A female soldier awarded nearly £190,000 after being sexually harassed by a male sergeant said she was ‘disgusted’ at the compensation given to injured servicemen.
Former Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 32, who was in the Territorial Army 37 Signal Regiment, in Redditch, received a total of £186,895 from the Ministry of Defence for sex discrimination, victimisation and sexual harassment last year.
The pay-out was widely criticised at the time because it was higher than the amount given to many British soldiers wounded in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Miss Fletcher, a lesbian who has since left the Army, claimed her career collapsed as a result of the sergeant’s actions while she worked at stables in North Yorkshire.
Now, she has revealed that she feels embarrassed for the Ministry of Defence who are making injured soldier’s fight for their compensation.
Miss Fletcher, who now lives in Germany, said: “There’s just no comparison. I feel sorry for these people who were injured in wars but they joined the Army knowing there was a risk they could come back injured or even dead.
“I didn’t join the Army to be harassed and bullied purely because of my sexuality and because of what happened with this sergeant. I’m actually embarrassed for the MoD because I fought for what I got,
“I wouldn’t let it go, I believed I deserved compensation for what I had to go through and these people should do the same.
“If they believe they should get more money than what they’ve already received, they should fight against the MoD.
“I’m embarrassed the MoD have only given them such a low sum. To be honest,
“I’m disgusted in the MoD more than anything.”
Among the injured soldiers to receive compensation from the MoD was Charles Bradlaugh who is set to receive almost £330,000.
He was left with hearing loss and tinnitus in his left ear after being ordered to abandon his ear defenders during a live firing exercise in November 2004.
In another case, Corporal Anthony Duncan, of the Light Dragoons, won an increase in his pay-out from £9,250 to £46,000 after his injury in combat in 2005 left him needing 11 operations and suffering chronic pain. Royal Marine Matthew McWilliams had his pay-out increased from £8,250 to £28,750 after his knee was damaged during surgery.
The highest level of compensation the MoD would pay to the most severely injured soldiers is £507,000.