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Family Left Worrying about Long-term Funding after Scheme Cuts

The family of a Liverpool teenager are concerned that their son may be denied compensation for his life-threatening injuries; money they need for his long-term treatment.

Marcos Ringle was pulled off his mountain bike in the Crosby area of the city last July and was badly injured in a vicious attack. He was kicked, punched and stamped on more than 50 times and was left with serious brain injuries. His family are angry at the fact that charges against the two people who attacked him have been reduced from attempted murder to grievous bodily harm with intent. The two have since been sentenced for their part in this and other serious offences; one received life imprisonment, the other 10 years in prison.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the decision to reduce the severity of the offence had been taken simply because there was no realistic prospect of a conviction for attempted murder against the two men. A spokesman said that, to prove the offence, the Crown would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there had been a specific intent to kill and it was decided that the lesser offence would give the Crown the strongest case possible to put before the court.

To add to the Marcos’s family’s upset, they have been left unsure how recent changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will affect them. Though the changes should only affect those who suffer minor injuries, the family say Marcos has been left with mental difficulties, needs help and they remain unsure whether the changes will affect them. The Ministry of Justice says the changes, which will trim £50m off the annual £200m bill, will preserve compensation to the most seriously injured victims of crime.

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