Victims of crime are missing out on compensation because courts are forced to make criminals pay costs to the Government first, campaigners have warned.
The new compulsory fee – of up to £1,000 if the defendant is found guilty – was introduced by former Conservative justice secretary Chris Grayling to make criminals pay for running the courts.
The Independent highlighted concerns on Saturday that it is encouraging poor defendants to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit because the charge is then reduced to £150.
Now it has emerged some courts are not ordering compensation for victims because judges and magistrates know defendants do not have enough money to pay more than the mandatory Criminal Courts Charge.
Andrew Neilson, of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It’s sentencers in the courts being faced with the reality of the people before them. And the vast majority of people before the criminal courts are people of very little or no means.”