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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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Jobsworth or Cynical Cost Saving?
Body Painting1

Having gone from being normally sighted to partially sighted to legally blind (in my case due to having Retinitis Pigmentosa), I can certainly empathize with Stephen Menary.  He was blinded by an IRA bomb in 2001 at the age of 14.  The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) have made a judgement on the compensation for the injuries he suffered as a result of the crime that clearly disregards the impact on his life from being blinded.   He suffered other terrible injuries as well.




Prior to the bomb blast Stephen had one good eye (hence he was registered as partially sighted).  However the quality of life for him was close to that of a normally sighted person, as Stephen himself testifies.  Consequently the impact on his life has been almost equivalent to that of a normally sighted person being blinded. 


However for the loss of vision Stephen has been awarded ‘£22,000 instead of the £110,000 victims who are blinded normally receive’.  It is perfectly obvious that the guideline relating to  compensation for the loss of 1 eye is based on the premise that the victim had 2 eyes before the crime, and that the guideline for being blinded is based on the premise that the victim was not blind before the crime (which includes normally and partially sighted people).  The spokesperson from CICA statated that they ‘take pre-existing conditions into account when assessing a claim’.  I would like to see how CICA could substantiate that statement.  Personally I don’t believe it.  I would hazard a guess that this came abut either because some ‘jobswarth’ assessed the claim, who felt that it was not appropriate to exercise some brain power and make a rational judgement, or a cynical cost saving exercise, observing the ‘letter of the law’ rather than the ‘spirit of the law’.  Odds on the latter.


I am glad to note that Stephen will be appealing against the award.  I wish him every success.