This may be very unchristian of me (which I suppose is unsurprising for a self-confessed Agnostic) but I was none too impressed when I read in the Evening Standard that Colin Stagg had been awarded £706,000 for his wrongful arrest and prosecution over the murder of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in 1992.
My first thought was: I wonder what kind of compensation Rachel's son Alex and her partner Andre got. Does anyone know?
Criminal compensation is a very difficult area, and most comparisons are probably completely unreasonable, but when a woman gets £12,000 for being raped, can a payout of £706,000 for wrongful prosecution really be justified? Stagg described the award as "like winning the lottery" - a singularly insensitive thing to say in the circumstances.
How on earth does one put a montary value on behind raped, murdered, injured or wrongly prosecuted. The truth is that it's virtually impossible.
In some ways, the Criminal Compensation Board is a bit like NICE, the people who decide which drugs can be supplied by the NHS. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
UPDATE 8.30pm: Having read some of the comments you have left, I do wonder how many of you actually read what I wrote. No change there then. My point was to compare the award which Stagg got with what victims or their next of kin get - or don't get, and to point out how difficult it is for the bodies who award these sums to come to a decision. And yes, compared to Rachel Nickell's family, I do have limited sympathy for Stagg. That's not to say I don't have any at all - which is what some are implying in the comments.