Blood scandal: Cornwall 'blood brothers' say more needs to be done to bring justice to victims

  • Richard Waring and Kevin Roberts told ITV News West Country the Government needs to act faster to bring justice to victims

Two victims of the infected blood scandal have said more people will die without justice, the longer the Government keeps them waiting for compensation.Richard Waring from Gunnislake and Kevin Roberts from Hayle, in Cornwall say they are "blood brothers" after being infected with blood products, which led to them contracting Hepatitis C.

Speaking to ITV News West Country, they said the government is long overdue making reparations for all of those affected.

"I know we're four or five decades old, but I would like to see someone prosecuted," Kevin Roberts said.

"Be it the big pharmaceuticals, be the government who allowed this poison to be given to us or some of the doctors who allowed this to happen. Shouldn't be allowed to get away with it."

Richard Waring added: "People need to see progress. The last few months, it has been really frustrating because there's been this blanket silence from the Government. They just weren't telling us what was going on."

Kevin has a type of haemophilia called Von Willebrand's Disease. He was given a contaminated blood product during a tooth extraction when he was 12, which caused his health to spiral.

Both Kevin and Richard contracted Hepatitis C, which if left untreated can be life-threatening. They have both contributed as witnesses to the infected blood public inquiry.

Jacqueline and Richard say they just want to live a normal life and draw a line under the inquiry Credit: ITV News

Richard discovered he had contracted the deadly virus shortly before the birth of his first child.

Richard's wife, Jacqueline, said receiving the news felt like "the bottom fell out of our world" and she had fears for her future daughter.

"I was just about to have this baby and all your hopes and dreams of a young mum and starting a family.

"I knew there was a possibility our daughter too could have a hep C. That means that the whole family could go."

"We were just absolutely traumatised," Richard added.

An interim report recommended a series of compensation payments, and in October 2022 the Government announced interim payments of £100,000 for infected beneficiaries and bereaved partners who were registered with any of the four UK-infected blood support schemes.

A government spokesperson said: "This was an appalling tragedy, and our thoughts remain with all those impacted.

“We have consistently accepted the moral case for compensation, and that’s why we have tabled an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill which enables the creation of a UK-wide Infected Blood Compensation Scheme and establishes a new arms-length body to deliver it.

“We will continue to listen carefully to those infected and affected about how we address this dreadful scandal.”

The final infected blood inquiry report is due to be published on 20 May 2024.