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Second World War pilot's children win court fight over spending

The children of a pilot who served in the Second World War and took part in the Berlin Airlift before being diagnosed with dementia nearly a decade ago have won a court fight after being questioned over their management of his finances.

Officials with responsibility for protecting the mentally ill asked the veteran's son and daughter to justify the way they had spent his money after being given a power of attorney.

Now a judge has given the pair - a woman in her sixties and a man in his fifties - retrospective approval for money they had claimed from his account to cover travel and expenses.

Judge Denzil Lush had analysed evidence at a private hearing in the Court of Protection - where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are considered - in London.

The judge said in a written ruling on the case that no one involved could be identified.

He said the veteran had died, aged 94, a few days before the court hearing took place.

The two children had been given a power of attorney by their father before dementia was diagnosed.

Judge Lush indicated that they had spent sums totalling hundreds of pounds a month over a number of years to cover travel and expenses.

They said the money covered the cost of trips to see their father and of taking him to visit friends and relatives and for days out.

Officials from the Office of the Public Guardian had investigated and asked them to seek "retrospective approval" for the money they had spent.

The pair said they were "extremely disappointed" to be asked to seek approval.

They said nothing had been "hidden" and records had been kept in a "perfectly open manner".

Judge Lush approved their spending.

He said they had acted in their father's best interests and provided services which were "reasonably required".

The judge said the veteran's widow was still alive and also had dementia.

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