The mother of Courtney Boden, a severely disabled woman, fears she and her daughter may be forced into homelessness after it appears she has been barred from accessing the £500,000 of compensation awarded to her daughter by courts, the i has reported.
Speaking to the newspaper, Beverley Neal explained that her daughter was awarded the sum after her father Christopher was found guilty of attacking her. In 1998, he shook his infant daughter so hard that Courtney was left with both physical and mental disabilities, and was passed down a two and a half year long jail term.
Beverley now believes that she is unable to access the half a million pounds of compensatory money as a Government solicitor informed her that she is not allowed to benefit from the funds, despite being Courtney’s around the clock carer since the incident.
It is her belief that she is considered an “excluded person” because she had originally believed Christopher’s assertions of innocence. Authorities related to the case also said she had attempted to hide the fact that she was still in touch with Christopher, which contributed to her being denied access to the money the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority awarded Courtney in 2007.
Beverley discovered that she was an excluded person in 2016, when she tried to access the money having burned through £48,000 of the savings she had accrued while working as a pony breeder until her daughter’s care needs forced her to give up work.
She told the i: “I asked for the money and was told Courtney couldn’t get it as long as she was in my care, but she’s been with me for the last 17 years and has lived an amazing life, we haven’t had a single problem.
“If we can get a house then I can carry on looking after Courtney for the rest of her life, which is what we both want.”
In a statement made to the newspaper, the Ministry of Justice said they were sympathetic to Beverley and Courtney’s situation, but must adhere to the terms laid out in the compensation settlement.
A spokesman said: “This was an awful case and we have every sympathy for what Courtney has been through.
“The official solicitor can act as a trustee of funds for vulnerable victims–- typically where there is no one suitable to take on responsibility themselves.
“A trustee will allow a carer access to a fund to ensure daily expenses related to the welfare of a victim can be met.
“It is their duty to administer trusts in a lawful manner and in accordance with the terms of the compensation settlement.”
Beverley has launched a GoFundMe to fund her legal battle against the CICA’s decision, which can be found here.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine