Change in law under review

CURRENTLY the government is considering recommendations made by Lord Justice Auld in his Review of Criminal Courts of October 2002.It urges a change in the law so victims' compensation would be paid out by the state immediately after the award is made.

CURRENTLY the government is considering recommendations made by Lord Justice Auld in his Review of Criminal Courts of October 2002.

It urges a change in the law so victims' compensation would be paid out by the state immediately after the award is made.

The state would then pursue the guilty for the cash, rather than leavomg victims to wait for their attackers to pay them.

Matthew Cunningham fully backs the proposed change.

He said: "I think that is how things should have been done in the first place. If it was done like that I am sure that the state would have got its money a lot quicker than me.

"I think a change in the system would be a good thing. I would like to see it come in straight away."

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Mr Cunningham was beaten unconscious by a gang of drunken nightclubbers when he was set upon by a group of around five men near Ipswich railway station after a confrontation in Kartouche nightclub in December 1999.

He said the gang hurled racist abuse at him before inflicting a beating which left him unconscious and unable to work for three weeks.

Sentencing Gould and Smith at Chelmsford Crown Court in July 2001, Judge Christopher Ball QC handed out an 18-month community rehabilitation orders.

He also ordered them to pay Mr Cunningham £500 compensation each after the pair admitted causing him actual bodily harm.

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