Criminal Injury

Victim of serial sex attacker receives £77,000 increase in damages as criminal injuries case is reopened

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Rebecca Pick

Senior Litigation Executive

4 min read time

A victim of a serial sex offender who was convicted of offences against nine people has been awarded £77,000 damages through a Government scheme which compensates victims of abuse.

The man, now 42, was sexually abused between the ages of 13 and 15 by Colin Waterfield, of Norwich. He who jailed, at the age of 70, for 21 years in 2017, having been found guilty of rape and sexual assaults on eight children and an adult.

Following Waterfield’s conviction, the victim was advised by police to seek a medical reopening of his case with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which had previously awarded him just £1,000 in damages in 1996, when his mother had made an application.

Now, following representations on his behalf by Hudgell Solicitors, the Norwich man has now been awarded a further £77,000 in damages, based on being classed in the severe category of sexual abuse crimes.

His continuing struggles with severe anxiety and depression, and symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which have left him unable to work for close to ten years, were taken into consideration.

He also continues to suffer from flashbacks and suicidal thoughts, and for a periods of time has been left homeless and dependent on alcohol and drugs.

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‘I never expected to be awarded this much, it will be a huge help’

Now living with his partner, and a father, the man says the damages award will have a hugely positive impact on their life.

Nothing can ever take away what happened to me, but this compensation award will make a big difference for me and my family as everything has been a struggle,

It will help us pay the bills, heat the home and take some of the pressure off us, pressure which all stems from the continuing impact of what happened to me.

I never expected to get an award like this, as these things don’t seem to happen to me, but this is a tremendous help. It obviously can’t change things, but it is some recognition of the impact on my life, and some form of closure too.

Medical reopening of case allowed for new evidence to be considered

Rebecca Pick, a specialist in making claims for compensation to the CICA on behalf of innocent victims of assault and abuse, said: “Under the CICA scheme, applications to reopen and review a damages award can be made if a medical condition, caused by the assault or abuse, worsens over the subsequent years.

This is an important aspect of CICA compensation cases as it can often take several years for mental health problems to fully manifest, and that could mean an initial award no longer reflects justice for the victim.

By reopening this case, CICA were able to review the case in light of viewing our client’s full medical records, and having received a report from a clinical psychologist who highlighted persistent and disabling symptoms linked to the offences against him.

These symptoms have restricted him academically and occupationally, and affected his personal relationships. The new compensation reflects this, and includes funds to cover the cost of therapy sessions.

He continues to have many difficult days and he told us that sometimes it still all becomes too much for him, so much so that he can lock himself away for days at a time.

This award far from an end for him, it never is for anyone who has suffered such horrific abuse. However, he has moved to try to have a fresh start with his partner and child, and we hope this helps give him that.

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