A 25 year-old autistic man must leave his ‘dominating’ mother and move into council care, a judge has ruled.
The local authority had applied for a care order after becoming concerned about squalid living conditions in the man’s home. There was a frequent lack of food and the mother had repeatedly refused help for her son, who suffers from a number of developmental and social disorders and had rarely been allowed out. She was also reported to have mentally and verbally abused her son.
The mother had previously been arrested for neglect, but was not charged.
Nevertheless, the man had said he wished to stay with his mother, so the authority applied for a ‘deprivation of liberty safeguard’ order, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These allow organisations to detain people thought to lack the mental capacity to make decision for themselves, if doing so is in their best interests.
According to recent figures, the number of such orders granted has risen by two thirds (66 per cent) since 2010.
Sitting at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Martin Cardinal, granted the order, allowing the authority to prevent the man, referred to as ‘WMA’ in case reports, from leaving his new home if they thought he might run away.
In his judgement for the Court of Protection, he noted that the man had thrived during a previous, temporary stay in a care home, learning to make toast and interacting with other residents.
Judge Cardinal said:
“Whatever [the mother] may say about being a good mother to WMA, and I am sure she intends to be one, [she] is, in practice, a poor one; for she has done little to forward his learning, social and self-care skills.”
WMA and his mother were to have telephone contact only during his first two weeks in the care home, and then supervised visits for a further month.