|If the perpetrator of the crime is caught and convicted the court has to consider compensation from the offender. Victims can be compensated for personal injury, losses due to theft of, or damage to, property, losses because of fraud, loss of earnings while off work, medical expenses, travel expenses, pain and suffering, loss, damage or injury caused to or by a stolen vehicle. The application for compensation is made by the prosecution, who will require accurate details of the loss or damage.
Compensation is payable before any fine but is limited to what the offender can reasonably afford. It may not cover loss or damage in full and is often paid in installments. The compensation payments are made to the court, which then passes it on to the victim. It is the job of the court to ensure that the offender pays the compensation. Questions concerning the compensation ordered by the court should be addressed to the Clerk of the Court not the offender.
Victims also have a right to sue the offender in the civil courts but should seek advice from a solicitor before considering this. Some firms of solicitors will offer at least half an hour of free advice and your local Scheme should be able to inform you which firms do this. Whether to sue will depend very much on the means of the offender or how any judgement can be paid.