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Can I reclaim costs from person convicted of vandalism?

(14 Posts)
thereinmadnesslies Thu 07-Feb-13 21:08:57

My car (and several others) was vandalised last weekend by two men who apparently walked down the street kicking off wing mirrors. There is approx £1000 damage to my car, so I am having to claim against my insurance and pay £150 excess.

The police have found forensic evidence on my car and several others, so there is a chance of catching those responsible. Due to the amount of damage (over £10k in total across all the cars involved ) one policeman I spoke to said if caught the offender would be tried in court rather than a caution etc.

I've been told by policemen on two separate occasions that if the offender are caught, I could reclaim the costs I have incurred from the offenders. But I've googled and I can't find any information about how I might go about doing this, and whether anyone ever receives money (is it more likely that you are awarded the money back at 50p per month so the total is never paid off).

Has anyone ever tried to reclaim vandalism losses, or any lawyers with any ideas?

CocktailQueen Thu 07-Feb-13 21:48:02

Sorry, no idea - why not ring the police you spoke to,and ask them!

Ponders Thu 07-Feb-13 21:50:00

I had a wing mirror kicked off in the street once; reported it to the police but there was no evidence of who did it so I just had to pay to get it fixed

Was only c £100 though?

Ponders Thu 07-Feb-13 21:50:40

(it was an electric mirror, but not heated or self-retracting or anything fancy like that)

AnyaKnowIt Thu 07-Feb-13 21:51:12

I'm guessing that you would have to take them to a small claims court?

thereinmadnesslies Thu 07-Feb-13 21:54:03

The policeman said I would be notified if they charged someone and to ask about reclaiming financial losses then. I'm just curious about the process and if its worth it.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Thu 07-Feb-13 21:56:26

you could use whats commonly known as the Small Claims Court, certain procedures must be followed before taking any action, if the person involved has no money then you're unlikely to get anything from them.

Ponders Thu 07-Feb-13 21:57:37

whoever they are, even if fingered I can imagine it would take them a loooong time to pay off £10K of damage (5 years at, say, £20pw each? hmm)

I wouldn't hold your breath, therein!

Boomboomboomboom Fri 08-Feb-13 20:40:24

Sometimes, upon conviction, the court makes a compensation order (or such like) requiring the offender to pay money directly to the victims in compensation for their offending. I don't think they actually do pay direct - they pay to the court and the court then pays out.

The chances are that, even if they find the people responsible, even if they pleaded guilty or were convicted, such an order would either not be made because they have little or no £, or it would not be anything like as much as your actual costs.

I'd assume you'll get nothing, and if you get something consider that a 'result'.

HappyJustToBe Fri 08-Feb-13 20:45:53

If someone is charged you should get sent a MG19 compensation claim form. If you fill it in and attach evidence of your costs asap and send it to the address given compensation should be applied for at Court by the prosecutor. Magistrates will always put paying compensation before fines etc but if the culprit is on benefits that is only repaid at £5pw so it will come in dribs and drabs.

WhoDaresWines Wed 13-Feb-13 14:54:50

Just to add to the above post- if the defendant is on benefits then the compensation would most likely be deducted directly from their benefits (with their agreement) and compensation would be the first consideration given by the court. If the damage is over £10,000 and part of a spree then the case could well be referred by magistrates to the Crown Court as the likely punishment would be over 26 weeks custody. If custody is the punishment that will affect their ability to pay compensation. Whatever is decided it will take a long time to come to court. I don't think you can take someone to a civil court such as the Small Claims Court if there is are criminal charges pending but don't know for sure. Does your insurance include legal advice? If so then talk to someone via your insurance company as they will know all the ins and outs of this type of case.

Xenia Wed 13-Feb-13 14:56:29

Yes, court might make a compenssation order.
Separately once the court case is over and it's all proved you could sue them and if they don't pay even get their own cars seized etc. They may have a house. They might have assets.

thereinmadnesslies Wed 13-Feb-13 16:44:48

Thanks everyone for your advice. I've not heard anything from the police so I'm guessing that the forensics didn't lead to anyone hmm. Still really useful to hear what the process is. If they do catch someone I will try to reclaim my excess just out of principle because its caused a vast amount of hassle.

WhoDaresWines Wed 13-Feb-13 18:56:52

Don't expect to hear anything from the police yet, this sort of case won't be a priority and there have been lots of cutbacks which affects how quickly lab tests can be done. Hope that you do manage to get some recompense for the damage and that the guilty party/ies are caught and dealt with properly.

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