Hope to end tainted blood loans scan­dal

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - EX­CLU­SIVE by MARTYN HALLE

VIC­TIMS of the NHS tainted blood scan­dal could have loans which jeop­ar­dised their homes writ­ten off – thanks to the Sun­day Mir­ror.

We told last month how a Govern­ment-backed char­ity had made deals to profit from haemophil­i­acs in­fected by con­tam­i­nated blood prod­ucts.

And we urged HIV char­ity the Ter­rence Hig­gins Trust to can­cel the agree­ments af­ter it took on re­spon­si­bil­ity for them.

Now vic­tims who were left with hep­ati­tis C and HIV have been told it is un­likely the money will need to be re­paid.

The loans were orig­i­nally given by the Mac­far­lane Trust,

FURY a char­ity set up to man­age pay­outs. Clair Wal­ton and hus­band Bryan, who died at 34 in 1993, had £50,000 of their mort­gage paid off but had to give the char­ity a stake in their home.

It meant Clair was faced with the prospect of hand­ing over more than half the value of her house if she moved. And it would have given the char­ity a

£36,000 wind­fall from ris­ing prices. But the Ter­rence Hig­gins Trust has told Clair the loan, and one for £27k, may be dropped.

In a let­ter sent to 11 vic­tims with out­stand­ing loans, THT said its board of trustees was “in prin­ci­ple will­ing to write off the loans”.

But it says an as­sess­ment and in­ter­view are needed first to meet Char­ity Com­mis­sion reg­u­la­tions. Clair, who got HIV from Bryan, said: “I’ve lived with this for 30 years. It will lift a huge burden.”

Sue Threakall, 65, from Barn­sta­ple, Devon, also got a loan af­ter hus­band Bob, 47, died in 1991. She said: “This is good news. Mak­ing peo­ple take

loans was an in­sult.” RE­LIEF Widow Clair THE Prodigy’s min­der

Con Mur­phy has died just weeks af­ter front­man Keith Flint took his own life aged 49.

Con, dubbed Su­per­man by the band, passed away peace­fully with wife Jayne and daugh­ter Charlee by his side af­ter a long bat­tle with can­cer.

The band said in trib­ute: “RIP Con. You al­ways had our backs. You were the great­est loyal friend to us all.”

Min­der Con with the band’s tragic front­man Keith Flint

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