Man stabbed 20 times wins victory for crime victims
A man who was stabbed 20 times in a random attack has won a landmark victory for victims of crime.
Mark Kemp, 43, from Fulham, was furious when his attacker, Mark Ricketts, went missing while on authorised leave from mental health unit, Springfield University Hospital in Tooting on March 22.
Springfield Hospital in Tooting
Mr Kemp was only informed three days after Ricketts went missing and told to avoid Tooting, the location of the brutal attack in 1994.
Ricketts was later found on a bus in Peckham, but Mr Kemp was so angry about the lack of communication he decided to take action.
A letter to his MP, Mark Field, prompted a letter from the member for London and Westminster to MP Jeremy Wright, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for justice, who has instructed officials to change the guidance governing information provided to victims.
Now, according to the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, victims will be automatically told if leave is granted to a hospitalised offender - except in the exceptional case where they might constitute a risk to the offender.
Mr Kemp said: "They put an exclusion zone around me but nobody contacted me and nobody consulted me about the exclusion zone.
"I feel relieved for victims in the future. They will be safeguarded from the stress and trauma it could cause."
Mr Field said: "It is pleasing officials have now been instructed to improve their communications with the victims of crime, such that victims will now automatically be told if leave is granted to a hospitalised offender.
"It is right the victims of crime should be provided with as much information as possible about key developments in the offender's sentence and I hope this change provides some comfort to Mr Kemp and other victims of violent crime."
Mr Kemp still suffers from the incident, which took place 20 years ago, and went on to form The Independent Victims' Helpline UK.
He suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, spent seven years on the streets and has had to undergo numerous operations on his stab wounds.
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