The victim of a brutal rape attack has agreed to be identified by the Bristol Evening Post as part of its investigation into the UK’s growing compensation culture.
Caroline Fairfax Scott waived her anonymity to draw attention to the paltry £7,500 she received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority compared to the much higher sums being awarded in some personal injury cases.
The story was followed up by the nationals, including the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Times, and was the latest in a series of compensation stories broken by the Evening Post.
As reported in Press Gazette in February, the Post started its investigation by sending current affairs editor Chris Maguire undercover to work for a personal injury specialist.
Maguire attended a week-long training course with The Accident Group before working on the streets for the company as a salesman.
The Evening Post published a series of stories by Maguire despite threats from The Accident Group’s lawyers that publication would infringe a confidentiality clause he had signed.
The paper got the story with Fairfax Scott while researching an article on the contrast in awards made between the victims of crime and personal injury claimants.
Maguire covered the court case of Fairfax Scott’s rapist, Stefan Molliere, last year and approached her as part of the compensation story. She had just received confirmation of her £7,500 award but she was so furious she agreed to be named.
"Compensation is the new buzz word," Maguire said. "And the Evening Post will continue doing everything we can to ensure the real victims, like Caroline Fairfax Scott, are adequately compensated and not the people who jump on the latest bandwagon."
Evening Post editor Mike Lowe said: "We were just doing our job in finding a new way to develop an ongoing story, but it can’t be right that a woman who is dragged out of a car at knifepoint, repeatedly punched and raped gets less than someone who falls over in the street and breaks an arm."
By Jon Slattery