Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 15:25 UK

Injured soldier wins pay review

L/Cpl Martyn Compton
L/Cpl Compton spent three months in coma after suffering severe burns

The compensation paid to a soldier badly injured in Afghanistan will be reviewed, the government has said.

L/Cpl Martyn Compton, 24, from Staplehurst, Kent, suffered severe burns and lost his ears and nose.

He had been awarded 163,000, but is appealing to have that increased to the maximum 285,000 that is available.

Defence Minister Derek Twigg told MPs he would "look again" at the soldier's case and that the government was committed to caring for veterans.

'A disgrace'

L/Cpl Compton was the sole survivor of a roadside ambush in Helmand Province in which three of his colleagues were killed.

He suffered third degree burns to 70% of his body, as well as a gunshot wound to the leg, and spent three months in a coma.

The severity of L/Cpl Compton's injuries mean that he should have received the maximum possible compensation payment
Hugh Robertson MP

L/Cpl Compton has had several operations to rebuild his nose and ears and is undergoing rehabilitation at the Army's specialist centre at Headley Court, Surrey.

But he will still need further surgery and long-term care, and his lawyers say he deserves the maximum compensation.

He was initially offered a lump sum of 98,837, but after an appeal this was raised in February to 163,000.

A Commons debate into L/Cpl Compton's case was called by Hugh Robertson, Conservative MP for Faversham and Mid-Kent, who said the soldier's treatment had been "a disgrace".

He added that L/Cpl Compton, a "wholly extraordinary man", had received no indication of the level of pension he was to receive.

"The severity of L/Cpl Compton's injuries mean that he should have received the maximum possible compensation payment," Mr Robertson said.

Mr Twigg pointed out that injured troops never received lump sum compensation until Labour introduced the scheme three years ago.

But he agreed to review L/Cpl Compton's compensation award and promised that a guaranteed monthly income payment for the soldier would be calculated as soon as possible.

"L/Cpl Compton did raise this with me last week, and I've assured him that we will actually get him an assessment of what that will be, based of course on his current salary," the minister said.

"That will be available for other injured service personnel in the future as well."


Former Household Cavalry officer Alistair Galloway, who has been supporting L/Cpl Compton's campaign, said he was pleased with the announcement.

He said: "Martyn is happy with the medical care he has received, however he just wants to see a line drawn under the compensation claim."

In October 2007, Defence Secretary Des Browne that the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) would be changed so the most seriously injured troops would receive up to 285,000 for all injuries suffered in a single incident.

In a statement the Ministry of Defence said: "The AFCS offers a tax-free lump sum payment paid in service and, for the more seriously injured, an additional tax-free, inflation-proof guaranteed income paid monthly for life.

"This can amount to several hundreds of thousands of pounds over a lifetime."

A MoD spokesman said that a review of the AFCS levels was being conducted.

Mr Robertson said L/Cpl Compton's compensation should be reviewed in line with any upgraded scheme resulting from the review.


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