Check on boy's care for mother
Tuesday 05 March 1996
Tower Hamlets council has promised the High Court that it will assess the needs of an epileptic woman and her 10-year-old son who is her sole carer.
Annabel Benjamin, 35, is susceptible to black-outs and violent fits and her son, Sean, is often the only person on hand to help her. They took their case to the High Court in an attempt to force their local authority to provide assistance under community care and children's legislation.
A judge granted leave for a judicial review of the case. Tower Hamlets was given 28 days to file evidence to the High Court.
Ms Benjamin has been epileptic since Sean was born and has an average of three violent fits a day. She seldom leaves her second-floor council flat, terrified that she will pass out in the street.
"It is not fair that a 10-year-old cannot enjoy his childhood because he feels obliged to look after me," she said.
Despite approaches to Tower Hamlets council, the family has not been assessed for assistance, such as a sitting service to allow Sean to pursue activities outside school.
After the hearing, Nicola Mackintosh, representing the family, said:''Her [Ms Benjamin's] fits have increased as a result of the lack of action from social services and Sean should be allowed to be a child.''
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