I’m un­happy in care... let me go home to die, pleads war vet­eran, 97

Daily Express - - News - By Brian Farmer

A BLIND 97-year-old Sec­ond World War vet­eran is bat­tling to per­suade a High Court judge to let him leave a care fa­cil­ity and end his life at home.

Mr Jus­tice Hayden be­gan analysing de­tailed ev­i­dence re­lat­ing to former Royal Navy gun­ner Dou­glas Mey­ers, who lives near Southend, Es­sex, at a trial in the Fam­ily Di­vi­sion of the High Court yes­ter­day.

The judge has left his base in Lon­don and is hold­ing the hear­ing in a Southend court­room nor­mally used by mag­is­trates to en­sure Mr Mey­ers can at­tend.

Ra­dio

Mr Mey­ers, who served in Italy and north Africa dur­ing the 1940s, ar­rived at the hear­ing in a wheel­chair and sat at the front of the court clutch­ing a row of cam­paign medals.

He has al­ready lost two rounds of his fight.

Mr Jus­tice Hayden, who has over­seen ear­lier hear­ings in Lon­don, re­fused to al­low him to go home for Christ­mas, say­ing he had safety con­cerns.

A Court of Ap­peal judge then re­fused to over­turn that rul­ing.

Mr Mey­ers told Mr Jus­tice Hayden at an ear­lier hear­ing: “I am a vet­eran and I am due the re­spect of a vet­eran who wants to end his life in his home.

“I did six years in the Navy dur­ing the war.”

He told the judge: “I still have my senses. I know what I am do­ing. I am strong enough to look af­ter my­self.”

Now so­cial ser­vices bosses at Southend-on-Sea Bor­ough Coun­cil, who have wel­fare re­spon­si­bil­ity for Mr Mey­ers, have asked the judge to make a de­ci­sion about what is in the vet­eran’s best in­ter­ests.

Bar­ris­ter Par­ishil Pa­tel QC and so­lic­i­tor Laura Hobey-Hamsher, who works for law firm Bind­mans, are rep­re­sent­ing the pen­sioner for free.

Mr Mey­ers told the judge he wanted to end his life at home, that he could look af­ter him­self and he would re­ceive help from a rel­a­tive.

He is un­happy at the care fa­cil­ity. “I sit in my room with only my ra­dio to break the si­lence,” he said

Mr Mey­ers also stressed he was not frail: “My arms are strong enough to carry things. I am not a frail old man.”

The judge has de­scribed Mr Mey­ers as “ex­tra­or­di­nary”.

The hear­ing con­tin­ues.

Former Navy gun­ner Dou­glas Mey­ers at court yes­ter­day

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