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Sick widow's belongings sold by relatives on Facebook, judge told

Published 19/10/2015

Detail emerged at a hearing in the Court of Protection
Detail emerged at a hearing in the Court of Protection

A sick widow's belongings were sold on Facebook and at car boot sales by relatives shortly after she moved into a care home, a judge has been told.

Judge Denzil Lush heard that the house the woman owned in Kettering, Northamptonshire, had also been put up for rent.

He said the woman - who has dementia, was a matron in a care home and is in her eighties - could not be identified.

Detail has emerged after Judge Lush examined options for the management of the woman's finances at a hearing in the Court of Protection - where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are analysed - in London.

Judge Lush heard that the woman had two sons and a daughter.

He said there was "hostility between the siblings".

The daughter, who is in her forties, had made complaints about the way her elder brothers had treated their mother.

She had told how her mother's house had been put up for rent and possessions sold on Facebook and at car boot sales - and she implied that her brothers were responsible.

One son had said he and his sister "can't abide each other" and had told the judge: "If she was dying in the street, I'd leave her there."

Judge Lush concluded that an independent solicitor should manage the woman's money.

One son wanted to manage the woman's finances, said the judge.

But he said if that happened the hostility between the woman's children might have an "adverse impact" on the "proper administration" of her estate.

He said social services staff at Northamptonshire County Council had asked him to make decisions about the management of the woman's finances after concerns were raised.

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