A blind 98-year-old Second World War veteran who became embroiled in a High Court battle because he wanted to leave a care facility has told a judge how he is “living again” after returning home.
Former Royal Navy gunner Douglas Meyers, who lives near Southend, Essex, said he was unhappy in the care facility and wanted to end his life in the bungalow which was his home for 40 years.
Earlier this year, Mr Justice Hayden decided that Mr Meyers, a widower who served in the Italian and north African theatres during the 1940s, might be able to return home.
The judge, who analysed evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in Southend, said the “ideal solution” would be for Mr Meyers to return home with a “suitable package of support”.
He is now overseeing developments at follow-up hearings in London.
Social services bosses at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have welfare responsibility for Mr Meyers and had asked the judge to make a decision about what was in the veteran’s best interests.
Lawyers representing the council told Mr Justice Hayden at a follow-up hearing last week that Mr Meyers had returned home.
Mr Meyers has now spoken to the judge from home via a telephone link at a further hearing.
He said he was enjoying being back in his bungalow and added: “I have had eight days of living again.”
Mr Justice Hayden told Mr Meyers that he had to be pleasant to social workers and carers visiting him home and co-operate with them.
The judge said he wanted the pensioner to smile at helpers “until your teeth hurt”.