A MUM has shared her heartache after her son received a letter from a debt collection agency demanding more than A$1000 in payments following a brutal life-changing attack injuries.
Nicola Hodgson’s world was turned upside down when her son Danny was attacked in a single attack in Perth, Australia. 2021 year.
Danny, 27, had no feeling in his left arm and hand after spending more than six months in hospital following the attack which left him unconscious and now requires round-the-clock care departure.
However, despite Danny not calling for an ambulance or being conscious when it arrived, he is now being pursued by Baycorp debt collectors on behalf of St John’s Emergency assistance.
Mum Nicola, from Egremont, Cumbria, now says her faith in humanity has been shattered as she says the justice system failed and an intruder must pay the ambulance bill.
The 46-year-old was given an initial letter to pay for the ambulance while Danny was on life support last year, but the family managed to postpone it until next year.
Construction safety adviser Nicola claims Danny tried to fight the payment, but says their pleas have gone unheeded.
Because Danny is considered a permanent resident of Australia and not a citizen, the family claims he is not entitled to anything.
The pressure placed on the family in the months following the attack led to the separation of Nicola and her husband Peter.
The family now live on two different continents, thousands of miles apart, as it was decided that Nicola would return to England with the two youngest children, while Peter would remain in Australia with Danny.
It cost the family £12,000 to see each other at Christmas and they have come to terms with not being able to afford it more than once a year.
The mum-of-three now worries further stress could lead to her former footballer son having another attack after he has already suffered two.
Speaking today, Nicola said: “I think the fact that he has received this letter is disgusting.
“Victims should be helped, not punished for other people’s crimes.
“My son wouldn’t have needed an ambulance, he was walking home and he was attacked unprovoked by a guy who was previously charged.
“Victims don’t get any help, they just have to deal with the consequences, then you get bills like this and it breaks your faith in humanity.
“We are no longer a family because of this animal, it has literally destroyed our family – 30 years of marriage and a broken family.
“No marriage or family in the world can save that [across the world]we are all devastated and never know when we will see each other again as a family.
“Baycorp claims that because Danny used the ambulance, it is responsible for the bill, even though he didn’t call it – the police were called to the scene because Danny was dead and required CPR.
“He [Danny] gets no support from anyone as he was not a citizen but a permanent resident, it has ruined his life and they are still waiting for him to pay for an ambulance that should never have been needed.’
Speaking today, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “Injury and loss payments under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme include ambulance bills which can be paid directly to the service provider or reimbursed to the victim who has paid the bill, where the maximum is outstanding to the victim.
“Crime Victims Commissioner begins talks with St John Ambulance Service over improved services for victims of crime”.
The maximum payout to victims of crime in Australia is A$100,000.
In March last year, a 17-year-old Australian teenager was jailed for three years and eight months for the attack, which devastated the lives of Danny and his family.