The Military Army Blog

Crippled Shropshire soldier starts court divorce battle over £1 million …

A Shropshire soldier left disabled by a bomb blast in Afghanistan could lose the last 200,000 of his 1.1 million compensation payout in a divorce battle with his estranged wife.

Corporal Simon Vaughan was left brain-damaged and wheelchair-bound after the vehicle he was travelling in drove over an unexploded bomb in December 2008. He was awarded the seven-figure sum in compensation for his injuries. The couple separated in 2013. As part of the settlement, Mr Vaughan’s wife Donna is seeking 100,000 to pay off the mortgage on the former family home in Telford, plus 85,000 to cover her legal costs.

She is also asking for a 20 per cent stake in the specially-adapted bungalow in Ercall Heath, near Newport, which was built for Mr Vaughan to live in, plus 1,500 a month in maintenance for her and their two children. Mr Richard Sear, representing 31-year-old Mr Vaughan, said there was now only 200,000 left from his client s compensation fund, which has been frozen pending the outcome of the case. Mr Sear said Mr Vaughan had also run up around 15,000 in legal fees prior to him taking over the case. Mr Vaughan, who was accompanied by his mother Lynne Baugh during the hearing, was injured when the vehicle he was travelling in hit a makeshift bomb at Musa Qula.

The soldier, who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, spent three months in a coma following the explosion. Doctors warned he may never be able to breathe unaided and could have remained in a vegetative state. As well as serious brain damage, he also suffered a shattered pelvis, broken back and collapsed lungs.

His injuries were so severe that Army doctors were convinced he would not survive the flight home and even pinned an obituary to his bag. However, he surprised doctors and is now able to speak through an electronic device. Mr Vaughan received a total of 1.1 million from the Ministry of Defence and two private insurance schemes. Mr Ashley Wynne, representing Mrs Vaughan, said the couple were together for more than 10 years, and married in 2005.

He said they bought the family home in Turreff Avenue in 2006, and the property remains in joint ownership.

The case continues.

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