Successful appeal against CICA for secondary victim claim for mother who witnessed son's stabbing | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Successful appeal against CICA for secondary victim claim for mother who witnessed son's stabbing

On behalf of the mother of a young man fatally stabbed outside Islington Town Hall in 2017, Jack Sales has successfully taken the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authorities (CICA) to appeal before the First Tier Tribunal to approve a secondary victim claim for damages for psychiatric injury.

CICA, the government's victim compensation scheme, initially compensated our client for the death of 28-year-old Jonathan McPhillips, but refused her secondary victim claim for psychiatric injury caused by her ordeal witnessing the event.

Jonathan, whose death was reported by the Evening Standard, was an innocent bystander in what was likely a gang-related knife attack on a friend when he was stabbed. He staggered 200 yards along Upper Street before collapsing outside cocktail bar Be At One just after midnight.

Paramedics performed first aid in the street before transferring him to hospital. His mother, Michelle, rushed to help her son as he lay on the ground. Jonathan died at the Royal London hospital two days later after the family had to make the terrible decision to turn off his life support.

The man accused of Jonathan's murder was acquitted after the murder trial collapsed. At a separate inquest, the coroner found Jonathan, a father of two, had been 'unlawfully killed'. 

Partner Keith Barrett requested a review of CICA's decision to refuse the secondary victim claim, but it maintained its stance. Keith and Jack then appealed for the issue to be determined by a First Tier Tribunal and obtained a separate psychiatric report in support.

At the appeal hearing, the Tribunal preferred the medical evidence obtained by Fieldfisher and found our client had suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a direct result of witnessing the incident.

The Tribunal further ruled that CICA must reimburse our client for the cost of obtaining the additional medical report since the burden of proof was on her to prove her case, and without the independent evidence, it would have not been possible.

The matter now goes back to the CICA to make an award.

For further information about catastrophic injury claims and personal injury claims, please call Jack Sales on 0330 460 7328 or email


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