Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Toddler-attack boy wins pay-out

Jay's mother, Renai Williams: "He didn't look like he was going to make it"

A mother has won the right to compensation for her son, two years after he was hit 11 times by another three-year-old boy with a car jack.

Jay Jones, of Wirral, Merseyside, needed stitches after he was attacked while the boys were alone in a car.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority twice refused to pay out as it disputed whether a three-year-old could be guilty of a crime of violence.

But the Tribunals Service has ruled in favour of Jay's mother, Renai Williams.

A judge ruled the CICA must award the full amount to Jay, which could be up to £27,000, and agreed with his solicitors that the age of his attacker was irrelevant to the case.

'Long process'

Jay suffered a gash to his head and was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital after the attack, in December 2007.

Nearly two years on, Ms Williams was finally told her son was eligible for compensation for his injuries.

She said: "This has been a long and hard-fought process. We have been knocked back twice by the CICA because, in my opinion, they didn't take my son's case seriously.

Jay Jones
Jay Jones was treated in hospital for a gash to his head

"My son was hit 11 times on his head and face with a car jack, his attacker kept on lashing out even though Jay was screaming out in pain and covered in blood."

Ms Williams added she feared her son would die and that she was "too scared to even look at him because his injuries were so bad".

For an agonising 25 minutes, when they first arrived at the hospital, she said doctors were unsure whether her son would survive.

"He still remembers what happened to him and he will often talk about it," she said.

"It might have taken a month for all the bruising and swelling to go down but we don't know how long-lasting the psychological affects are going to be."

Ms Williams said her son deserved compensation, which will be decided on through assessing the severity of the mental trauma he suffered.

Jay's assailant cannot be named for legal reasons. He cannot be prosecuted for the offence because of his age and he is currently in the care of social services.

The age of criminal responsibility in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 10.

Psychological tests

It sounds like an horrific incident but is anyone really culpable for it?
Richard Hill, Birmingham

Michelle Armstrong, of Kirwans Solicitors, which represented the family, said: "The CICA rejected the case twice, questioning whether the actions of a three-year-old perpetrator could constitute a 'crime of violence'.

"We argued that the age of the perpetrator was irrelevant when claiming compensation from the CICA. And it was on this point that we won."

Jay will now have psychological tests to see how the incident affected him, before the level of compensation is decided.

A spokesman for the CICA said it did not comment on individual cases, but said it made "payments to victims of violent crime as a gesture of public sympathy."

"To ensure that the application of the scheme is as robust as possible there are safeguards built in," he said.

"All cases are decided on their own merits and, if an applicant does not think their case was assessed fairly, they may apply to have it reviewed, which can then go to tribunal if there is a further dispute."

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