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Ministers set on blocking rapist's £7m lottery win

UK National LotteryUK National Lottery: Ministers set on blocking rapist's £7m lottery win

Two ministers vowed yesterday to stop a convicted rapist receiving his £7 million lottery winnings but no one in Whitehall could say how.

David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said criminals in jail who scoop the jackpot or inherit wealth should not "benefit from a single penny".

Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, whose department is responsible for lottery law, said the rapist, Iorworth Hoare, should not get the money and discussions were taking place to prdvent him from doing so.

"What we can do, in a very specific case like this, is to intervene and say somebody in these circumstances who is a convicted prisoner can't receive lottery winnings - that those winnings should go instead to the benefit of victims," she said on radio.

But while ministers denied they were engaged in a knee-jerk response to the outcry over Hoare's win, neither they nor their officials could say how such a law might work.

Ms Jowell admitted: "I'm not in a position to tell what the answer to that considered examination is going to be."

Their pledges, which reflected outrage in tabloid newspapers, appear to have taken Whitehall by surprise.

Powers were already being taken to pursue lottery winners to recover compensation paid to their victims.

But they conceded that nothing can be done to prdvent money being invested on the criminal's behalf or to stop interest accumulating on the sum.

They also accepted it was impossible to prdvent a prisoner on day release or a family member buying a lottery ticket.

Cash can be taken from criminals if it is the direct result of their crimes, though only after a civil court action. Yet even if a law were introduced specifically to forbid prisoners receiving lottery winnings, it is unlikely to be retrospective and would not affect Hoare.

Mr Blunkett, writing in The Sun yesterday, denied that his response to the outcry was a "knee-jerk reaction". He said a consultation paper issued earlier this year anticipated such a possibility.

It proposed that, if a prisoner won the lottery or came into an inheritance, then the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority should start proceedings to recoup from him any money already paid to his victims under the scheme.

Standard payments to rape victims range between £11,000 and £33,000.

"Few offenders are in a position to pay back authority awards," said the newspaper.

"But if the offender's circumstances were to change for the better (eg winning the lottery, gaining an inheritance, etc) then the authority would be able to initiate recovery action up until the expiry of an appropriate limitation period."

There was nothing to indicate that if a prisoner did win the lottery he should be prdvented from benefiting "from a single penny".

The Home Office said what Mr Blunkett meant was the current practice under which prisoners are not allowed to spend more than a few pounds a day on food and phone cards and the like. No new laws to strip prisoners of their wealth are envisaged.

Offenders with money could be required to pay into a general fund for victims under plans already outlined. It is also open to victims to sue through the civil courts, though there is normally a three-year "window" in which to bring an action.

Hoare has been in jail for almost all of the last 21 years and was in an open prison - which normally indicates an imminent release - when he bought the ticket. He has now been returned to a closed prison for "security and his own safety".

Boris Johnson, the shadow arts spokesman, said: "The great instinct of any politician anywhere is to get his leg over a story and say 'Well, something must be done and I'm going to do something'. The Home Secretary is no exception to that rule.

"I happen to think it would be wrong to do anything legislative to try to correct this situation."

Telegraph

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13 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
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United States
Member #972
December 30, 2002
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Posted: August 13, 2004, 11:10 am - IP Logged

Ah well, why can't the lottery only be won by nice people?

Mr. Hoare should think about taking his winnings and himself to some other country after he gets out. The government seems to have it in for him.

    whodeani's avatar - lightening

    United States
    Member #2484
    October 9, 2003
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    Posted: August 13, 2004, 1:58 pm - IP Logged

    I am not one to defend

      konane's avatar - wallace
      Atlanta, GA
      United States
      Member #1265
      March 13, 2003
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      Posted: August 13, 2004, 2:12 pm - IP Logged

      What about taxpayer costs to try, convict and imprison him in addition to victim compensation?  Let him repay all those expenses his actions incurred, then keep the remainder if any.

