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Woman jailed for hugging granddaughter tells of humiliation

By Richard Vernalls

A 72-year-old woman jailed for hugging her granddaughter in breach of a court order has been freed by a judge - but branded her ordeal "humiliating".

Kathleen Danby apologised to the court, paving the way for a reduction in the three-month jail sentence, handed down earlier this year at Birmingham's Court of Protection, to be cut to time already served.

However, outside court the defiant pensioner said she had been "bundled" from a Ken Dodd show in Liverpool on Sunday when arrested, before being driven on a 200-mile trip between court and prison.

Mrs Danby said she was finding it "difficult" to believe the lengths the authorities had gone to bring her to court yesterday. She said she had been put through "a humiliating ordeal". Asked if she had been scared in jail however, she laughed, replying: "No, I wasn't scared. I don't scare easily."

In April, a judge sentenced her to prison in her absence after watching CCTV evidence of Mrs Danby greeting the teenager with a hug outside a pub.

Contempt of court proceedings were brought by Derbyshire County Council, which is responsible for looking after Mrs Danby's now 19-year-old granddaughter, who has who has a learning disability and emotional difficulties.

The council had alleged the pensioner was in breach of court orders banning her from communicating or going within 100 metres of the girl, or visiting her home town or college.

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