The very idea that rape victims could have their compensation cut just because they might have been guilty of a minor traffic offence is not only revolting, it is a sign of a government which has run out of steam. If what the Mail on Sunday reports is true - and the Ministry of Justice appears to confirm it - it is truly shameful.
However, what it does highlight is a compensation scheme which is verging on the ridiculous. How can one possibly put a financial recompense on a murder, or a rape? If a woman is raped by one man, she gets £11,000. If two or more are involved, that rises to £13,500. If it results in the victim contracting HIV it rises to £33,000. If you lose your leg in an accident, you're also entitled to £33,000. Is losing a leg comparable with getting HIV?
It is understandable that if you have a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, it has to operate within certain parameters, and someone has to devise them. No one will ever agree with the standard sums of money they come up with.
But surely we can all agree that unrelated past traffic offences should play no part in deciding whether a compensation claim should be met in full.