A VICTIM of a “bad blood”

scandal which infected two Bolton brothers, killing one of them, has won a legal challenge over compensation payments.

David Fielding, aged 54, of Farnworth, who needed a liver transplant after contracting hepatitis B and C, has welcomed the ruling.

His brother, Brian, died in 1990 at the age of 46 after being infected with HIV.

Andrew Marsh, aged 36, of London, sought a judicial review after the Government refused to implement most of the recommendations of a public inquiry, the Archer Report, into the scandal.

In the 1970s and 1980s, about 4,500 haemophiliacs were given contaminated blood, contracting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. More than 2,000 people affected have now died.

The inquiry called for measures including better compensation for all victims.

Ministers promised to increase payments to those with HIV and brought forward a review of financial help for people with hepatitis C from 2014 to this year.

But the Government has refused to assess compensation on the same basis as in Ireland, where victims have received higher amounts, saying the Irish blood transfusion service was found to be at fault, which was not the case in the UK. Mr Marsh took the Government’s decision to the High Court and Mr Justice Holman quashed it, saying the approach “has been, and remains, infected by an error”. This means the Government must look again at its decision.

Mr Fielding said: “This now puts the ball firmly in the Government’s court. It gives us another chance of closure and a proper and fair compensation package.”