Just as I am getting back on my feet after my horrific injury last year, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has bowled me over by turning down my claim.
They reckon that what happened to me was an accident rather than a crime. Obviously, the CICA thinks it knows better than both the police, who defined the incident as an assault and gave me a crime number, and Victim Support, who have been giving me support as a victim of crime.
I could have sworn that recklessly letting off fireworks horizontally in a public park was in fact a crime, especially when one of them smacks into an innocent bystander's face, pulverising her eyeball, smashing up the facial bones, necessitating five hours of overnight emergency surgery, and resulting in permanent loss of sight in the eye and reconstructive surgery involving the insertion of a titanium plate. My kids were also victims of this crime as they witnessed it and are still affected by the trauma.
I had been looking forward to putting this horrible experience behind me and getting on with my life, especially when I get my prosthetic eye on 3rd October. But thanks to the CICA's blatant injustice and tight-fistedness, I now face a fight to win an appeal and get the compensation that I and my family need and deserve. Putting it behind me is going to have to wait.
Oh, and I'll have a laugh next time Tony Blair gives a heart-rending speech about refocusing law and order policy on justice for the victims of crime. Yeah, right. Just so long as it doesn't cost too much, eh?
This blog will keep you updated on how the fight progresses.