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£60k for man (91) locked up inside dementia unit

By Brian Farmer

A sick 91-year-old retired civil servant who was an RAF gunner during the Second World War is to get £60,000 damages after local authority social services staff moved him to a "locked dementia unit" without authorisation, a judge has said.

Judge Paul Mort said Essex County Council had agreed to pay damages as part of a "compromise agreement" after a friend of the pensioner - who has dementia - took legal action on his behalf.

Detail of the case emerged yesterday in a ruling by the judge following a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are analysed, in London.

The judge said the pensioner was wearing a dressing gown and "without trousers or pyjama bottoms" when taken from the home where he lived with his cat Fluffy in May 2013.

He said it had been alleged that when the pensioner "declined" to leave, a social worker had told him that she would call the police.

Judge Mort said the council had "no authorisation" to remove the pensioner from the home he had lived in for around 50 years and place him in a residential unit for dementia sufferers.

The pensioner had subsequently been detained "against his wishes" for 17 months, said the judge.

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