Soldier Compensation Bid Debated

Soldier Injured

13.06.2008

MPs are to debate whether a soldier who sustained horrific injuries during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan should receive more compensation.

Lance Corporal Martyn Compton, from Staplehurst, Kent, lost his ears and nose after suffering third degree burns to 70% of his body during a roadside bomb attack in Helmand province in August 2006.

The only survivor of the attack, L/Cpl Compton, of the Household Cavalry Regiment, was also shot in the leg as he crawled 80 metres to safety.

He has since undergone intense medical treatment at the Broomfield Hospital in Essex and rehabilitation at the Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court in Surrey.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) initially awarded him about £99,000, which was increased on appeal to £163,000.

His MP, Conservative member for Faversham and Mid Kent Hugh Robertson, described the offer as a "disgrace", saying L/Cpl Compton should be entitled to the maximum level payable of £285,000 because of the severity of his injuries.

Mr Robertson, who served in the same regiment as 24-year-old L/Cpl Compton, said he has also received no indication of the level of pension he is to receive at a time when he is planning for his future.

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Law firm Irwin Mitchell, who are pursuing legal action to challenge the current Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), has welcomed the decision by the Mod to increase the compensation awarded to L/Cpl Martyn Compton.

However, lawyers at the firm who successfully fought for the compensation received by Paratrooper Ben Parkinson to be increased, have repeated their calls for the top limit of £285,000 to be raised.

Andrew Tucker, Partner at Irwin Mitchell said: "Although we welcome this payout and the proposed review to consider changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, we remain disappointed that it is still capped at £285,000 for the lump sum payment despite repeated promises of a review.

"There is a need for an increase in the maximum compensation in order to take into account the immediate needs of severely injured service personnel.

"Those with multiple injuries are often those with the greatest disabilities, they have immediate needs and require financial security.

If you've suffered an injury as a result of a military accident you might be entitled to claim compensation. See our Military Claims page for more details.