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A former Solicitor General calls for offenders to be forced to declare their significant financial changes

Date: (21 June 2012)    |    

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After the victim, of Edward Putman the £4.5million Lottery winner, planned to launch compensation claim against her offender Vera Baird former Solicitor General called for all sexual offender to be forced to declare any significant changes in their financial position so that victims could claim compensation from them.
The woman, who was 17 at the time of the 1991 attack, had come to know about his life-changing win, in 2009, only when he was taken to court for benefit fraud.
Mrs Baird, who was Solicitor General from 2007 to 2010, said victims often, had no way of knowing attackers circumstances having had changed. She said offenders should have to make a declaration if they suddenly come into money above a certain limit.
She said making a claim needed to be simplified, as there was no way a victim could go back to the criminal court and seek compensation years after the event.
Seeking legal aid to claim compensation against someone who have come into riches by fluke would be a very hard task at the moment she said.
Rape campaigner Jill Saward warned too few victims were aware of the limitation period for launching civil cases and might miss out on adding to the 'pitiful' payouts from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. In the instant case in news, Putman's victim received just £4,000.
She said that there should not be any time limit on claims because the consequences of rape lasts with no time limit.
Putman’s victim is able to chase compensation because of a change in law secured three years ago by the sex attack victim of another lottery winner, Iorworth Hoare. It swept away a six-year time limit on claims against sexual offenders.
Hoare attacked Shirley Woodman, 83, who waived her anonymity, in 1988.
Mrs Woodman went to court to overturn the law that was preventing her from seeking a share of his win.
The case went all the way to the House of Lords where it was decided judges should have the discretion to extend the time-limit to make a compensation claim in serious assault cases.
He eventually paid an undisclosed five-figure sum in an out-of-court settlement, which Mrs Woodman gave to charity. He also paid an estimated £1million in legal costs.