The Social Welfare Department has apologised to a victim of violent crime whose compensation payments were delayed for five years. The man, who suffered a 46 per cent disability during a crime at his workplace in February 1991, was entitled to about $40,000 under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. He was paid $6,000 three months after the crime was committed, but the balance was not given to him until May last year. The delay was due to his other applications for compensation, including employees' compensation, which was eventually turned down. He was also suing the culprit for common law damages and was later awarded $2.3 million in court. But that money could not be recovered because of the culprit's limited assets. The Ombudsman ruled it was unreasonable for the department to withhold payments as this might be against the purpose of the scheme - to help victims of violent crime. Details of the case were not given by the Ombudsman in order to protect the victim's identity. Chief Investigative Officer, Alec Kwong Pak-ming, said: 'Half of the money [to be paid on the grounds of disability] should be released to the victim after his disability was confirmed.' Director of Social Welfare Andrew Leung Kin-pong had sent a written apology to the victim, Mr Kwong said. A Social Welfare spokesman said the department had re-examined relevant procedures of the scheme and would announce results soon.