A Local Authority v PS & HS [2019] EWCOP 60

Posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

The Court was asked to make a declaration that PS lacked capacity to make decisions regarding contact, and whether it was in her best interests not to have contact with her former husband, HS, if she did lack capacity.
PS was 80 years old and had divorced HS about 25 years ago. They had begun seeing each other after P had been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2016/2017 and had become unwell, and at the time their daughter, DS, was ill with cancer. After the death of DS in 2018, PS’s other daughter, DB, became concerned about the amount of time HS was spending with PS, mainly due to comments from PS that HS was getting into bed with her and that she didn’t want ‘that man’ being at her home.
A safeguarding referral was received by the local authority regarding concerns that PS was being sexually abused by HS and so, to assess PS’s care and support needs, she was moved to a care home (it was discovered that HS also had a key to her home). PS then moved into I Care Home, with her to remain there permanently. The police closed their investigation into whether or not HS sexually assaulted PS.
It was noted by Mrs Justice Judd that the evidence was that PS did not know who HS was and, even though she was pleased to see him, his visits did cause anxiety to her. Therefore, Mrs Justice Judd found that PS lacked capacity to make decisions about contact and ordered that it was not in PS’s best interests to have contact with HS.

The full judgement can be read here

If you have any questions regarding this summary case law please contact Christine Marsh here

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