A RIBBLE Valley soldier maimed in a bomb blast has seen his compensation slashed by almost £60,000 to save the government money.

Sergeant Rick Clements was sent a letter detailing payments for his horrific catalogue of injuries totalling £633,025.

But it went on to say he would only be paid £575,000 as there was a cap to limit the cost to the public purse.

Sgt Clements and his family have been left angry, disgusted and devastated.

The British Legion said the Duke of Lancaster Regiment soldier should receive the same compensation as a civilian would with similar injuries - around £4million.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said Sgt Clements should be paid every penny as the amount was ‘negligible...when you consider the size of bankers’ bonuses’.

Last May Sgt Clements, 31, of Chatburn, was leading a foot patrol when he stepped on a landmine in the Helmand district of Afghanistan a week into a six-month tour of duty.

The blast blew off both legs, severely damaged an arm, and caused terrible internal injuries.

He faces a long period of rehabilitation, and also requires a full-time carer.

Sgt Clements, who is due to marry his fiancée Leanne Isaacs, 28, this year, can never have children as a result of his injuries.

The former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil said he was launching a legal challenge to his payout.

Sgt Clements, who will also receive a £2,000-a-month pension, said: “We have all been left devastated.

"It should not matter how you suffered your injuries or who you work for.

"We are worried about how we are going to make it last because I am always going to need full-time care. We feel really let down.

"And even if I don't get any more money I want to fight for a change for future soldiers who suffer horrific injuries and get hardly any compensation."

Sgt Clements, who served in the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment for 14 years, told of the physical and psychological impact of his injuries: “One of the hardest things that I have had to deal with is that I am never going to be able to have children as me and Leanne can't have a normal sexual relationship.

"The worst thing for me is seeing the effect my injuries have had on the rest of my family.

"I have days when I feel very low but then I am really grateful that I am still alive and that I have Leanne.

"It is going to be very difficult for me to walk again, because the amputation goes right the way up and my other stump is very small.

"But I will get through it and I will always count myself lucky because I managed to survive."

Leanne, who is his full-time carer, said: "It has been really hard because Rick will never have a normal life again.

"I feel he has been let down and I think it is disgusting how much they are going to give him considering that he suffered these horrific injuries fighting for and protecting our country.

"No amount of money can compensate Rick for what he's lost but surely they can do better than this.

"It's disgusting, unfair and a disgrace that he has been treated like this."

Leanne, who has two children, six-year-old Kyle and Erin, nine, from a previous relationship, added: "There have been some tough times and there will be tough times ahead.

"We know that but we will get through them.”

Bob Scott, from the Clitheroe branch of the Royal British Legion, said it was an ‘appalling’ situation.

"There is no difference between a servicemen and a civilian so they should both be compensated equally.

"Rick suffered horrific injuries and we cannot comprehend what life he is going to have ahead of him.

"He should be given sufficient compensation to live the rest of his life with dignity.

"And it is distressing that his compensation is so disproportionate to his injuries."

Ribble Valley MP Mr Evans backed Sgt Clements’ campaign: “It is my strong belief that Sergeant Rick Clements should be entitled to every penny of compensation that he deserves with no cap placed upon the figure.

“When we consider the size of bankers’ bonuses, the sum we are talking about is negligible especially when we reflect on the fact that his injuries were sustained fighting for our country.”

An MOD spokesman declined to comment on the individual case, adding: "No amount of money can fully compensate for the terrible injuries suffered by some members of our Armed Forces in the course of their service.

"The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme pays a tax-free lump sum of up to £575,000 and, in the most serious cases, a monthly tax-free, index linked payment for life. "

A petition to back Sgt Clements’ campaign can be found at the link below.