Motorcyclist hit by airgun pellet
6th July 2012
You may recall the recently publicised attacks on our counties' motorists by brick throwing hooligans. In a potentially tragic turn of events, Suffolk Police have now gone public on what may have been the deliberate targeting of a motorcyclist on a Suffolk road by someone wielding an airgun. (click here to read EADT article).
Fortunately, for the victim, he was able to maintain his balance and the injury does not appear to have been as severe as it could have; however, the pellet only narrowly missed his spine. Whilst he may have escaped serious injury on this occasion, the police are understandably anxious to trace the perpetrator in order to determine whether this was a deliberate attack or a "freak" accident.
In light of events, it is probably as good a time as any for those who own and use airguns to reacquaint themselves with the guidance given by the Home Office, should they wish to avoid falling foul of the law and, more importantly, to avoid endangering themselves and others. Prevention is better than cure.
If, however, you were unfortunate enough to suffer injury caused by the misuse of airguns (either by being deliberately targeted, or through negligent use) you may not think that you would be entitled to compensation, or that if you were, the perpetrator would have the means to pay.
All is not lost. In fact victims in these circumstances are likely to be entitled to compensation for their injuries under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. The CICS is a government scheme which compensates innocent victims of crimes of violence, even if the perpetrators are never caught or prosecuted.
Tom Ranson of Ashton KCJ injury services comments: "Whilst incidents of this nature are, fortunately, quite unusual, crimes of violence, unfortunately, are not. It is important that victims are aware of their right to compensation in appropriate circumstances. We at Ashton KCJ injury services are able to offer specialist advice to victims of crimes of violence."