England: man born disabled as a result of incest wins right to claim from CICA
A man who was born severely disabled as a result of incest has won the right to claim compensation.
The Upper Tribunal ruled that Y, 28, whose mother was raped by her father, was eligible for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Y has severe learning difficulties, epilepsy and other problems.
Five years ago his application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was rejected and so too was an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
But Judge Levenson in the Upper Tribunal has now quashed that decision and referred the case back to CICA.
He explained that the scheme provided for compensation to be paid to “an applicant” and that “Clearly, at the time of the claim the applicant is a person.”
He added: “There is no provision in the scheme that the applicant must have been ‘a person’ at the time that the crime of violence was committed.
“In everyday terms and in common parlance, it seems to me that he has suffered injuries.
“Those injuries have been sustained in, and are directly attributable to, a crime of violence.”
Counsel for CICA, Ben Collins QC, argued that the scheme required a legal person to exist at the time the crime was committed.
He referred to the Court of Appeal ruling regarding children born with foetal alcohol syndrome and argued that harm caused before birth which has effects after birth cannot be treated as an injury against a living person.
Following the case, Y’s solicitor, Malcolm Johnson, said: “This judgment is a landmark ruling for people such as my client, who previously were given no hope of receiving any compensation despite their often severe and debilitating conditions.
“The law on this type of case was thought to be settled - that is to say that a person bringing a claim to the CICA for genetic disorders caused by incestuous relationships would not be successful. This significant judgment of Judge Levenson now establishes that such a claim can be made.
“We are delighted to have achieved this result for our client, which effectively opens the door for people who have suffered genetic health problems as the result of a criminal act to seek compensation.”