Liverpool

PC Paul Briggs case: Plea to 'respect injured officer's wishes'

PC Briggs on bike Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption PC Briggs previously served as a soldier in the Gulf War

A judge has been asked to respect the previous wishes of an injured police officer and allow him to die.

Paul Briggs, 43, of Merseyside, suffered a brain injury in a crash in July 2015.

His wife Lindsey told Manchester Court of Protection her husband would have seen living in a minimally conscious state as "hell".

Doctors treating him at the Walton Centre in Liverpool are opposing the application to withdraw treatment.

PC Briggs from Wirral, suffered a bleed on the brain and five fractures in his spine in the collision and is being kept alive through medical intervention.

In closing submissions, Victoria Butler-Cole, representing Mrs Briggs, asked the judge Mr Justice Charles to respect the previous wishes of the police officer and allow him to die.

She said even in the best case scenario, PC Briggs would not have a quality of life which he would have previously felt was worthwhile.

Pain and distress

Ms Butler-Cole said: "He has pockets of consciousness in which he may, if things are going well, be able to press a buzzer in response to a question."

Medical experts have told the hearing PC Briggs could emerge from the state he is in, but would remain severely physically disabled and would not regain the mental capacity to fully understand his condition.

Vikram Sachdeva QC, representing the official solicitor acting on behalf of PC Briggs, asked whether he should be deprived of a "reasonably content future" even if it was a situation he would have been "appalled" by before the crash.

Conrad Hallin, representing Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, said PC Briggs was not likely to be tormented and trapped psychologically by his condition but withdrawing artificial hydration and nutrition would cause him to starve to death and likely to cause him pain and distress.

The hearing has finished and the judge will make his judgment at a later date.

Chelsea Rowe, 26, was given a 12-month prison term in July after admitting causing serious injury to PC Briggs by dangerous driving.

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