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A pensioner has been awarded £2000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) after he suffered a heart attack as a result of a confrontation at a Sikh temple.

Mr Sahota and 2 other family members were surrounded and intimidated by approximately 15 to 20 people at the temple.  The Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP) reported that there was a background of difficulties between the 2 parties concerning the conduct of the temple.  It is thought that it related to a dispute over ownership.

The pensioner was initially refused compensation from the CICA as it was decided that he had not been a victim of a crime of violence.  However the decision was appealed and the appeal the CICAP found that there was a sufficient link between the confrontation and the heart attack suffered by Mr Sahota.

The CICAP said that “Although no physical violence took place against the appellant, there was verbal abuse and the situation was escalating to the point where the community police officer, who was present, feared violence and called for backup”.

It was decided that Mr Sahota should be awarded compensation as he reasonably feared for his safety and the threats were sufficiently serious to amount to an assault and therefore a crime of violence,  under the terms of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

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