On Monday a son's battle to care for his elderly father made
legal history when a judge ruled that his case against the local
authority could be reported in real time.
The case concerns a 92 year old widower who according to his
adult son, is being forced against his wishes to live in a care
home after receiving respite care instead of being allowed to
return home. The son also claims that both the care home and
the local authority have unlawfully denied the 92 year old
unsupervised contact with his son.
This case is being heard in the court of protection, a court who
deals with vulnerable people who are assessed as not being able to
make decisions about their own lives. It is very rare for the
court to allow proceedings to be reported but when the judge grants
publicity it is strictly limited to key facts and only to be
reported once the final judgement has been made.
Mr Justice Ryder, the judge who is reported to have ruled that
this case is a paradigm case in an area which happens to be at the
forefront of public awareness and therefore is of specific public
The local authority contests the claims, maintaining there are
straightforward health and welfare matters as well as safeguarding
issues. Bruising was discovered during admission to the
care home back in December which suggested, strengthened by the
father's own claims, that he had been hurt by his son.
These accusations are vigorously denied by the son, claiming
that his father has Alzheimer's disease which leads to him making
accusations against others. The local authority
concedes the accusations of abuse are not supported by police, and
in court failed to present any medical evidence supporting its
A representing solicitor, Ulele Burnham, reported to agree that
the 92 year old should temporarily remain in the care home until
further assessments have been made. She also is reported to
have said that it is clear from the evidence she has seen so far,
that the allegations regarding abuse were misconstructions or were
false and not sustainable.
The case continues.