Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich/Westminster: Former Liberal Democrat candidate Manuela Sykes wins landmark dementia case

17:30 25 February 2014

An undated family handout of Manuela Sykes.

An undated family handout of Manuela Sykes.

An 89-year-old former Liberal candidate for Ipswich who suffers from dementia and wants to be looked after in the flat where she has lived for 60 years because she is “miserable” in a care home has won a court fight.

shares

A Court of Protection judge has ruled that Manuela Sykes – who became a Labour a member of Westminster City Council in London in the 1970s – can return home on a one-month trial basis.

District Judge Anselm Eldergill also ruled that Ms Sykes could be named in media reports – in line with her wishes and after journalists argued that identification would be in the public interest.

Lawyers representing the pensioner said the judge’s decision to allow identification was “rare”.

Ms Sykes fought the Ipswich seat for the Liberals in 1957, 1959, and 1964.

Detail of Judge Eldergill’s decision has emerged in a written ruling following a Court of Protection hearing in London.

Court of Protection judges analyse cases involving vulnerable and sick people. Hearings are often held in private and people involved are not normally identified because of their vulnerability.

Judge Eldergill concluded that a one-month trial of home-based care would be in Ms Sykes’ best interests – even though social workers from her local authority, Westminster City Council, had raised concerns about her welfare if she left a care home.

The judge said if a trial was not attempted she would never again have the chance to live in her own home.

And he said all viable alternatives should be explored before a conclusion could be reached that it was in Ms Sykes’ best interests to spend the rest of her life in a care home.

Judge Eldergill said his decision to lift the “usual veil of anonymity” had been “finely balanced”. But he said the case was “relatively unusual” and Ms Sykes’ personality was a critical factor.

He said she had always “wished to be heard”, would want her life to end with a “bang not a whimper” and had a “last chance to exert a political influence”.

He also said “archival photographs” of Ms Sykes could be published – although not a current picture.

Anne-Marie Irwin – a specialist Court of Protection solicitor from law firm Irwin Mitchell, who had represented pensioner’s interests during litigation – said Ms Sykes had been a “leading dementia campaigner” who now suffered with the illness and was “miserable” in a care home.

“Manuela is firmly of the view that with the right kind of care package, she could be supported to return home safely,” she said.

“Although the kindness of her carers was praised, Manuela was miserable at the care home, and we asked the court to consider if it is truly in her best interests to remain deprived of her liberty.

“The court was asked on her behalf – what is the point of being kept safe, when to do so is also making you miserable?”

She added: “We are confident that with specialist dementia carers Ms Sykes can greatly benefit from returning to her own home.”

shares

2 comments

  • "Liberal Democrat candidate"? That political party didn't even exist back then! Ms Sykes stood as a candidate for the Liberal Party. I am very surprised that Mr Geater of all people would get this basic fact wrong!

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • she was a lovely looking girl and i am sure she is still a nice looking woman [ all the best miss sykes]

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The scene of the accident on the A133 at Weeley between a push bike and a van.

A cyclist has died in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Police called to catch dog

Police were sent on a wild dog chase after an errant hound ran amok across two busy roads.

Man admits having indecent images of children and animal pornography

A 36-year-old man has admitted possessing thousands of indecent images of children and having extreme pornography featuring an animal.

Fire Fighters damping down the fire at The George Pub in Wickham Market in 2013

No progress has been made on the restoration of the pub by its new owners, who bought the site from Punch Taverns for £62,000 last year.

Ipswich Town V Brighton. Brighton fans hold up a banner to remember those that lost their lives at the Shoreham Air Show accident

Brighton’s travelling supporters paid their own tribute to those who died in the Shoreham airshow tragedy at yesterday’s game against Ipswich Town.

From left, James and Darren Couchman with Bob Cooper at this year's Clacton Beer Festival

Glasses were raised, beer and cider were drunk and good times were had.

Charlie Bowring tries out a tractor at the Suffolk Food Hall Vintage and Modern Tractor Fair.

Wherstead’s Suffolk Food Hall was overrun with tractors yesterday when an agricultural vehicle fair was held for the first time.

Ladbrokes in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe which was the scene of an armed robbery.

Four men have been arrested following an armed robbery in Felixstowe on Friday night.

Festival goers learn archery at Mersea Island Festival, an adventure break for children, young people and adults with or without a physical or learning disability, at Essex Outdoors in Mersea.

The annual Mersea Island Festival has seen people try out a range of adventurous activities.

A woman is in hospital with serious injuries following a five vehicle crash on the A140 last night.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages