UK - Senior pensions lawyer Giles Orton has defended a £100,000 pension payout to the widow of convicted serial killer Harold Shipman.
Orton – a litigation lawyer at Eversheds and chairman of the Association of Corporate Trustees’ pensioner committee – said it was “fair” to pay the widow, despite victims’ families receiving just £10,000 in compensation.
Shipman – known as “Doctor Death” – is believed to have hanged himself on the eve of his 58th birthday to ensure his wife received a “generous” tax-free lump sum.
Had he died after age 60, Primrose Shipman, 56, would only have been paid £5000 a year and no lump sum on his death.
Orton said: “She is entitled to her benefits because she was not found to have done anything wrong. You have aspects of this that are distressing, but you don’t punish the innocent.”
Ministers had the option of withdrawing Mrs Shipman’s pension, but opted for a full payout – a decision that has angered the families of victims.
Shipman was stripped of his pension four years ago after he was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients by lethal injection. He is suspected of killing at least 200 more.
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