      Good luck to everyone!

        whodeani's avatar - lightening

        United States
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        October 9, 2003
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        Posted: August 13, 2004, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

        His punishment should only be what the court ordered him to serve. Whether that is prison time, fines, or restitution is fine. I don't think that is what is being talked about here. What I believe is being suggested here is action being taken against this outside of the courts. That is wrong. If he has fines or restitution to pay still that is fine. He should pay that. But for gov't officials to go after the this money outside of any court ordered judgement is wrong.


          United States
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          June 5, 2002
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          Posted: August 13, 2004, 3:54 pm - IP Logged

          I guess that's related to sex offenders having restrictions on their freedoms even after they served their time.


            United States
            Member #5387
            July 2, 2004
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            Posted: August 13, 2004, 6:00 pm - IP Logged
            Quote: O
              MetroPlex's avatar - 619631
              Richmond, VA
              United States
              Member #5360
              July 1, 2004
              93 Posts
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              Posted: August 14, 2004, 11:47 am - IP Logged

              ^

              I think they might ad that to the lottery rules...not letting convicted felons play or collect lottery winnings, I mean there are alot of freedoms convicted felons give up when they have commited a crime and are charged.



              Needless to say, this guy should be able to collect his money and let the chips fall where they may.



              MP

              Putting The Damage On.

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                United States
                Member #972
                December 30, 2002
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                Posted: August 14, 2004, 6:25 pm - IP Logged

                It seems to me that if any victims (from over 21 years ago, for which crimes Hoare has already paid quite dearly) succeed in extracting any money, it will set a precedent where anyone who has a criminal record will be afraid to collect lottery winnings in their own name. So they will have their mother or brother or a friend do it for them.

                  hypersoniq's avatar - 8ball
                  Pennsylvania
                  United States
                  Member #1340
                  April 6, 2003
                  2450 Posts
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                  Posted: August 14, 2004, 8:42 pm - IP Logged

                  If they are not going to be allowed to collect it, then they shouldn't be allowed to PLAY it... right?

                  If Hoare served 21 years, and was originally ordered to pay restitution, then the appropriate amount (plus 20 years interest) should be deducted from the prize amount....

                  exactly how many times must one pay their debts to society?

                  Outside of the obvious idiots at work in the above story, I am not generally one to defend criminals... this sets a dangerous precedent tho. what's next? bad credit=no prize? too poor to collect winnings?

                  Playing more than one ticket per game is betting against yourself.

                    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                    Yinzer Country, PA
                    United States
                    Member #4067
                    March 18, 2004
                    2741 Posts
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                    Posted: August 15, 2004, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

                    here's an easy solution.  the guy wll get to claim his wnnings, BUT he will have a little taken off the top of his check, which would go to his victim.

                    I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                      Avatar

                      United States
                      Member #972
                      December 30, 2002
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                      Posted: August 16, 2004, 2:19 pm - IP Logged

                      I am for punishing the criminal, especially one who commits the vile crime of rape, but I don't like the idea of endless punishments for crimes, especially punishments based on anger that the bad man won a jackpot. If there is a standard "victim payment", then take 33,000 pounds off the top for each victim, but an attempt to grab more than standard payments looks like extra-legal grandstanding. 

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                        Wisconsin
                        United States
                        Member #1610
                        June 3, 2003
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                        Posted: August 16, 2004, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

                        I agree, lottery ticket is pay to bearer. If government officials start trying to re-write the rules of the lottery, and decide who does and doesn't deserve payment or who in their eyes has been naughty or nice enough to deserve payment, we're all in big trouble. The correct method for this convicted criminal guy to be sued by his crime victim is something for the courts to decide, but attempting to block payment of a valid lotto win (no matter who holds the ticket) is another thing all together. They should write the rules ahead of time or anyone theoretically could be in jeapoardy of having their winnings garnished. The bearer of a winning lottery ticket must be paid whether we like him or not. The lawyers can then start preceedings for damages but don't let upwardly mobile politicians tamper with the lottery payment proceedures. That's too scary.

                        ... the lottery never fails to surprise!

                          United States
                          Member #379
                          June 5, 2002
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                          Posted: August 19, 2004, 7:07 pm - IP Logged

                          Let's play JEAPOARDY!!