A MAN who was shot by dissident republicans in an apparent case of mistaken identity has had his claim for compensation turned down.
Paul Ward from Londonderry was shot twice in the stomach in April 19, 2009 and one of the bullets is still lodged beside his spine.
Despite this he has been told by the Compensation Agency that he will receive no financial payout as he did not co-operate fully with the police investigation — a claim the 45-year-old denies.
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey (right) has criticised the decision as “disgraceful” and vowed to take the matter to the Justice Department, which runs the Compensation Agency.
Mr Ward, who has been left with severe injuries and unable to have children as a result of the shooting, said he was still mentally scarred by the incident.
He said the trauma he has suffered was now being compounded by the Compensation Agency’s judgment in his case.
“It is as if none of them care,” he said.
Mr Ward has also strenuously denied claims that he did not not give enough evidence to the PSNI team investigating the brutal shooting.
He said he had even passed the name of one of the men he believed was involved in the attack to the police.
“How the Compensation Agency has the audacity to turn around and say I didn’t co-operate with the PSNI I don’t know,” he said. “They have left me in a hole without a shovel to dig myself out with.”
He said because of his injuries it would be extremely difficult for him to secure employment.
“I'm 45 years old and I have to start a new career. Who is going to employ me, with a damaged leg, a blind left eye and a bullet in my spine?” he said.
Mr Ramsey branded the decision “hard to believe”.
A spokesman for the Compensation Agency said last night: “We do not comment on individual cases.”
Mr Ward could now request a review of the decision, or failing this, take his case to the independent Criminal Injuries Compensation panel.