A child who was battered with a car jack by a three-year-old has won compensation in a landmark ruling which could "open the gates" to a host of claims.
Jay Jones was struck about the head and face when he and another child were left together in a car and was left semi-conscious and covered in blood by the attack.
The ruling by a tribunal that Jay, who was three at the time of the attack, qualifies for criminal injuries compensation sets a precedent because his assailant was too young to be prosecuted.
Children are considered to be below the age of criminal responsibility until they are 10 but the new ruling means claimants now only have to prove they have been the victim of a criminal act.
David Kirwan, from Kirwans Solicitors, who represented the the victim, said: "It's a landmark decision, there's no previous precedent. It opens the floodgates and I'm quite sure there will be a lot of cases."
He had appealed on behalf of the boy to the Tribunals Service after the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) had rejected the original claim.
"The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority risibly argued that because the child was under 10, there was no criminal intent," he said. "When we went on the first appeal it was argued by CICA that it was an accident, which is so ridiculous as to be unbelievable.
"The doctor in the hospital had described our client's injuries as the worst of a child that age sustained at the hands of a child of equal age with a weapon."
He added: "Scrapes in the playground shouldn't attract awards. But there have been some serious incidents in the playground and around and about the school, and they have been turned down in the past by the CICA and now it does open the gates for compensation in these cases."
Jay, of Wirral, Merseyside, was struck 11 times by the boy who wielded the car jack with such force that he managed to crack the car windscreen. The assault was halted when the assailant's parents were alerted by Jay's screams.
Jay's mother Renai Williams, 29, said: "I thought Jay was dead when I saw him first. There was blood everywhere and he was limp and lifeless - it was a sight no mother should ever have to see."
She added: "[The attacker] has since been taken into care and will no doubt be given lots of support by social services, whereas we as a family have simply been left to pick up the pieces and get on with our lives.
"To this day I still have no idea why that boy attacked my son. Nobody has ever bothered to give me a reason why, it will always remain a total mystery."Reuse content