Monica Allan (50) from East Kilbride whose mother tried to kill her twice, has won a landmark victory against the UK Government in the Supreme Court after fighting 12 years against what was known as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Recovery Scheme (CICA) “same roof” rule.
Victims of abuse and violence by a member of their own family living under the same roof prior to 1979 were not entitled to make a claim to the CICA. The rule was to ensure that the perpetrators would not benefit from any compensation paid to the victim they lived with.
Mrs Allan made an application to the CICA as an adult but was told that she was not eligible because her crime had taken place prior to 1979. The law changed in 1979 to allow children who suffered domestic abuse to be able to bring a claim, but the law was not changed retrospectively meaning that Mrs Allan could not make a claim.
Mrs Allan was only 5 years old at the time she suffered the abuse from her mother. Elizabeth Mount was charged with attempted murder and jailed in 1976. Monica then spent the rest of her childhood in foster care.
Mrs Allan believed her human rights were being breached, because she was being deprived of support under an “unfair” rule and one that dismissed her entitlement to claim compensation for injuries sustained by a member of her own family living in the same house.
Mrs Allan’s Solicitors argued that the CICA’s decision was unlawful on the grounds that it breached her human rights.
The case was due to be heard at the Court of Appeal this month but the UK Government has now withdrawn their opposition. Mrs Allan is now able to proceed with her claim.
Mrs Allan’s Solicitors have said,
“Justice has been done here.The courts have recognised that it is discriminatory to prevent people from claiming compensation because of the same roof rule. Practically, the government still needs to amend the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme to allow other victims to claim, but in the meantime Monica is going to be able to progress her claim.”
Mrs Allen has commented:
“People won’t have to go through the emotional trauma of being knocked back under the same roof rule. I felt the rule was wrong. I found it quite offensive. My right was taken away and I found that distressing and upsetting. I am over the moon to be part of the government making that decision.”
Hopefully, this will led to other victims of family and child abuse being able to pursue claims and the Government will take steps to review the CICA Scheme.
If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a claim for damages. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcome the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094 or you can request a call back.