Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 17:17 UK

Brain damage boy gets 7m pay-out

Harry riding a bike
Harry, now 10, suffered severe brain damage

A 10-year-old Oxfordshire boy who suffered severe brain damage at birth has been awarded £7.1m in compensation.

Harry Snowdon, from Witney, will always need 24-hour care after being starved of oxygen at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, London's High Court heard.

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted liability.

Harry's lawyers said he was delivered by Caesarean section, in February 1999, four hours later than he should have been after his heart rate had slowed.

His lawyers said that as a result of the mistake on 23 February of that year he suffers from developmental delay, limitations to his mobility, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

Harry, who was described as a "handsome, engaging little boy", will never be able to work, the court heard.

Mr Justice Holroyde gave his approval to a financial settlement comprising a lump sum of £2.3m and annual payments for the rest of his life.

We have pursued this claim to ensure that Harry is looked after and taken care of for the rest of his life
Debra Snowdon, Harry's mother

The judge paid tribute to the "devotion and unflagging energy" of Harry's parents Debra and Michael Snowdon, who were present in court.

After the hearing, Mrs Snowdon explained why they had decided to take legal action.

"We have pursued this claim to ensure that Harry is looked after and taken care of for the rest of his life," she said.

Mrs Snowdon added that she hoped the health service would take note of their mistakes and ensure sufficient numbers of trained staff would be available to stop similar accidents happening in the future.

In a statement, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The trust is deeply sorry for any distress caused to Harry and his family following his injury and hopes the settlement will assist Harry in achieving his full potential and would like to wish him and his family well for the future."

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