Girl, 15, awarded £5.3m for hospital's negligence

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

Man arrested in Portsmouth explosives probe at Stanhope Road student block is released by police

A TEENAGER has won a multi-million pound payment at court after hospital negligence left her with brain damage.

Sophie Taylor, 15, was left with cerebral palsy because she was starved of oxygen when her mother was giving birth at St Mary's Hospital, Milton.

She sustained severe brain damage her QC, Christopher Gibson, told the court, and although a 'bright and lively child', she requires help with all aspects of her life.

A judge at London's High Court ruled the hospital had been negligent and awarded the family 5.3m in compensation.

Her mother Lynn Taylor, of Foxgloves, Fareham, said: 'This money will be the security for the rest of Sophie's life.

'She needs a wheelchair at all times and her speech is unclear.

'She has all the needs and wants of any young teenage girl, but she is severely disabled and needs permanent assistance from carers.

'She is sociable and knows her own mind.

'The years looking after her with the rest of the family have been terribly difficult at times.

'Our solicitors have fought hard for us and I am delighted the award will enable us to carry out the necessary adaptations on a house that will provide suitable long-term accommodation for Sophie and her carers.'

Lynn sought damages for her daughter's injuries, which she suffered in 1995, from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust as Sophie has spasticity in all four limbs and has difficulty making herself understood.

Her lawyers from Blake Lapthorn, which specialises in personal injuries, claimed medics were to blame in delaying the process of delivery, maintaining that, had she been born just six minutes earlier, all major injuries would have been avoided.

John White, head of the clinical negligence team at Blake Lapthorn, said: 'Sophie is a truly delightful client and I am so pleased we have been able to obtain this award for her, which means she will have suitable accommodation and care and therapies to meet her needs for the rest of her life.

'This award will now enable her to participate in the activities that she enjoys and provide her with security for her future.'

A trust spokesman said: 'An agreement on liability was reached in February 2009, following service of proceedings in January 2008.

'The trust would like to reiterate the apology already made to the child and her family and hopes the financial award for damages will secure their future and assist in maximising their potential.

'The trust has taken every possible action to further improve its maternity services to prevent a reoccurrence of an incident of this kind.

'We would like to recognise the highest level of care and devotion provided by the child's parents and extend our best wishes to the family for the future.'