Laura Davidson acts for successful local authority in COP case ousting abusive live-in carers from an elderly woman’s home

London Borough of Redbridge v G, C and F [2014] EWCOP 17, COP (Ms Justice Russell), 21 July 2014
G was a frail, 94-year-old lady from St Lucia who suffered from dementia and various other physical health problems, including double incontinence due to a rectal prolapse. She mobilised via a wheelchair. G was unmarried and had been a missionary for many years with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, as well as a midwife. Historically, she had had many friends and a rich social life within the community. C and F were from St Lucia. In 2011, C was introduced to G through a mutual friend. Very quickly, C moved into G’s house, followed by her husband F. Some months later, C cancelled G’s care package and began providing full-time care to G.

The case was initially brought under the inherent jurisdiction due to concerns that C and F were unduly influencing G and attempting to exploit her financially. It has had numerous reported hearings, including a hearing to determine whether or not G lacked the capacity to litigate and to make decisions about her finances, residence, care and contact. The judge accepted the opinion of independent consultant psychiatrist Dr Andrew Barker and determined that, due to dementia, she did not. Associated Press had also tried to become a party since G had stated her wish to speak to the Press, notwithstanding the anonymity order in place (In the matter of G [Adult] London Borough of Redbridge v G and Ors [2014] EWCOP 1361). That application failed…

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