20 July 2004
Ilmolian Lekoriani was 8 years old when he was involved in a blast explosion
. He had been sent by his father to round up their calves when he saw three friends playing with a strange object. Ilmolian’s case was that the object was ordnance left behind by the British Army at Archers Post, after they had been carrying out live manoeuvres in the area. The object blew up killing his three friends and leaving him totally blind with severe injuries
to his face
He was left blind and facially disfigured
Ilmolian was in hospital for a whole year. As well as being blind
, he was left with serious facial disfigurement
and lost all of his independence. He had post traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) and depression as a result of the trauma of the incident.
An expert ophthalmologist who examined him on behalf of Leigh Day & Co. suggested that he would benefit from plastic surgery to his face and eyes and that with rehabilitation in a special school for the blind he would be able to resume his independence and even attend university if he wished.
The boy was a lead claimant in a group claim against the Ministry of Defence
. For over 50 years the British Army had been using two practice ranges in central Kenya. In that time, hundreds of Kenyan children were seriously injured or killed by unexploded bombs left on the ranges.
Leigh Day & Co. were approached by Action Aid
to represent the local community in 2001. Around 230 Kenyans were involved in the legal action which successfully sued the MoD for £4.5 million.
Ilmolian was awarded damages to enable him to attend a special blind school and to receive psychotherapy.
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