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[Oxfordshire, England] When I was 15 [I am 22 now], I was mugged and beaten up by a group of three young men, the youngest of this group being 18. I called the Police, and the guys were caught. As it turned out, only 1 of these guys got any sort of punishment, was sentenced to a number of hours public service and a £200 fine for assault on a minor.

I haven't seen a penny and it's almost been a decade. I was never advised by the police as to how to follow up this inquiry and I feel so betrayed by the British justice system.

The last I heard of this was that the guy who owes me was on benefits so he wasn't able to pay me a lump sum but surely the State should've stopped paying this guy benefits since he goes around lamping kids?

Is there anyone who knows how I can follow this up?

I understand that the money I'm owed isn't a whole lot, but it's the principle that this guy as an adult attacked a kid for no reason and isn't even paying the full price for it even though it left me with huge anxiety issues later on in my life.

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    Was the 200 pounds a fine to be paid to the Crown or restitution to be paid to you (perhaps via them paying the government and the government forwarding it to you)? – Damila Oct 2 at 13:55
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    It is difficult to reconcile your asking this question with your profile description, which says, "We are a legal firm, dealing with personal injury, family law and conveyancing all over the UK. Our specialist solicitors have years of experience and ready to help clients throughout the way." – phoog Oct 2 at 16:01
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The important question is: was the £200 a fine (which is paid to the state) or compensation (which is paid to you)?

Assuming it was a fine

He doesn't (at the moment) owe you anything. However you can sue him for damages. Usually a claim for damages is time-barred after six years (and it is now seven years). However you weren't able to sue him yourself until you were 18, so you may have a couple of years left. However the clock may have started ticking immediately after the attack, on the grounds your parents or guardians could have sued. Talk to a solictor about this possibility; they should give you a free 30 minute consultation, and would probably take a case on a contigency fee (no-win no-fee) basis if it has any chance.

In principle, you could have applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for compensation - but you are too late for that; you have to apply within two years (there are some exceptions, but none seem to apply to you).

Assuming it was compensation

He owes you £200. Now you need to enforce that payment - and again, the problem may be the six year clock. You will definitely need to talk to a lawyer about that.

My gut feeling is that the £200 was probably a fine rather than compensation.

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There are certain crimes in the UK in which, if you commit the crime, not only can you be punished in a criminal trial, but you may separately be sued by the victim for compensation.

In this case, you are the victim of assault and battery, since assault and battery is also a "tort against the person", you may sue for damages caused by the assault.

The amount you are entitled to depends certain things. It is likely that if you are successful in your claim, some money will be awarded to compensate you for the assault.

If you suffered any injury as a result of the attack, you might have had a claim in personal injury, for compensation for the pain and suffering, as well as medical costs etc. costs relating to the injury.

Now to look at an important aspect: limitation.

The limitation period for torts is in general 6 years. This period will usually begin to run from the date the wrongful act happened, but in your case it will be from the age of 18, since you were a minor at the time of the assault. As such, you will have until the age of 24 to sue the individual for assault.

Unfortunately, the limitation period for personal injury claims is set at 3 years. That is to say, if you suffered any injury as a result of the assault, you cannot claim for compensation for that injury as 3 years have passed since you've turned 18.

  • Note that it is quite common for criminal courts to order compensation to victims as well as a punishment via a fine. (This saves wasting time in the civil courts re-hearing the same case.) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 3 at 8:11

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