Court orders man out of sick elderly mother’s home after he ‘locked her away from world’

A man has been ordered to leave his sick elderly mother’s home after a judge concluded that he had “locked” her away “from the world”.

Council staff with welfare responsibilities for the woman had told Mr Justice Cohen that her son presented himself as her “sole carer” and had a “dominating and controlling presence”.

They said the woman, who is in her late 80s and has severe dementia, was isolated and neighbours had reported not seeing her since 2019.

Mr Justice Cohen ordered the man to leave her home following a hearing in a specialist court.

Council social services bosses had begun litigation after raising a number of concerns.

The judge accepted that what he had ordered was “draconian” but said the woman was in a “situation” that was not in her “best interests”.

He outlined his conclusions in a ruling published online on Friday after a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in Leeds earlier this year.

The judge said the woman, who lived in West Yorkshire, could not be identified in media reports of the case.

Barristers Lorraine Cavanagh QC and Eleanor Keehan, who represented the council, had told the judge that the woman’s privacy was “degraded” because she was kept under “video surveillance 24-hours a day”.

They said she was deprived of medical attention; left “shut in the house” when her son went out; cut off from other children and grandchildren; and deprived of “any form of professional assistance”.

Lawyers said people who offered essential services would not go into the property because of the man’s “dominating and controlling presence” and his insistence “on filming what goes on”.

“I hope very much that as time goes on, (the man) can be brought back into the fold and able to see his mother and spend time with her,” said Mr Justice Cohen.

“I am sure that would be to their mutual benefit.

“However, a continuation of (a) situation, where his mother is locked away by him from the world and the rest of her family without others being able to reach her, except occasionally with the most stringent court orders, is not a situation that is in her best interests.”

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