Paralysed Boldon mum may only get £55,000 compensation after attack

Claire Hilton and, below, her attacker Christopher Towers.
Claire Hilton and, below, her attacker Christopher Towers.
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A MUM left paralysed after a row over a spilt pint is likely to get just £55,000 in compensation.

Claire Hilton was punched by Christopher Towers, 24, whose blow sent her crashing into a wall, breaking her neck.

Dated: 28/11/2011'Pictured  at Newcastle Crown Court today Christopher Towers , accused of grievous bodily harm following an alleged pub attack on young mum Claire Hilton, 'Claire Hilton was paralysed , following a row over a spilt drink at the Wheatsheaf pub in West Boldon, South Tyneside.  'see story by North News' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Dated: 28/11/2011'Pictured at Newcastle Crown Court today Christopher Towers , accused of grievous bodily harm following an alleged pub attack on young mum Claire Hilton, 'Claire Hilton was paralysed , following a row over a spilt drink at the Wheatsheaf pub in West Boldon, South Tyneside. 'see story by North News' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

She is now paralysed from the neck down apart from limited movement down her right side.

Experts say there is little point pursuing Towers for money, so the only avenue open to Claire is to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which could take years.

Solicitor John Davis, who specialises in spinal injury cases, said: “The cost of bringing a claim is substantial and you have to make a judgement if it is worth it.

“If the attacker is in prison, and has no assets, then you may be awarded damages of half-a-million pounds, but have no realistic prospect of getting it.”

The CICA pays £55,000 for partial paralysis.

Mr Davis said: “Experts will want to see the effect of rehabilitation. That may take over a year.”

Towers hit the mum-of-one near a pub in Boldon.

She was left paralysed when her neck was broken after being savagely beaten in a row initially triggered by a spilt drink.

Since the brutal assault in June, the courageous 29-year-old, from West Boldon, was determined she would be in court to face her attackers and give evidence, despite being wheelchair-bound.

Last month, Towers, of New Road, Boldon Colliery, was due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

But before a jury could be sworn in, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm and will be sentenced on January 6.

Claire, a former Sunderland telesales worker, has pledged to never forgive him for “destroying her life”.

“I hate him,” she said. “He has ruined my life.”