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Injured Burglary Victim Calls for Law to Change

A father-of-two has called for a change in the law after burglars who nearly killed him avoided paying compensation for his injuries.

34 year-old recruitment consultant Daniel Mankelow was knocked down and left for dead by a getaway car as he chased intruders from his home in Epping. He was left with severe injuries including multiple leg fractures, head injuries and psychological trauma from the incident.

His attackers were quickly caught and charged with burglary but not attempted murder or grievous bodily harm, despite the CPS having witness statements and DNA evidence.

The gang of four burglars, Hayley Balkwill, Bruno Motas, Keiron Francis and Waseem Akhtar were convicted of burglary at Chelmsford Crown Court in 2012 but none of them received a sentence of more than two-and-a-half years.

Mr Mankelow launched a civil claim against the group but was stunned to discover he could not claim compensation from his attackers because they were not insured.

He has since been awarded £27,000 compensation for his injuries from the Motor Insurers' Bureau but has now called for a change in the law to force uninsured drivers to pay compensation.

He said, “I think it’s disgraceful that this group of criminals has not only got away with running me over but they have also dodged liability for paying out compensation. I was devastated when the CPS dropped the attempted murder and aggravated assault charge but this makes it even worse for us. The compensation we have received comes from the Motor Insurers' Bureau which means honest taxpayers are footing the bill for criminals.”

“I would like to see a change in the law which would force criminals to pay back this money from future earnings to make them truly accountable for their actions.”

Mr Mankelow was at home in Epping, when he and his young family were woken up in the middle of the night in March 2011 by noises from downstairs.

He went down to find two men in his kitchen who he chased into the street, only to be mown down and left for dead by their accomplices in a getaway car. His wife and daughters found him unconscious and bleeding outside their home. He was in hospital for six weeks before returning home with permanent disabilities and a metal rod running from his ankle to his knee.

Three years on and Mr Mankelow admits his family are now being forced to move home due to the long term psychology impact of the burglary.

He said, “The driver of the getaway car deliberately ran me over and left me for dead and that’s after they tried burgling my house but they did not get the punishment I would have expected.

“My family has continued to suffer because of this intrusion, my kids are scared to go upstairs alone, my wife has suffered with depression and I have needed counselling for my anger issues. We have now decided to move as I hope a new start will help the children move on; but I am very angry that these criminals have driven us out of our home.”

Mr Mankelow was awarded compensation from the car’s insurers to pay for counselling for him and his family.

Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyer Liz Dux who is representing Mr Mankelow, said “Mr Mankelow suffered horrific injuries whilst trying to protect his own property from a gang of intruders. Whilst he is relieved to have recovered compensation for his serious injuries from the Motor Insurers Bureau, it’s still wrong that those who committed such an act of brutality will not be forced to realise the serious repercussions of their actions, or to suffer themselves in any way financially for the harm they have caused.

“His family have all been severely affected and they can no longer live in their own home in peace. The insurance industry should take a tougher line on individuals who commit criminal acts.”

Liz Dux is a Practice Group Leader and Head of Personal Injury (East) at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. For more details call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.

Media Contact: Lee Cain. Tel: 0207 657 1692