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Council’s Decision To Remove Disabled Teenager From Home ‘Unlawful’

Mathieu Culverhouse of Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law & Human Rights Department has represented a disabled teenager in the fight to prevent the council from removing him from his home, where he lived with his foster mother.

The 19-year-old, called ‘E’ in the case, has a mental age of two and also severe physical disabilities. He had lived with his foster mother since 1995 but was removed from her care by Manchester City council.

E was moved to a residential home for several months with no arrangements in place to allow E and his mother to have contact. During his stay, it was reported that his behaviour deteriorated and he was showing signs that he was missing his foster mother.

The council said that they were investigating claims against the foster mother and believed they were doing the right thing in removing him from her care. The allegations against the foster mother were later decided to be unfounded

Solicitor Mathieu Culverhouse acted for E and helped prove that the council’s decision not only failed to consider the relationship between E and his foster mother, and how the decision would affect him, but also that it was unlawful.

The case also uncovered a series of managerial failings and poor decisions by Manchester City Council which the High Court judge in the case, Mr Justice Baker, labelled “deplorable".

In his judgment, Mr Justice Baker ruled that the council had breached the teenager's human rights and also failed to abide by safeguards required by the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

E has since been returned home and shown significant improvement in his behaviour and mood. Manchester City Council has also put new procedures in place to prevent this happening to other vulnerable people.

To contact Mathieu Culverhouse in the Public Law & Human Rights solicitors team call 0370 1500 100 or complete our enquiry form.

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