A POOLE soldier, who lost both his legs in a suicide bombing in Iraq, has received no compensation for his life-changing injuries.

Corporal Neil Heritage, 32, was working with the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment at Camp Dogwood, south of Baghdad in November 2004, when a suicide bomber blew up a car just two metres away from him.

He lost both his legs above the knee instantly and doctors feared he would never walk again but Neil fought his way back to health, proving the experts wrong. But, despite fundraising efforts including a campaign by the Daily Echo to buy him hi-tech prosthetic legs, Neil is one of a small group of soldiers who never received any compensation for their injuries.

Because he was injured before April 1, 2005 – the date set in the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme – Neil is exempt from the Ministry of Defence scheme which awards tax-free payouts of up to £570,000.

“I think really, that it is unjust”, the father-of-two told the Daily Echo.

“When it first came in, in 2005, we had some discussions and tried to get the date moved. But it didn’t work.

“For someone in my situation, it would mean they would have a home and a lump sum and obviously that makes things a lot easier when you are trying to recover from an injury like this.

“It was frustrating at the time and to an extent, it still is. I mean, I’m getting on with my life – it’s not the main thing – but it is still frustrating to think about the difference it could and would make.

“I work and I’m probably like most people – I pay the bills and then see what’s left.”

Neil, who took part in the Row2Recovery challenge across the Atlantic earlier this year, added: “All the charities have helped me at some point whether it has been financially or with support in some way.

“I think what we would be realistically asking for is to sit down and discuss it with David Cameron or someone else in a position to make a difference.

“I have never met anyone who has said this is fair. It would be great to get some actual answers on it.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said it was committed to making sure that those injured as a result of service got all the support they needed.

The ministry said before the introduction of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, financial support would have been provided by the War Pension Scheme.