THE LAWYER who set the level of compensation to the convicted killer Winston Silcott at pounds 10,000 yesterday defended his decision.
Sir David Calcutt QC said he could have awarded Silcott as little as 10p, but went on: 'It would be quite wrong to deprive him of the money to which he is entitled . . . for me this is in no sense a difficult case.'
The compensation was for the five months Silcott spent in jail after being arrested for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock in the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots in north London. Silcott's conviction for killing PC Blakelock was quashed in 1990. The compensation order was made under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Sir David said the then Home Secretary, Kenneth Baker, had made the decision to compensate Silcott. 'The Home Secretary having taken that decision it is my responsibility to assess compensation for him for the time he was in custody when otherwise he would not have been.'
Silcott is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Anthony Smith, a boxer.