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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 18:12 GMT
Machete girl's compensation trebled
Francesca Quintyne
Francesca has a thick scar across her jaw
A girl who was badly scarred in a machete attack has had her compensation almost trebled to more than 23,000.

Francesca Quintyne, of Tipton, was one of four children and three adults injured when a mentally ill man struck during a children's picnic at a Wolverhampton school in July 1996.

But Francesca's solicitors have called the increase "shockingly inadequate".

They had been campaigning to raise the compensation payout tenfold - to 80,000 - the maximum possible.


Time on its own is not going to heal her

Cherie Booth QC
During the attack at St Luke's School, Francesca's face was slashed from the left hand side of her mouth to her earlobe and the force of the blow fractured her jaw.

Horrett Campbell, a local man with a history of paranoid schizophrenia who lived in a tower block near the school, was ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure hospital after being found guilty of seven counts of attempted murder by a jury at Stafford Crown Court.

In August 1997, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority granted Francesca 7,500 for "serious facial disfigurement", 300 for a completely shattered jawbone and 150 for "significant head scarring".

Applications for a review were lodged in September 1997 and the award was increased on review in January 2000 to 8,100.

On Monday the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP) agreed to increase the amount to 23,625.

Francesca was awarded 20,000 for suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, another 2,500 for future psychological therapy plus 750 for severe facial scarring and 375 for fractures and other injuries which needed operations.


No mother would want her child to go through what we have but to be insulted by the system in this way at the end is just too much

Francesca's mother, Sheridon Quintyne
Of the 23,625 award, 6,000 has already been paid out and another 2,500 will be paid to Francesca's mother Sheridon to be used for therapy for the eight-year-old.

The rest will be held in an account until Francesca is 18 years old.

The CICAP told her legal team that they could appeal for more money in future if the scarring to her face needed further medical care than was covered by the current award.

The wife of the prime minister, Cherie Booth QC, who became involved in the case after meeting Francesca two years ago, headed the legal team free of charge.

She told the four members of the panel that Francesca suffered from persistent flashbacks and nightmares.

"Time on its own is not going to heal her," she said.


The system of compensating people who are the innocent victims of criminal attacks is totally inadequate

MP for West Bromwich West, Adrian Bailey
Child Psychiatry expert Professor William Yule, from the Institute of Psychiatry, also told the panel - sitting in private at the request of Mrs Quintyne - that Francesca was suffering from permanent post traumatic stress disorder which will need on-going treatment.

On Monday, Mrs Quintyne said: "How can 750 for the scarring ever be called fair?

"The CICAP system has treated Francesca as a second class citizen.

"No mother would want her child to go through what we have but to be insulted by the system in this way at the end is just too much."

MP for West Bromwich West, Adrian Bailey, also said he was shocked by the low level of compensation.


Every time little Francesca looks in the mirror she is reminded of that dreadful day

Lisa Potts
"The system of compensating people who are the innocent victims of criminal attacks is totally inadequate," he said.

The nursery nurse awarded the George Medal for shielding 18 children at the party, Lisa Potts said: "Every time little Francesca looks in the mirror she is reminded of that dreadful day.

"No amount of money will compensate for the terror and injuries she suffered, or for the mental and physical scars that she will carry with her for the rest of her life."

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