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Divorce Judge finds in favour of wounded soldier whose wife 'wasted' his compensation

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A woman who allegedly misspent a significant part of her husband’s £1 million Ministry of Defence (MoD) compensation – after he sustained brain damage following a Taliban attack in Afghanistan – has lost her case to get a larger share of the remaining money.

31-year-old Simon Vaughan, a former soldier, was unable to speak or walk properly following a vehicle attack in 2008, while on active duty in Afghanistan.

As a result, he was awarded £1 million by the MoD, so that his long-term care would be funded.

However, the money was paid into a joint bank account that Mr Vaughan shared with his wife, who then spent the money without consideration.

Donna Vaughan purchased a bungalow in Newport, Shropshire, for £295,000 in cash; however, she failed to get a survey and because of structural issues it could not be adapted for her husband’s needs, so it was demolished and rebuilt for £300,000.

Mrs Vaughan did not inform financial experts at the MoD what she was intending to do.

The couple have two children together, but as part of the divorce ruling Judge Richard Chapman stated that Mrs Vaughan’s financial decisions had been careless, also highlighting the fact that she rejected financial advice from an experienced MoD caseworker.

As part of the divorce, Mrs Vaughan was seeking £185,000 from the remaining £200,000 fund, as well as a stake in the adapted bungalow where Mr Vaughan now lives with his mother.

Judge Chapman awarded only £85,000, in order to cover the wife’s legal fees, and an additional £10,000 in cash.

However, a second property owned by the couple will be handed over to Mr Vaughan’s ex-wife as soon as he has paid off the £30,000 remaining on the mortgage.