VICTIMS of terrorist attacks abroad will be able to claim compensation thanks to the efforts of a bereaved father and his six-year campaign.
Trevor Lakin, 63, of Crown Lane, Thurlby, had been fighting his cause for overseas victims to receive support after his son, Jeremy, died in an attack in 2005.
When Jeremy, 28, and his girlfriend Annalie Vickers, 31, were killed in the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings there was no compensation either for people injured abroad or the families of those who died.
Mr Lakin fought to change the system and two years ago, the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced a scheme that would allow access to compensation but following a change of Government, the plans were shelved.
Mr Lakin continued his battle, and now it has been announced by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke that those who are suffering from injuries from attacks since 2002, would be entitled to support from April this year.
Mr Lakin said: “It’s been a long hard slog but Ken Clarke’s announcement is a major step forward.
“It’s taken six-and-a-half years of my time to get this far and I believe when it’s all in place it will be nice to know that next time there is a terrorist attack, there’ll be far better support for people.
“I’ve never fought this campaign for personal gain.
“It has all been for the benefit of others.
“I believed the system was an injustice to people who had lost limbs and lost family members and I’m glad that the Government have agreed.”
The compensation payouts will be made under the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. In the scheme, there are awards for injuries, death of a loved one, loss of earnings, and for expenses such as home care and medical treatment.
Mr Lakin’s campaign received welcome support from Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles (Con).
Mr Lakin added: “From my own experience in dealing with Government, I’ve realised how much they are concerned about their own future rather than the future of the country but Nick was one of the few exceptions.
“He’s been a true asset and his support to the campaign has been brilliant.”
Mr Boles was full of admiration for Mr Lakin and pleased with the outcome of the campaign.
He said: “Trevor has been amazing and a real inspiration for what he has done.
“What’s tremendous about him is that he won’t get any compensation after losing his own son but he wanted to fight for others who are injured and need support. It’s quite remarkable.
“I only did a small amount but it just struck me that as there was no agreement in place for victims something needed to change.
“They were literally having to fend for themselves with everything as a result of their injuries and it was just appalling.
“If I was able to help Trevor in any way then I am delighted.”
In his announcement, Mr Clarke said that overseas victims would now have the same access to compensation as those involved in domestic incidents through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.