Last year I reported extensively on the case of Steven Neary, a 20 year old autistic man. At the time, only Private Eye had taken any interest in Steven’s ‘case’ and a friend of his Father’s asked me if I would promote the case on this blog, given my interest in Court of Protection matters. The main stream media, despite many approaches, were monumentally uninterested in Steven’s plight.
Steven’s plight was this: his Father had been overrun by a bad bout of genuine flu – you don’t suffer from ‘man-flu’ when you are a full time carer and single parent. He asked his local council if Steven could be given three days respite care to allow him to recover. They agreed.
This simple request turned into a nightmare for both Steven and his Father. The council declined to return Steven to his Father’s care. (Full story here, here and here).
The High Court today have ruled that they UNLAWFULLY DETAINED Steven and UNLAWFULLY deprived him of his LIBERTY for a full year.
That original blog post caused something of a sensation – 2,500 retweets around the world, and over 25,000 hits in the first 24 hours of publication. Parents of Autistic children world wide were appalled and campaigned to publicise the dangers inherent in new Deprivation of Liberty ‘Safeguards’ – which appeared to do nothing of the sort – but could result in a loving family being torn apart overnight.
The main stream media remained uninterested until the Super-injunction cases started to hit the media – suddenly the Court of Protection cases were of interest to them. Not that these were genuinely ‘super-injunctions’, but the fact that reporting was forbidden was an issue that could be run alongside their campaign to be allowed to report footballers sex lives.
A group of papers applied for, and received, permission to report on Steven Neary’s case – on the grounds that it had already received heavy publicity! Despite the fact that every one of those papers had been in contact with me, begging for an introduction to Steven’s Father, not one of them mentioned where the ‘extensive publicity’ had taken place. The Daily Mail, in particular, copied and pasted yards of material from old posts giving the history of the Court of Protection on this site. (Thanks for the tip-off Churnalism!)
If you are having trouble accessing the site, I can see from my stat counter, that every Tom, Dick and Media Hack, is trying to access the original story and background information.