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Tuesday, August 25, 1998 Published at 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK


Machete girl's £7,950 compensation

Lisa Potts and many of the children were injured in the attack

A compensation award of £7,950 to a girl who was scarred in a machete attack has been condemned by nursery nurse Lisa Potts and a Labour MP.

Lisa Potts: "It's appalling"
Miss Potts, 23, who was awarded a George Medal for protecting children in her care when schizophrenic Horrett Campbell attacked them on a picnic in 1996, called the payment "disgusting".

Labour MP Dennis Turner, whose Wolverhampton South East constituency includes St Luke's School where the attack happened, said he was shocked by the size of the sum which he described as "tiny".

Francesca's solicitor Tom Jones: "Many people are not compensated properly"
Francesca Quintyne, 6, suffered permanent injuries from the knife attack.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board granted her £7,500 for "serious facial disfigurement", plus £300 for a fractured jawbone and £150 for "significant head scarring".

Miss Potts said: "Francesca was severed across the face, the ear and the neck. She had a fractured jaw, which needed a metal plate in it.

"She was very badly injured and an offer of £8,000 is just disgusting."

She told The Sun newspaper: "The children so terribly hurt have had to wait two years and then Francesca ends up with this derisory amount. It's really very sad.

[ image: Potts: Holding up her George Medal for bravery]
Potts: Holding up her George Medal for bravery
"This is an appalling amount to offer to Francesca. She went through the terrible trauma of being slashed across the face - she will be scarred physically for life, but who can tell the mental scars she will carry.

"People who make these kind of awards have no understanding of what it means to be the victim of savagery like this."

Campbell, who lived in a tower block near the school, was ordered to be detained indefinitely after being found guilty of attempted murder by a jury at Stafford Crown Court.

Mr Turner said: "I never imagined the final figure for this girl was going to be so tiny.

"We need to know how the board make a judgment on these things. If it had been a car accident we might have expected something far larger.

"Personally, I think the amount offered is paltry compared with the level of injuries this six-year-old has received."

Thompsons lawyers, who are representing Francesca's family, say the girl would have received compensation of up to £40,000 if she had sustained the same injuries in a car crash.

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