Lotto rape victim gets an MBE

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2012

A Jewish woman who won a historic compensation settlement after being the victim of a horrific crime has waived her anonymity in response to being awarded an MBE.

Shirley Woodman, 82, a retired headteacher from Leeds, was a victim of the so-called "Lotto rapist", Iorworth Hoare, in 1988. He was jailed for her attempted rape a year later but, in 2004, won £7.2 million from a lottery ticket he bought while on day release.

Mrs Woodman sued for damages, but as the law then stood, compensation claims could be made only within six years of an attack. Four years ago, she won a landmark ruling giving the courts discretion over time limits in such cases.

At the time she was known only as "Mrs A". But after she was awarded an MBE last week, she decided to make her name public. She donated the compensation money to charity.

Mrs Woodman said: "It was not just me who changed the law. I had a team working behind the scenes. The MBE makes it even more worthwhile to say 'we did it'. But it was never about this or the money. I wanted justice. My reward is that the law can be used by people in need."

Last updated: 3:05pm, January 5 2012