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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Machete children get compensation
Two children, injured in a machete attack at a nursery school seven years ago, have each been awarded 20,000 for the "psychological damage" they suffered.

Reena Chopra and Ahmed Malik were among 18 youngsters attacked by paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell, during a teddy bear's picnic in Wolverhampton.

The two children were left permanently scarred and Ahmed suffers from epilepsy as a result.

Their lawyer Anne-Marie Wilson welcomed the award from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), but criticised the 750 they have already each received for their physical injuries.

We regret that it didn't happen sooner because we have lost valuable time in getting Ahmed the treatment he needs.
Surjit Malik
"We welcome the fact that the CICA has finally seen sense and made an award for the terrible psychological damage these children have suffered.

"We have repeatedly called on the government to change the scheme because as it stands now it is failing the victims of crime."

During the attack at St Luke's Church of England School in July 1996 Reena, now aged 12, was slashed across the face and is left with a permanent five inch scar.

Ahmed's skull was fractured in the attack and he suffers epileptic fits which brain specialists have attributed to the head injury.

Valuable time

He was also slashed across the right arm and has still not regained full use of it.

His father, Surjit Malik, said he was grateful for the award but said it had taken too long to come through.

"We regret that it didn't happen sooner because we have lost valuable time in getting Ahmed the treatment he needs."

Reena's mother, Surinder Chopra, said her daughter was heading towards her teenage years and was very self conscious about her scar.

Nursery nurse Lisa Potts, who shielded the children, has been awarded 68,300 and the George Medal for her bravery and Francesca Quintyne, another child injured, has received more than 23,000 in compensation.

Campbell, a local man 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.

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