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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 18:35 GMT
Soldier's injury pay 'degrading'
Pte Jamie Cooper
Pte Jamie Cooper has already contracted MRSA twice
The family of the youngest soldier to be injured in Iraq has described a 57,000 payout by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a "degrading insult".

Jamie Cooper, 19, suffered serious wounds when the Royal Green Jackets were attacked in Basra last year and could face using a wheelchair for life.

The payout is an "immoral slap in the face" said his father, Phil.

But an MoD spokesman said it is part of "an overall compensation package" Mr Cooper, from Bristol, will receive.

The teenager - who now faces a future "on benefits", according to his father - suffered extensive injuries, including shrapnel slicing through his stomach, in the mortar attack last November.

My son loved the Army and laid his life on the line for his country. Seeing him treated like this by the MoD makes me despair
Phil Cooper, soldier's father

Pte Cooper hit the headlines in March after his family complained he had been treated "appallingly" at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, where he twice contracted MRSA.

He was also diagnosed with suspected clostridium difficile after undergoing bowel surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, in October.

MoD officials offered him 46,000 for his damaged leg, 10,350 for his pelvic and abdominal injuries and 1,237.50 for his wounded hand.

However, Mr Cooper's father, who estimates the family have spent more than 46,000 on expenses since he returned home, said: "The package from the MoD is an immoral slap in the face.

"My son loved the Army and laid his life on the line for his country. Seeing him treated like this by the MoD makes me despair."

'Financial assistance'

The teenager's other injuries included extensive nerve damage, a smashed pelvis and a shattered right hand.

His parents have sold their house and spent 40,000 on an adapted bungalow.

The MoD spokesman stressed however, that Mr Cooper is in line to receive more money.

"The lump sum payment is one part of the overall compensation package that will be paid to Jamie Cooper," he said.

"When he leaves service he will receive a regular tax-free, index-linked, payment.

"He will also have access to support and other financial assistance from other government departments."

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