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Nacht und Nebel – UK Edition

Habeas corpus

The human rights of a woman with dementia were breached when she was moved from her house to a care home, a court has ruled.

[Her] son, who has not been identified, told BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme he was “flabbergasted” to find his mother had been taken into care.

He said: “I returned from a short trip to the local town, to pick up a valve radio I’d bought for mum at auction. On my return mum’s carer told me two social services people had been and taken her to ‘a place of safety’.”

In his judgement, District Judge Paul Mort said the council behaved unlawfully when they moved the woman from her own house to a care home because they failed to get authorisation from its own specialist panel and had not applied to the Court of Protection.

The local authority also failed to tell her son of where she was for 19 days and he was then only allowed limited contact whilst the council investigated neglect claims.

BBC News

So, a UK Social Services department effectively kidnaps an 81-year old woman from her home and her family and refuses to reveal her whereabouts for 19-days until served with a writ of habeas corpus.

The most repellent thing about this whole episode is that while criticising the failure of Milton Keynes Council to follow correct procedure, the woman in question remains in a care home with no likelihood of returning home, so despite voluble criticism of Social Services, District Judge Paul Mort will not reverse this kidnapping, which occurred some 11-months ago.

As the woman in question is now under the guardianship of the dubiously named Court of Protection reporting is scant as this is effectively a secret court. Judge Mort’s decision was actually handed down in April, but publication of details have only just been released.

Clip from BBC Radio 4′s The Today Programme:

One Comment

  1. Julie near Chicago says:

    Chilling. Snoops, busybodies, authorities, with no respect for others whatsoever. I’d like to know how Social Services (or whatever) even knew about this woman. Do they keep tabs on all the elderly/children/teenages/couples/unattached persons? Or did some snooping busybody neighbor or acquaintance decide to call the Authorities?

    And if the Judge knew it was wrong, why didn’t he order them to take her home? –Oh wait, I think I read the name wrong. It’s not “Mort,” it’s — it looks like — R-something — Wait, I have it! It’s Roberts. Well that explains it then. No doubt John Roberts’ long-lost brother.

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