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Court of Protection rules brain damaged soldier can be discharged

View profile for William Rowe
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A soldier assaulted by a member of his regiment in a bar and left brain damaged, is to be discharged from service, a judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Baker, presiding over a specialist Court of Protection, made the decision after hearing representations from lawyers for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The soldier – a veteran of Afghanistan, having served three tours – was knocked unconscious in the assault and suffered what was described as a “significant traumatic brain injury”. Since then he has been treated at a specialist unit but, due to his injuries, now lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for himself.

Due to his condition, he has been at the centre of legal action in the Court of Protection for several years and is said to have been struggling to come to terms with the fact that his military career was now over. The latest hearing saw the judge rule that the discharge could go ahead.

Since the assault, the soldier has remained on full pay and was also awarded compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. The ruling means he will be removed from the Army payroll once the discharge has gone through.

Lawyers representing the MoD said the Ministry’s responsibility for funding the soldier’s care would also come to an end, leaving the family with the option to go private. If they chose not to, then responsibility would transfer to the local authority.

An MoD social worker would be made available to offer support to the soldier and further help would be accessible from a range of charities, such as Help for Heroes.

MFG Solicitors’ Private Client can assist in any matters relating to the Court of Protection. Our experts also advise on any other corresponding aspects of law. For more information, contact us today.

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