted in the abuser being convicted in the criminal courts.
When our client discovered this, she consulted us about making a CICA claim, even though the claim was strictly out of time. We concluded that although the deadline had passed, the circumstances were ‘exceptional’ and the CICA should accept the late application. Rachel Thain, a litigation executive at our office in Taunton, Somerset who specialises in abuse claims, agreed to take the case on under a No Win – No Fee arrangement.
When we submitted the claim for compensation to the CICA the Authority decided that as the crime had first been reported to the police when our client was a child she should have made her application by her 20th birthday. The application was therefore rejected as was her subsequent review application.
We therefore lodged a formal Appeal, also on a No Win – No Fee basis. At this point we enlisted the services of a specialist barrister with a proven track record of success in CICA appeals who also worked on No Win – No Fee terms.
The Appeal was a great success. The CICA conceded that there were indeed ‘exceptional circumstances’ and agreed to extend the time limit. This means that our client is now be entitled to be compensated for the abuse she suffered as a teenager.
If you would like to talk to us about making a CICA Appeal on a No Win – No Fee basis then give our free Helpline a call or send us an email.
Find out more about the CICA compensation claims www.cicacriminalinjurysolicitors.co.uk