Soldier's mother accused of taking injury cash

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The Independent Online

The mother of a soldier who lost a leg in an explosion in Afghanistan will appear in court today charged with taking more than £10,000 of his compensation money.

Private Matt Woollard, of 1 Royal Anglian, received a payout of around £200,000 after stepping on a landmine in Helmand Province in May 2007.

His mother, Angela Woollard, 43, from Southend, Essex, was arrested in September after some of the money went missing.

She was charged earlier this month and released on police bail to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court today.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: "A 43-year-old woman from Southend has been charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position.

"The charge dates from July 22 2007 to February 10 2008 and relates to an amount over £10,000."

Speaking in May 2007, Pte Woollard, then 18, recalled the powerful blast that tore off his right leg below the knee.

"I remember everything," he told the Southend Echo. "The blast was so amazingly strong. It was just a loud, loud bang - more like a crack - and there was ringing in my ears afterwards for ages.

"My whole body just went into shock."

He now uses a prosthetic limb.