ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
(HHJ EDWARD JACOBS)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| HUTTON & ORS
- and -
CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION AUTHORITY
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
The Respondent did not appear and was not represented.
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Rix:
"An application for compensation under this scheme in respect of criminal injury ... must be made in writing on a form obtainable from the Authority. It must be made as soon as possible after the incident giving rise to the injury and must be received by the Authority within two years of the date of the incident. A claims officer may waive this time limit where he considers that, by reason of the particular circumstances of a case, it is reasonable and in the interests of justice to do so."
I will also refer to paragraph 19 of the scheme, which states:
"It will be for the applicant to make out his case, including ... making out his case for a waiver of the time limit in the preceding paragraph."
"In your case, because of the delay in sending us the application, we have been unable to get police information to confirm the facts surrounding the incident in which the deceased was involved."
As I understand the facts, that was not the case, because Mr Hutton had obtained the police files; and indeed, it was his difficulty in getting hold of the underlying material to enable him, as he understood the matter, to make the claim which had been in large part responsible for the delay.
"Having heard the oral evidence at the hearing, I would have given permission to apply for judicial review if I could properly do so. I have not been able to find a reason that would allow me to give permission, and these are the reasons."
The judge stated the test that he had set himself as being this:
"The question I have asked myself is: could the First-tier Tribunal properly have waived the time limit in the circumstances of this case?"
The question that the Upper Tribunal set itself was not, as it often is in judicial review, can it be shown that the decision of the underlying decision-maker was perverse; but the very reverse of that question, could the First-Tier Tribunal properly have waived the time limit in the circumstances of this case, and he answered that question in the negative. He said that the First-Tier Tribunal could not properly have come to a different conclusion; he said so despite accepting, as he stated in his decision:
"... everything that I was told orally and in writing about the impact of Abraham's death on his family and about the steps that Vincent Hutton took to find out what exactly had happened. I accept that Vincent was the only person whose mental state allowed him to take action in respect of himself, his mother and his sister ... I am satisfied that he did all he could reasonably do in attempting to track down the information."
However, the answer to the question that he posed himself was in the negative, because he considered that it was not necessary for Mr Hutton to track down the information in order to make his claim; he said that his father's unlawful killing was sufficient of itself. He said:
"The fact of his father's unlawful killing was sufficient of itself to allow an application to be made."
Order: Application granted.