The scene of the Leichhardt explosion.
The scene of the Leichhardt explosion. Rob Williams

Pitiful payout for teen maimed by bomb

A TEENAGER whose hands were blown apart by a homemade bomb has been dealt another blow - with criminal injury compensation payments not nearly enough to fund his long road to recovery.

The 15-year-old Leichhardt boy was left permanently disfigured in May when he was given a golf ball-sized device which exploded in his hands.

This blast left him with just a pinkie on his left hand, and three fingers and a thumb on his right with most of his palm missing.

The boy's mother said her son was now facing a lifetime of costly operations, medication and prosthetics.

The men who allegedly made the bomb, Glen Charles Dell and Mark Antony Tear, have been charged with grievous bodily harm.

The mother said the family had been relying on payments from the State Government's criminal injury compensation scheme but were left disappointed by the amount promised.

She said, according to the lawyer who the family retained to start the compensation process, the payout would likely be $50,000 - money to be used to support her son through a lifetime of recovery.

The mother said payments were based on the criminal charges laid against alleged offenders, rather than the injuries sustained by the victim.

In light of her son's situation, she said the current scheme was "illogical".

"The injuries sustained by my son will debilitate him for life," she said.

"If someone was a victim of attempted murder, they could be awarded more money even though their injuries were far less serious.

"In my son's case, his life has been turned upside down and he will be forever burdened by the injuries sustained from the crime.

"If the charge was aggravated grievous bodily harm, the compensation would be more but since it's just grievous bodily harm, we're entitled to less."

The mother said her son had wanted to grow up to be a builder, but now had to reassess his whole life.

"He doesn't want to be someone who lives off a disability pension from age 16," she said.

"He wants the opportunity to become a productive member of society but to do that he needs more financial support and having the government put a limit on that is a devastating blow."

Queensland's Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the state had the highest financial assistance scheme for victims of crime in the country.

"While it is inappropriate to comment on specific cases, up to $75,000 is available to primary victims of crime and further funding is also available to parents of child victims," he said.

"Victim Assist Queensland also provides a range of other services for victims of crime."

Mr Bleijie said funding for victim assistance groups and programs was increased by $2 million in this year's budget. He said the State Government would be conducting a statutory review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 next year.

The mother of the injured boy has started a petition at www.change.org/en-AU to appeal to the State Government for more help.

In two weeks the petition has amassed more than 17,000 signatures.



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