South Shields family fight for compensation after dad-of-two's death
A charity supporting the family of a South Tyneside man who was killed in a '˜one punch' attack have told of his mother's battle over compensation.
Maxine Thompson-Curl say Calvin McLellan’s mother, Susan Douglas, has been told she is not entitled to additional payments following her son’s death last April.
The 30-year-old was left in a coma when he was attacked yards from her home. He died months later never regaining consciousness.
Connor Jary was sentenced to three years behind bars for the attack on Mr McLellan. Following Mr McLellan’s death, the 20-year-old from Moreland Road, had his sentence extended by 18-months after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
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Mr McLellan, worked as a chef but also spent some on benefits, and it is because of this, his family have been refused additional payments from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
The charity - One Punch North East - is now challenging the decision on behalf of Mrs Douglas.
Mrs Thompson-Curl said: “Because he wasn’t working full-time in the three years prior to his death, they have said the family are not entitled to the additional payments.
“It is his children who are going to lose out, as the money would have been used to support them until they were 18.
“They are saying because he spent time on benefits, he wouldn’t have supported them.”
She added: “It is fighting for justice for those children to help give them a better life, like Calvin would have done. “It is really difficult to discuss money as how do you put a price on your child’s head?”
A Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority spokesperson said: “No amount of money can compensate for the death of a loved one, but close relatives can apply for bereavement payments and additional payments can be given to compensate for the loss of financial support from the victim.”
Mrs Douglas is also hoping housing chiefs will help her find a new home.
The house, which is privately rented, is only yards from where her son was attacked and she can see it from her door.
A spokesman for STH said: “We have worked hard to accommodate Ms Douglas’s housing needs. She was given a priority banding for an extended period due to her personal circumstances and was eligible for two properties which met her requirements.
“Ms Douglas’s priority banding has now expired and she has been advised that she must apply in writing if she wishes to appeal this.”