Judge decides woman has mental capacity to consent to sex with husband of 25 years
A judge has decided against ruling that a woman with learning difficulties is no longer able to consent to making love with her husband of more than 25 years.
Mr Justice Hayden was told that a specialist had concluded that the woman’s mental health had reached the stage where she was no longer capable of understanding the “sexual act”.
The woman’s husband had initially offered to give an undertaking not to have sex with her.
But the judge said evidence had to be explored in detail before decisions were made.
He has now concluded that the “preponderant evidence” suggests that the woman has the mental capacity to consent to a sexual relationship with her husband.
Mr Justice Hayden had analysed the woman’s case at hearings in the Court of Protection, where issues involving people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London.
The judge, who outlined his conclusions in a ruling published on Tuesday, heard arguments from lawyers representing council social services bosses with responsibility for the woman’s care and lawyers representing the woman.
He says the woman cannot be identified in media reports but has named Tower Hamlets Council (pictured) in London as the local authority involved.
“The preponderant evidence suggests that she is capacitous,” said Mr Justice Hayden in his ruling.
“The local authority may wish to consider a reassessment of (her) capacity in the light of this judgment.”
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