A WAR veteran who has waged a bitter battle against Lancashire County Council over the care of his wife is to launch another legal bid to free her from the "clutches'' of social services.
Dennis Cramp, 80, of Maudsley Street, Accrington, is to challenge a year-long guardianship order imposed upon his wife of 56 years last month.
He claims his wife Maria, 89, is being kept by social services against both her and his will at The Hollies Nursing and Residential Home, Clayton-le-Moors.
The couple's plight will be highlighted in a television programme about the care of older people to be screened on 24 May.
Former paratrooper Mr Cramp, who fought at Arnhem, said: "I feel totally betrayed after everything I have done for my country.
"Social services are saying that Maria will not be taken from The Hollies.
"If they have the guardianship they can decide where she lives. It means she can't come home or be moved because they won't let her.
"I was advised not to fight the original order because it only had four months to run. That seemed sensible but no-one mentioned they could extend it for a year.
"They can completely impose their will."
Mr Cramp added: "They held a guardianship renewal meeting on 23 April. I requested Maria be moved from The Hollies.
"I had a place for her two streets from our home. I could have put her in a wheelchair and wheeled her home to watch TV and have a cup of tea.
"They don't seem to care what suffering they cause to Maria. She used to beg me and say: 'Let's go, let's go home'.
"The only option is to go back to court."
Maria first went into The Hollies after falling and later suffering a stroke in December 2005.
In January this year Mr Cramp won a compromise in his legal battle against LCC, allowing him to take Maria home up to seven times a week.
A spokesperson for LCC said: "We successfully renewed a guardianship order for Mrs Cramp.
"A team unanimously concluded that she should continue to be subject to a guardianship order and be looked after in a nursing care placement.
"We have advised Mr Cramp that he has a right to challenge the order.
"Mr Cramp, as his wife's nearest relative, has the right to move her to an alternative home as long as it can provide appropriate nursing care.
"Mr Cramp is welcome to visit the nursing home as often as he wishes and we have not, and would not, restrict access to his wife.
"We arrange for Mrs Cramp to visit her husband regularly at the family home to enable the couple to spend time together in private.
"The health and well-being of Mrs Cramp continues to be our primary concern, and while our aim is to enable people to live as independently as possible, sometimes people's needs are such that they can only be adequately cared for in a nursing home placement.
"We appreciate these circumstances can be very difficult for families and sympathise with Mr Cramp.
"However, we do believe that the current arrangement is the best way to ensure Mrs Cramp's needs are properly and safely met."