South East Wales

Wife of paralysed marine Spencer Vaughan fears for future

Spencer Vaughan Image copyright Paul keogh
Image caption Spencer Vaughan's wife Jodie said he was not told he needed travel insurance

The wife of a marine left paralysed after breaking his neck diving into shallow waters in the Canary Islands says she does not know what they will do for money when his employment ends.

Spencer Vaughan, 27, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, lost his claim for damages from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The High Court ruled the MoD was not liable for his injuries because the accident happened during time off.

Mr Vaughan's wife Jodie said even day-to-day tasks are a struggle for him.

The Royal Marine was injured in July 2009.

Speaking to Jamie Owen on BBC Radio Wales' Jason Mohammad programme, Mrs Vaughan said they would try going back to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Tetraplegic

"The main thing he will need is a full medical pension because he can't go out now and work," she said.

"He's a tetraplegic so he can't move his legs or core. He's got no hand function so, putting socks on, simple day-to-day tasks are a struggle.

"At the moment he's still employed, but... once his operations have finished he will no longer be employed. We don't know what we'll do for money then.

"He needs somebody with him around the clock. He's very expensive now, just to survive."

Mrs Vaughan insisted her husband was not on a day off when the accident happened.

'Utmost sympathy'

"They were due to set sail in the afternoon because they were waiting for the wind to change.

"They were told they could go and have a look around, so he and the other marines took the opportunity to go swimming.

"Everybody that we've spoken to, every military personnel, believes that while you're on exercise you're on duty 24/7 and I want to make people aware that isn't the case.

"Before he went to Gran Canaria, he was meant to be given some joining instructions and those instructions would have told him to take out travel insurance.

"The only thing he was covered for was while he was on the boat and sailing."

An MoD spokesman said: "Whilst we have the utmost sympathy for Mr Vaughan, the MoD is not responsible for the injuries he sustained following his tragic accident and in those circumstances we cannot pay damages from public funds."

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