UPDATE: Family ‘encouraged’ as West Norfolk MP urges government to look at compensation delay for late crime victim
The case of a Lynn woman who died without receiving compensation for the injuries she suffered from a fleeing shoplifter has been raised at Prime Minister’s Questions this lunchtime.
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has called on the government to look at the case of Ann Banyard, after her family spoke of their anger in the Lynn News on Friday.
Mrs Banyard, who died last month, aged 70, was badly injured when she was knocked to the ground by a shoplifter fleeing from the Sainsbury’s store in the town centre in April 2015.
Although a claim for compensation has been made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, it has not yet been resolved.
The authority claims it has not received full information to procees it but Sir Henry told the chamber her family fear it may “lapse altogether.”
He asked: “Will she join me and our local paper the Lynn News in supporting this case and will she make it clear that the rights of victims should always be at the heart of our criminal policy?”
In response, Prime Minister Theresa May offered condolences to Mrs Banyard’s family, but said the authority applied its rules independently of government.
However, she said the new justice secretary, David Gauke, would meet Sir Henry to discuss the case, adding: “He’s absolutely right that we should always remember victims.”
Following the session, Mrs Banyard’s daughter, Tracy Whitby, said she was “encouraged” by the Commons exchange.
She admitted Mrs Banyard would have been shocked to know her case had been raised in Parliament but outlined how any payout, which could run into several thousand pounds, may have helped to pay for her funeral, which took place at Mintlyn Crematorium yesterday.
She said: “We’ve got a bill from the council saying her estate has to pay for this. She hadn’t got a penny.”
Sir Henry added he had been “very pleased” by Mrs May’s response.