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Thompsons Solicitors have backed the family of a soldier killed when an RAF Nimrod exploded over Afghanistan who criticised the Ministry of Defence for making the battle for compensation "as difficult as possible".

Lance Corporal Oliver Dicketts, of the Parachute Regiment, died with 13 others when the Nimrod blew up in 2006, moments after mid-air refuelling.

His parents, Robert and Priscilla Dicketts from Kent were awarded £100,000 each – usually the full amount of compensation they were claiming.

Liability in the action was admitted by the Ministry of Defence. It was the role of the jury to decide the level of compensation.

In a statement released after the jury’s ruling Mr Dicketts said: "On December 4, 2007 the then secretary of defence, Des Browne, stood up in front of us, the victims' families, and apologised to us for what happened to Nimrod XV230.

“He went on to say that they accepted 100% liability, that compensation would be paid to all the families and that he wished for it to be dealt with 'as quickly as possible'.

"However, since that date the MoD (Ministry of Defence) and their lawyers have made this process as difficult as possible for all of us, causing considerable distress and anguish in their attitudes which seems to have been an attempt to get us just to accept whatever figure they proposed with no consideration for us as individuals.

"They have shown no understanding of our grief or suffering and, in doing so, have only served to make it worse."

Mr Dickett then thanked the jury: "We would like to thank the jury very much for what we consider the value they put on our son.

"They obviously put the maximum they could and that is a great comfort to both of us. No amount of money, obviously, can bring him back."

Thompsons Solicitors partner Patrick McGuire said: “Unfortunately the Dicketts experience seems to reflect the MoD’s universal response to cases of this nature.

“That has certainly been Thomsons Solicitors’ experience in at least two recent cases, one of which has been resolved while the other is still on-going.

“The Dickett case raises serious questions as to whether the MoD’s attitude reflects Government policy, or the policy of top brass in the department.

“Either way it is an appalling way to behave, particularly in cases involving people who have put their lives on the line for their country.

“It also means that anyone contemplating action against the MoD must ensure they have sound legal representation from experienced solicitors who are prepared for this sort of legal infighting.”

If you have lost a loved one and feel you may be entitled to claim compensation call Thompsons No Win No Fee specialists on 0800 0891 331 for legal advice.

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