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No appeal against ruling that life support treatment for policeman can stop

A judge's decision to allow doctors to stop providing life-support treatment to a soldier-turned-policeman left in a minimally-conscious state after a road accident will not be challenged in the Court of Appeal, lawyers say.

Gulf War veteran Paul Briggs, 43, suffered a severe brain injury in a motorcycle crash while serving with Merseyside Police in July last year.

His wife, Lindsey, had told Mr Justice Charles that he should be allowed to die, and said life-sustaining treatment should end.

Mr Justice Charles ruled in her favour earlier this week after a hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to take decisions, in Manchester.

But lawyers had suggested that Court of Appeal judges might be asked to review Mr Justice Charles's decision.

Mr Briggs's interests had been represented through lawyers instructed by staff from the Official Solicitor's office, who help vulnerable people involved in litigation.

Barrister Vikram Sachdeva QC, who led the legal team representing Mr Briggs's interests, indicated that he might ask appeal judges to consider the issue.

A spokeswoman for Irwin Mitchell, the law firm which represented Mrs Briggs, said on Friday that staff at the Official Solicitor's office had decided not to appeal.

Mrs Briggs said she was "happy and relieved".

"We are happy and relieved that the Official Solicitor has now decided not to appeal Mr Justice Charles's decision for Paul to receive palliative care and this decision has now been honoured and respected," said Mrs Briggs.

"Whilst Christmas time is still going to be very difficult for us without Paul, we understand he will soon be in the expert hands of the palliative care team and will finally be at peace and free of pain and suffering."

She added: "We are overwhelmed by the understanding, empathy and messages of support, as Paul would be."

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