Three teenage brothers living with their mentally ill mother developed a “narcissistic cult” amongst themselves and had suffered emotional harm, a High Court Judge has declared.
In The London Borough of Wandsworth v M and Others, the boys, aged 13, 15, and 17, had come to believe they were so much cleverer than most other people that there was little point in them making friends, going to school or even leaving the house. Two even devised a private language for use between themselves.
The mother was suspected of having Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, amongst other issues.
Social workers became very concerned about the boys’ welfare, concluding that they had been neglected, were suffering from stress and not eating properly amidst chaotic living conditions. They had also no access to medical care, no outdoor exercise and had seemed extremely anxious during visits by social workers.
They were placed in a residential care home, life with a foster family having proven too stressful and intense for the socially isolated teens. Wandsworth Borough Council then went to court to request a decision on their longer term future.
At the resulting High Court hearing, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that, in the circumstances they could not return to their mother and should remain in the care home.
“As I have heard about this family I have gradually come to believe that the use of the word ‘cult’, which I have emphasised above, is accurate.”
The whereabouts of the children’s father were not specified in the ruling.
You can read the full ruling here.
Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.