Calls to boycott Bermuda as a protest at the way a murdered Canadian's mom has been treated are unlikely to gain momentum.

This from Rick Meens, a friend to the family of Rebecca Middleton, who was murdered in Bermuda 10 years ago.

Rebecca's mother Cindy Bennett reportedly applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for the full $100,000 amount allowable under law, for pain and suffering at losing her daughter.

The Board reportedly awarded her $2,840.63 and this has sparked reaction in Canada. A radio station reportedly received calls calling for a boycott of the island.

But Rick Meens, whose daughter had been with Rebecca the night she died, says few Canadians have called to support the proposed protest. He also says Cindy Bennett is unlikely to appeal the award.

"You have to pick through the smokescreen to see how many people have actually called [the radio show]," he said. "From what I've found out, I don't think more than 10 or 20 people have called in. I don't necessarily support it. You can't punish the people of Bermuda for this."

The would-be boycotters might have seen the screaming headlines, but they are unlikely to be in possession of the most salient facts.

A close look at The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1973 reveals that there is limited discretion on a claim for suffering caused by a loved one.

The amount given was for expenses associated with repatriating Becky's body and attending the failed murder trial of one of two men accused of her slaying.

The Act allows discretionary awards on narrow grounds, including expenses of the latter kind, but doesn't apply to the pain and suffering of the victim's family.

It isn't clear, though, whether the victim's family can claim for what pain and suffering a dead victim herself is thought to have experienced.

The Act defines a victim as someone who's sustained injury or has died from a crime of violence.

We tried to contact all five members of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, who determined the payout.

Two were unavailable, one said they weren't at liberty to discuss the matter, one didn't return a call and the fifth abruptly hung up on us, saying "No comment. No sense in going any further."

While the law allows an appeal to the Court of Appeal, Mr. Means doesn't think that's likely to happen.

"It took Cindy a lot of time to write this letter [making her claim for compensation] because she had to get deep down inside to express herself," Mr. Meens observed. "It took a lot of Cindy to do that.

"…I would highly doubt if Cindy would appeal," he said. "I think she's had it and you can't blame her. She had every door she's tried to get in, closed. She's fed up. She's absolutely lost faith in the system."

Becky Middleton was raped, tortured, and repeatedly stabbed on July 3, 1996 at Ferry Reach while on a trip to celebrate her birthday.

Kirk Orlando Mundy later pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and went to jail for five years out of a maximum of seven.

His plea deal with prosecutors has been widely criticized and an attempt to retry him for the actual killing failed on legal grounds.

Justis Raham Smith, 17 at the time, was tried in 1998 for premeditated murder, but Puisne Judge Vincent Meerabux ruled there was no case for him to answer as the circumstantial evidence was inconclusive.

On appeal, the Privy Council said that the decision "was perhaps an astonishing one", declared that there was strong circumstantial evidence to implicate both men in the killing, but ruled against a retrial.

We tried to contact the Middleton family for comment, but they couldn't be reached by press time.

What do you think about his story? E-mail the editor: tmcwilliam@bermudasun.bm