Injured soldier's father hits out at 'immoral' MoD offer

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THE father of the youngest soldier seriously injured in Iraq yesterday said the Ministry of Defence had added "a degrading insult to injury" by offering his family £57,000 compensation.

Jamie Cooper, now 19, was warned he could face a lifetime in a wheelchair after shrapnel sliced through his stomach during a mortar attack in Basra last November.

He has since suffered further setbacks after catching a series of infections at Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital.

His father, Phil, 49, said his son faced a life on benefits following the "paltry offer" from the MoD last weekend.

Mr Cooper, who estimates his family has already spent more than 46,000 on expenses since his son was injured, said: "The package from the MoD is an immoral slap in the face - it is degrading and it is a genuine insult to injury.

"My son laid his life on the line for his country. Seeing him treated like this makes me despair. We are going to appeal, have no doubt. It's the least my son deserves."

Jamie, from Bristol, who served with the Royal Green Jackets, will never work again because of his wounds, which include extensive nerve damage, a smashed pelvis and a shattered right hand. He must also wear a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

An MoD spokesman said: "The lump sum is one part of the overall compensation package that will be paid to Jamie Cooper. When he leaves service, he will receive a regular, tax-free, index-linked payment.