Criminal Injury

Man who lost eyesight after being attacked outside nightclub is awarded £19,300 in CICA compensation

man having an eyesight examination by a medical professional
5 min read time

A man who was attacked after leaving a nightclub and struck in the face with a belt buckle has been awarded £19,300 compensation after losing most of his sight in one eye in the criminal assault.

The man, who was 19 at the time, was enjoying an evening out with friends in Swindon in the summer of 2019. But at the end of the night he became the victim of a violent attack by a stranger.

“I was on my own when I left at around 3AM and I thought my friends would catch up with me. I’d only been walking for about 30 seconds when two men who I didn’t know came up to me and started swearing, shouting and being aggressive.

“I asked them to leave me alone but suddenly I was hit in the face. One of the men had wrapped his belt around his hand and hidden it behind his back.

“The blow from the buckle was really painful and everything went black; it knocked me back and I couldn’t see. He then hit me again, but I managed to cover my face with my hand,” he recalled.

His attacker then ran off leaving the 19-year-old passing out in the street; he was eventually taken to hospital by friends.

‘Everything changed that night’

Three years on from the attack the man now lives with just 20 per cent vision in his right eye and has had to give-up his ambition of joining the police.

“Everything changed that night. I really only see with one eye now and it prevents you from doing so many jobs, sports and hobbies. Because my other eye is constantly being strained, I get headaches and I can’t go into places where there are bright lights,” he said.

Following a police investigation his attacker was eventually sent to prison after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Having being the victim of a criminal assault the man was eligible to seek compensation for his lifelong injury from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a scheme set-up by the government to provide awards to innocent victims of crime. The man was eventually awarded £19,300 for his injuries.

His case was taken up by Hudgell Solicitors’ Alexandra Eldon who specialises in CICA claims following violent assaults.

‘It is another step in securing justice’

“I am pleased that CICA has made an award to my client following what was a cowardly and violent attack.

“It has had a devastating and traumatic effect on my client. To lose his sight at the age of 19 will have a huge impact on so many areas of his life and his future.

“Even though his attacker was sent to prison this CICA award acknowledges the serious consequences of that attack; it is another step in securing justice and the compensation victims are entitled to.”

Following the assault the man was taken to the accident and emergency department at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. After preliminary treatment he was told to return later that day and says he was reassured that his sight would eventually return.

“My face by then was all swollen and bruised and I still couldn’t see out of my one eye, but I thought then it would all clear up,” he said.

However, he was immediately referred to an eye clinic in Bristol and the prognosis was devastating, “The specialist just said, you’ve lost 80 per cent of your vision and it’s for the rest of your life.

“I was 19 years old; you think at that age life is fun, but it all changed there and then. I am more cautious now; I struggle day to day and there are lots of things I can no longer do. It has changed me, I’m permanently blind in that eye for the rest of my life and I worry about what might happen to my other eye.”

The man, who doesn’t wish to be named, has since had three operations and will need a further one to remove a cataract that has formed on his damaged eye. The CICA award was based on the partial loss of vision in one eye and retina damage.

Making a CICA Claim

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a violent crime, you have a right to seek compensation from CICA for those injuries.

Our dedicated Criminal Injuries team will put your interests first, making sure that your claim is dealt with in the most appropriate and effective way. We are also experienced in working with CICA to ensure you get the best compensation possible.

If you would like to speak to the team, you can fill in our online claim form now, selecting ‘Criminal Injury’ as the claim type and someone will be in touch to discuss your options.

Read more: Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

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