Family's anger as soldier shot in head offered just £1,500 payout (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bierley family’s anger as marine who lost part of his brain in Taliban shooting offered £1,500 payout and told: It’s just a flesh wound
The family of a Bradford commando offered a £1,500 insurance payout after he was shot through the head by the Taliban have branded the decision “disgraceful”.
Royal Marine Liam Brentley had to have part of his skull, brain and jaw removed and has been left with deafness and memory loss after he was shot while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Now his dad Gary, 50, has hit out at the father-of-two’s insurer for offering the “disgusting” payment for his injuries which the company has described as a “flesh wound”.
Mr Brentley, of Parkmere Close, Bierley, said: “It is a disgrace. He is so upset and his wife, Samantha, is distraught.
“We received a letter offering him £1,500 for what they call a ‘flesh wound’. We are absolutely disgusted with it.”
Mr Brentley and his wife Yvonne were outraged after receiving the letter from insurance company Chartis.
Their son, a former rugby league professional, is having treatment for his injuries at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey.
Mr Brentley said: “We were hoping to get him a good payment so that he could crack on with his rehabilitation but this has just hit him for six.”
Marine Brentley amazingly survived after being shot through the head while on patrol in Afghanistan’s dangerous Helmand province, the Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed in July. The former Bradford Dudley Hill rugby league player was initially treated in Afghanistan but his injuries were so severe he was flown back to Britain to undergo a life-saving brain operation.
His wife, Samantha, gave birth to their second child, Isabella, at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Selly Oak, Birmingham, where her husband was recovering from the surgery.
Samantha said: “It’s upset me and Liam. They are saying it’s a flesh wound which it’s not. He has been shot in the brain. He has had brain tissue removed and part of his skull removed. He is totally deaf on his left side with permanent memory loss.
“Liam’s not going to be able to work because he’s got short-term memory loss. He’s going to be disabled for the rest of his life. He has two children and two step-children.”
A spokesman for insurance firm Chartis said £1,500 was an initial offer from the company and apologised if the cover-all term “flesh wound” – which it used for bullet wounds – had caused offence to the family.
Marine Brentley, 25, may be entitled to payments in the future following the advice of medical professionals looking after him. But his dad said: “He has a wife and two children and doesn’t know whether he will have a job. They need it now.”
The Chartis spokesman said: “If there has been a failure in communication with the family, then we apologise.
“This is a complex situation where payments are made within the terms and conditions of the contract and some have already been paid. Whether or not more payments are due is dependent on the long-term outcome of the injury. We are dependent on medical professionals treating an individual to provide that information.”