A MAN crippled by catastrophic brain injuries suffered at birth in Halifax has secured a £4.85m compensation settlement.

The High Court in London heard that 23-year-old Gordon Chilcott had suffered from severe cerebral palsy since he was born at Halifax General Hospital in May, 1981.

Because of his severe physical and mental disabilities, he was confined to a wheelchair and dependent on others for all his needs.

Through his parents, Mary and Gordon Chilcott, of New Road, Brixham, Devon, he sued West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority.

They said medical staff failed to recognise signs of foetal distress during his mother's eight-hour labour.

It was argued that he should have been delivered earlier by forceps or Caesarean section.

Andrew Spink QC, for Mr Chilcott, said the health authority had agreed to settle his claim for £4.85m on the basis of 85% liability.

His mother had "not had a night without disruption" for more than 20 years, he said.

She and her husband had cared for their son with virtually no help.

But a professional care regime was now making a huge difference to their lives.

Defence counsel Christopher Johnston said the health authority was "very sorry indeed" for the injuries Mr Chilcott suffered during his birth.

The care given by his parents was "very impressive indeed", he added.

Approving the settlement, Mrs Justice Dobbs said Mr Chilcott had retained a "sunny disposition" thanks to the sacrifices his parents had made over the years.

She hoped the settlement would give them "a new lease of life".