Not a case of legal blunder, but definitely a controversial one – anything to do with splitting families up often is. In this case, a judge ordered for a vulnerable young man to be made to live in a council run care home so that he is kept apart from his mother. The order is against the man’s will and the local authorities were given permission by Judge Martin Cardinal to deprive the man of his liberty by stopping him from leaving the council run home if they decided that he is at risk of running away. The man has only been referred to as WMA.
The man aged 25 suffers from development disorders and is autistic. The court has heard evidence that his mother rarely allowed him to leave the house. The man is incapable of looking after himself as he is deprived of all social skills. Despite the evidence of the mother dominating his life and constantly abusing him the man requested the he be allowed to stay at home. The judge wrote that he is in need of a relationship with his mother however, at times such contact might not be in his best interest.
The mother who during the proceedings was referred to as MA is unable to look after neither herself nor her 25 year old son. The local council took action to rehouse the mother and son due to their current property being kept in such inhabitable conditions. The judge commented by stating the evidence he examined by way of photographs of the house was revolting.
WMA’s doctors stated that the man lived a very isolated personal life with his mother which was often very much the same. The mother was detained for neglecting the man in 2011 however no further charges were brought. The prosecution put forward evidence which showed the mother regularly refused to help her son and held him back. The concerns of care workers were raised who believe the man was regularly starved due to the lack of food in the house.
WMA spent a short amount of time in care during which he enjoyed social contact and was encourage to take part in learning activities such as making toast. In his judgement the judge stated that all the statements from the mother about her being a good parent are taken on board and the judge is sure of the mother’s intentions. However, in practice and according to the evidence this appears to be far from the truth and the evidence shows the mother has made little effort in order to support her son or involve social care to provide for him.