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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Model's damages 'waste of money'
New love: Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
The police motorcyclist involved in the crash in which Sir Paul McCartney's girlfriend lost a leg has branded her 200,000 damages payout "a waste of taxpayers' money".

PC Simon Osbourne contacted the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) to express his "anger" at Scotland Yard's decision to compensate former model Heather Mills out of court.

As far as he's concerned, he was driving perfectly safely when the accident happened

Metropolitan Police Federation
The 32-year-old former swimwear model, whose relationship with Sir Paul was made public last month, lost her left leg in a road accident in London in 1993.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a 200,000 out of court settlement had been made, without admission of liability.

PC Osbourne, whose motorcycle was in collision with her as she crossed Kensington High Street, was later cleared by magistrates of driving carelessly after the crash.

Dave Rodgers, MPF vice-chairman said the officer felt the payment was not justified following his vindication by the courts.

He said: "I've spoken to PC Osbourne today, and he's very angry. He feels that it was a waste of taxpayers' money.

"As far as he's concerned, he was driving perfectly safely when the accident happened."

Ms Mills, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, had been a swimwear model until she lost a leg below the knee.

Earlier on Thursday she issued a statement saying she only sued PC Osbourne after he launched his own action against her for anxiety, stress and loss of overtime caused by a sprained wrist.

In the statement, she said: "I feel a sense of relief that this is all over and this has ended in the right ruling for the public, not just myself."

Privacy plea

Ms Mills has fought back to health and now devotes much of her time to helping others with similar disabilities and promoting fund-raising efforts for landmine victims.

Her relationship with millionaire former Beatle Sir Paul began after they met through their charity work more than a year ago.

Sir Paul, 57, made an appeal for privacy when their relationship finally came out into the open in March.

He said at the time: "What we don't need at this stage is photographers lurking in bushes. If this is to develop, then give us a chance.

"I'm not a politician and we're not spies. I don't want to be surrounded by photographers because that could wreck something."

See also:

15 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Sir Paul's new love
23 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Sir Paul sidesteps romance
07 Nov 99 | Entertainment
McCartney denies love affair
14 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Linda leaves fortune to Paul
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