Judge grants order to protect couple from 'abusive' son
Monday 25 October 2010
The High Court has made a "highly unusual" order protecting an elderly couple from their allegedly abusive son.
Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, ruled that he had jurisdiction to grant a local authority's application for a non-molestation injunction against DL, who is in his 50s.
The authority - which like DL, his 90-year-old disabled mother and 85-year-old father cannot be identified - accepted that the couple were capable of managing their own affairs and of deciding whether DL should continue to live under their roof.
But, it stepped in because it felt it owed a duty to them to protect them from DL's allegedly "aggressive" conduct.
The judge said that the authority had documented incidents going back to 2005 which, it said, included physical assaults, verbal threats, and DL controlling where his parents moved in the house or outside and who might visit them.
"There have also been, it says, consistent reports that DL is seeking to coerce Mr L into transferring the ownership of the house into DL's name and that he has also placed considerable pressure on both his parents to have Mrs L moved into a care home against her wishes."
The authority recognised that Mrs L, in particular, wished to preserve her relationship with her son and did not want any proceedings taken against him.
She worried that, if steps were taken to remove him, he might at worst commit suicide or, at best, she might lose contact.
The judge said the authority had rejected using the criminal law, applying to the Court of Protection, seeking an anti-social behaviour order or applying under the Housing Act, and he agreed that none of those remedies was currently appropriate.
Instead, it argued that the court had authority, under its inherent jurisdiction to protect vulnerable adults and under the Local Government Act, to make an injunction restraining DL, although it emphasised that it was not seeking to exclude him from the house.
Making public today his reasons for granting the "highly unusual" application earlier this month, the judge said that he had heard only one side, and made no findings of fact.
The authority had decided to apply without giving notice to DL partly because it feared that this might provoke the violence it sought to prevent.
Nothing interfered with DL's right to apply for the order to be set aside, and any future hearing would take place in his locality.
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’