Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 14°C

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.

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.”

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 Flatford terrapin - now named John!

When Ipswich teenager Curtis Jay went on the hunt for Pokemon Go characters in Flatford he accidentally stumbled upon a very different creature.

Family and friends have just one week to complete the Pigs Gone Wild trail before they are removed from the town. Left to right, Lee Airey and Eva-Marie Allegre.

As the final days of the Pigs Gone Wild trail draw to a close in Ipswich this week, participants have reflected on its legacy which some believe has helped people see the town “through new eyes”.

Ipswich Crown Court

A lorry driver who drove erratically through Woodbridge at night hitting cars, before trying to prevent police passing him on the A12 has admitted dangerous driving.

Martin Cook

Ipswich council is on course to underspend by hundreds of thousands of pounds over the current financial year – and savings on salary costs is a key reason for the shortfall, councillors will be told next week.

The Very Revd Martin Thrower

A senior Suffolk clergyman has been suspended by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich after being arrested by police on suspicion of voyeurism.

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A man was airlifted to hospital after a crash in Stowmarket yesterday.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

The Olympics may have finished but the Games are not over yet – next month it is the turn of the Paralympics to take over Brazil.

The EACHFest event held for service users of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and their families

Young people with life-threatening conditions were treated to their very own festival by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) recently.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss visited the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, in August as part of its Riverside Nights programme

A cinema has revealed plans to install a second screen – 100 years after it opened in a Suffolk town.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24