A NEWPORT girl who was left with cerebral palsy after her brain was starved of oxygen during her birth at the city’s Royal Gwent Hospital won a multi-million pound compensation package yesterday.

Harriet Riley, nine, of Llanwern Village, has been left unable to walk or talk following failings during her delivery at the hospital in June 2002, London’s High Court heard.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Walker approved a £2 million lump sum plus index-linked and tax-free payments of £325,000 a year for the rest of Harriet’s life to guarantee her future care.

The settlement will be paid out by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

An apology was also made to the parents in court on behalf of the NHS.

Speaking to the Argus, Harriet’s parents Louise, 39, and Christopher, 40, said the payout and apology was a just reward after years of battling.

Mr Riley said: "We are ecstatic that a decision has been reached and that we have finally received an apology after what was systemic failure at the Royal Gwent.

"It still doesn’t change the fact though that Harriet has lost all the enjoyment of life that you and I had as a child."

The money will be used to provide a care package and equipment for Harriet, who is known as "Smiley Riley" due to her beaming smile.

Paul Rees QC, for the health board, paid tribute to Harriet's parents in court for their "extraordinary" commitment to their daughter over the past decade and made the public apology on behalf of the NHS for "failings" in relation to the management of Harriet’s birth.

He said: "The defendants accept that aspects of the care provided were not to the required standard.

"They accept that there should have been an earlier delivery".

But he stressed that there remained "significant differences" on other aspects of the liability arguments which had been taken into account when calculating the settlement.

A spokesman for the health board said: "We would simply wish to echo the comments made by Paul Rees QC. We apologise to Harriet and her family and fully accept that the management and care during her birth was not to the required standard."