Elderly man with dementia on hunger strike after being accused of child sexual abuse

An elderly man with dementia, who stopped eating after being accused of historic child sex abuse, is at the centre of litigation in a specialist court.

A judge may have to decide whether the man, who is in his late 80s, should be fed against his will in order to keep him alive.

Mr Justice Hayden oversaw a hearing in the Court of Protection (pictured), where issues relating to people who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London on Tuesday.

He heard that the man, a father of two, had gone on “hunger strike” about a month ago after police began an investigation into allegations of historic child sex abuse.

The judge was told that there were a number of alleged victims of historic sex abuse.

One was the man’s daughter.

Doctors estimated that he could die within weeks if not given nutrition.

Mr Justice Hayden said he wanted evidence from a specialist about whether the man had the mental capacity to decide not to eat and to decide to refuse treatment.

The judge is due to oversee another hearing in the near future after a specialist has produced a report on the man’s mental capacity.

He said the man, who lives in a care home in the south west of England, could not be identified in media reports of the case.

The judge heard submissions from lawyers representing the man and lawyers representing a council with responsibility for the man’s care.

Lawyers representing the man had initially begun litigation after he said he wanted to leave a care facility and return home.

Issues relating to his hunger strike had then arisen.

The judge heard that a specialist had already concluded that the man did not have the mental capacity to make decisions about where he should live.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Ansell / PA Wire.

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