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Woman accused of stealing soldier son's payout dies

A mother accused of stealing thousands of pounds of compensation money awarded to her soldier son when he lost a leg has died, police confirmed today.

Angela Woollard, 43, had been due to face trial next month for taking more than £10,000 from Private Matt Woollard.

He lost the limb after stepping on a landmine in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in May 2007 and was awarded around £200,000.

A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed that Ms Woollard, from Westcliff-on-Sea, died on Sunday. According to the BBC, she suffered complications as a result of a broken leg.

She was arrested in September after some of her son's money went missing, and appeared before Southend magistrates in April.

The case was due to be heard at crown court in Southend or Basildon on July 23.

Ms Woollard arrived at her court hearing on April 21 in a wheelchair with a broken leg.

She was accused of taking £10,891 of her son's money while she had power of attorney.

Mr Woollard's girlfriend Natasha Coffey told reporters that he was "absolutely heartbroken" to miss the chance of patching things up with his mother.

She said: "Everything else is in the past now. He's just in pieces."