Judge scrutinises ill man's removal from foster home


Jerome Taylor
Friday 21 October 2011 00:00 BST

A High Court judge has ordered a local authority to provide details about its decision to remove a man with severe medical difficulties from his former foster parents.

The local authority – which cannot be named for legal reasons – took the man into care last October following a dispute with his foster parents over his care arrangements.

The case is one of a handful of hearings at the Court of Protection to which the media have been granted access following applications from The Independent.

Sitting in the High Court, Mr Justice Hedley explained that the man – who has been given the initials GR to protect his privacy – has since said he no longer wants contact with the foster parents, with whom he had lived for 12 years. But the judge added that he remained "anxious" about some of the events surrounding the man being taken into care.

The judge said: "On 14 October last year the local authority, after several fruitless attempts, succeeded in removing GR from the home of the applicant and her husband and provided accommodation where he remains. That appears to have been a highly controversial step both in terms of its merits and in terms of its legalities."

He ordered the local authority to provide further information about how it came to such a decision and whether it was "proper and lawful".

The case shines a light on the often difficult and protracted disputes that come before the Court of Protection. The court deals with people who lack the capacity to make key decisions about their life. The vast majority of cases are held in private but following a campaign by The Independent, reporters have been allowed into some hearings.

GR's hearing was brought by his former foster mother who disagreed with the local authority's decision to remove him.

The hearing was adjourned.

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