The claimant had been driving his lorry. A man jumped in front of a second lorry in an apparent attempt to commit suicide. In a failed attempt to avoid the suicide, the second lorry crashed into the claimant causing catastrophic injuries. The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation made on the basis that the act of the suicide had not been an act of violence.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The main issue was whether a person committing suicide had committed an offence under section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Lord Justice Patten said: ‘The question whether a criminal offence has been committed and whether the applicant’s injuries are directly attributable to that offence are undoubtedly questions of fact for the [authority] or the [First-tier] tribunal. They are required to weigh up the evidence and decide whether it supports a finding that a criminal offence has been committed. As part of this process they have to decide what primary facts are established and what inferences it is possible to draw from those facts. But in this case I do not accept that the determination as to whether a section 20 offence is a crime of violence within the Scheme rule is anything but a question of law which can only admit of one answer . . the reference by Lawton LJ in Ex Parte Webb to the meaning of a ‘crime of violence’ being very much a jury point. But that was said in the context of his stated reluctance to attempt to produce an exhaustive definition of the term. To say that it is difficult to articulate the precise limits of a given description does not mean that there is no wrong answer in marginal cases . . ‘.
Mummery, Rix, Patten LJJ
 EWCA Civ 400,  RTR 29,  3 WLR 971,  QB 345
Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995, Offences Against the Person Act 1861 20
England and Wales
Cited – Regina v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board ex parte Webb CA 1987
The court should not construe the scheme as if it were a statute but as a public announcement of what the Government was willing to do. This entails the court deciding what would be a reasonable and literate man’s understanding of the circumstances . .
Appeal from – Jones v First Tier Tribunal and Another SC 17-Apr-2013
The claimant had been injured when a lorry driver swerved to avoid hitting a man who stood in his path. He said that the deceased’s act of suicide amounted to an offence of violence under the 1861 Act so as to bring his own claim within the 2001 . .
Cited – CICA v CICP/First-Tier Tribunal and TS UTAA 19-Nov-2012
TS (aged 14) was riding his bicycle. A dog ran out and chased him into the path of a car. He suffered serious injury. The dog had known aggressive characteristics. His claim to CICA was rejected on the basis that no crime of violence was involved. . .
Cited – Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority v First-Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) CA 3-Feb-2014
The claimant had been riding his cycle. A dog, known to be aggressive, chased him, he swerved ino the path of a car and was severely injured. His claim was rejected by the appellant saying that no crime of violence had been involved. CICA now . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 March 2021; Ref: scu.432647