Britain Moves Against Windfall for Rapist
LONDON (AP) - Home Secretary David Blunkett said Thursday he plans to bar convicted felons from benefiting from financial windfalls while behind bars after a jailed rapist won 7 million pounds (US$12.6 million) on the national lottery.
Blunkett said that proposed legislation before parliament would force offenders who won the lottery or other wealthy criminals to contribute to a compensation fund for victims of crime.
His comments follow public outrage in Britain over the lottery win of convicted rapist Iorworth Hoare, who was on day release from his low-security prison when he bought the winning ticket on Saturday.
We can't stop a prisoner or their family from buying a ticket, but we can look closely at making sure they don't benefit from a single penny while in prison,'' he added.
Hoare was jailed between 1973 and 1987 for a series of sex attacks on women. He was returned to prison in 1989 for attempting to rape a 60-year-old woman in a park.
Prison officials said Hoare has been moved to a closed prison following his lottery win for his safety.
Neil Sugarman, a lawyer specializing in personal injury and compensation claims, said some of Hoare's victims may be able to claim a share of his newfound wealth.
The biggest difficulty any claimant will face is the limitation periods, and generally speaking ... you are looking at three years,'' Sugarman said. ``But someone assaulted before that period may be able to say they didn't take any action at the time because the offender had no money.''