A 90-year-old man who was separated from his beloved cat, Fluffy, and consigned to a locked dementia unit against his will has won £60,000 in damages after a judge criticised a local authority for ignoring his fundamental rights as a human being.
The war veteran was wearing his dressing gown and no trousers when social workers removed him from his home of 50 years without a shred of authority. Despite his repeated requests to be allowed to go home, he was ‘detained’ in a care home for up to 17 months. Had a close friend not rallied round and demanded his release, he would have ended his days deprived of his liberty.
The Court of Protection observed, “There can be no doubt that the council’s practice was substandard…it appeared unprepared to countenance any view contrary to its own. It maintained its resolute opposition to him returning to his home until the last possible moment. The conduct of the council has been reprehensible. The very sad and disturbing consequences for this gentleman cannot be ignored.”
The pensioner had only been reunited with Fluffy and allowed home after the council performed a volte face at the eleventh hour. It also agreed to pay him £60,000 damages – as well as more than £50,000 in legal costs – and will also cover the £25,000 bill for keeping him in the nursing home. It will also fund an intensive care regime so that he can stay permanently in his own home.