Gun drill cadet ‘left with hearing of 80-year-old’

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A FORMER Army cadet has received a five-figure pay-out after she was left with the hearing of an 80-year-old following a firing drill.

Officer cadet Storm Rae, 23, had to give up a Sandhurst scholarship after suffering ear damage during a 2008 training exercise in Norway, her lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, said. The firm claimed she was given insufficient ear protection and suffered permanent and constant tinnitus.

Her hearing was described as that of a typical 80-year-old.

The Ministry of Defence did not admit any wrong-doing but has agreed to a £27,500 out-of-court settlement, reflecting the impact of the injury on Miss Rae’s future career, a statement added.

Miss Rae, from Suffolk, said: “When I got into Sandhurst I was delighted, it is the peak of Army training and everyone dreams of going there.

“I was just completely devastated when I found out that I had suffered permanent damage and would no longer be able to go to the academy or even enter the Army at all.”

She is now living in London and training for a job in financial services.

David Johnston-Keay, a solicitor and industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The MoD has been providing hearing protection for soldiers, sailors and airmen for many years and there are procedures in place to ensure staff are properly protected. However sometimes those safeguards fail.”