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London Borough of Redbridge v G & Others [2014] EWCOP 17

Judgment at end of 'best interests' hearing in long-running Court of Protection proceedings concerning a 94 year old woman who had previously been found not to have capacity to make decisions concerning (i) litigation, (ii) financial matters, (iii) contact with others and (iv) her residence and the people who reside with her; and subsequently had further been found not to have capacity to make decisions in relation to her contact with the press.

This judgment given at the end of a two day 'best interests' hearing concluded a Court of Protection case concerning a 94 year old woman, "G", who had in February 2014 been found not to have capacity to make decisions concerning (i) litigation, (ii) financial matters, (iii) contact with others and (iv) her residence and the people who reside with her, and in May 2014 had further been found not to have capacity to make decisions in relation to her contact with the press. The case has had a high profile history, with previous rulings in relation to press reporting and joinder of a media organisation having been reported as London Borough of Redbridge v G & Ors [2014] EWCOP 959 and In the matter of G (Adult) London Borough of Redbridge v G and Ors [2014] EWCOP 1361.

This final chapter of the proceedings before Ms Justice Russell DBE concerned the care given to G by C and F, a married couple who were not related to G but who had moved into G's home as G's full-time carers in the spring of 2012, and against whom the local authority sought findings in relation to ill-treatment of G. The allegations against C and F ranged from a single incident of physical abuse, repeated verbal abuse, isolation from friends and church support, and that C had attempted to persuade G to change her will to C and F's benefit. The local authority sought findings that C and F were motivated by financial gain and their wish to solidify their immigration status through being G's carers. C and F denied all the allegations against them and further made criticism of the manner in which the local authority had conducted the case and its provision for G's care.

After hearing evidence from C, F, G's social worker and several lay witnesses, Ms Justice Russell DBE made all the findings sought by the local authority, save for the single allegation of physical abuse, in which it had been said C had shaken G by the shoulders. Ms Justice Russell DBE concluded at [72]

"C is not capable of acting in C's best interests and, not withstanding the high standard of physical care she has provided in G's home, it would seem that, in her determination to further her own interests C has and will reduce the quality of G's life to in an attempt to remain in G's home and in the UK."

The case concerned an extremely vulnerable person and the findings make distressing reading. At [72] Ms Justice Russell DBE concluded:

"I do find that C's behaviour has been abusive, threatening and intimidating; she has been overheard shouting either directly at G, and generally in G's home, the former would be frightening and the latter distressing for a very old and very frail lady; C has intimidated G, emotionally manipulating her by quite deliberately playing on G's fears about losing her home and being placed in a care-home. The intimidation has been intensified and refined by the equally deliberate isolation of G and the alienation of her friends and neighbours. Viewed objectively these were calculated acts of some cruelty. It is my view that on the balance of probabilities the regime endured by G has caused some deterioration in G's physical and mental condition; as was remarked on in the evidence of people who had known G over the years."

In performing the exercise of analysing G's 'best interests' at [75-96] Russell J lamented the difficulty in ascertaining G's true wishes and feelings due to the manipulation of her thoughts by C and F, particularly in encouraging G to believe that if they ceased to care for her she would be put into a residential home against her wishes. Further comment was made in relation to G's isolation from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, of which congregation she had been an active member for 80 years but had recently ceased to observe its traditions and had instead attended Jehovah's Witness meetings, which was C's observed denomination. Russell J accepted that C, a trained nurse, had provided a high level of physical care for G, but concluded that the effects of her behaviour towards G had been such as to reduce her independence and placed her in situations she would have found invidious earlier in her life. At [91] she concluded:

"I weigh against her expressed wishes and feelings the detrimental effect that C's manipulative and intimidating behaviour has already had on G's emotional well-being and mental capacity, the isolation, the fear and the fact that it is C's behaviour, assisted by F who has supported her throughout, that has caused these proceedings and the gross intrusion into G's life that this case and the additional media attention have brought. It is intended that G should now be allowed to be at peace in her own home as she wants."

C and F were directed to leave G's property and the lasting power of attorney in favour of C was revoked. An order was made for no contact to take place between G and C and F. The local authority has committed to provide a care package that will allow G to remain in her own home with support from professional carers.

Summary by Charlotte Hartley, barrister, 1 King's Bench Walk

This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the subject of these proceeding G and the respondents C and F members of their family must be strictly preserved.   All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with.   Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Case No: COP 12455450
Neutral Citation Number:
[2014] EWCOP 17


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
Date: 21/07/2014



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Between :

The London Borough of Redbridge Claimant
- and - 
G Defendant
- and - 
AC 2nd Defendant
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FC 3rd Defendant
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Ms Laura Davidson (instructed by London Borough of Redbridge) for the Local authority
Ms Lisa Giovannetti QC
(instructed by the Official Solicitor) for the 1st Respondent
Ms Helen Curtis
(instructed by Campbell-Taylor Solicitors) for the 2nd Respondent
Ms Ulele Burnham
(instructed by Miles and Partners) for the 3rd Respondent

Hearing dates: 10th to 13th June 2014
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The Honourable Ms Justice Russell:

Introduction and summary of case
1. This is a case which has been before the court on numerous occasions and which now draws to a close. The case has attracted the attention of the media and applications were made on behalf of the press, including before Cobb J reported at London Borough of Redbridge v G & Ors [2014] EWCOP 959, and an entirely novel application that a newspaper should be joined as party to these proceedings, an application which was refused as can be seen in the decision of Sir James Munby, President as reported In the matter of G (Adult) London Borough of Redbridge v G and Ors [2014] EWCOP 1361.

2. This judgement should be read in conjunction with my previous judgement of February 2014.In February 2014 I made a decision, reported at London Borough v G & Ors [2014] that G lacked capacity under the MCA and that she was a person [5] "who lacked the capacity to conduct this litigation and to decide on her financial affairs and the disposition of her property without the assistance of an independent professional appointed by the court. There was disagreement as to the reason for the lack of capacity; the court decided, on the balance of probabilities that it was due to an impairment of G's mind or brain". I concluded that G lacks capacity to make decisions concerning (i) litigation, (ii) financial matters, (iii) contact with others and (iv) her residence and the people who reside with her, and have made declarations to that effect. Later in May 2014 following a further assessment of her capacity by Dr Barker the court found (with the explicit agreement of all parties) that G lacked capacity to make decisions about contact with others including the press.

3. As set out in the summary at [4] it was clear "that further investigation needs to be carried out to decide how her best interests will be met and her comfort and safety assured. Her wishes and feelings will be taken into account at every stage as will her desire to remain in her own home. It is the court's intention that every measure that can be put in place to secure her in her own home is put in place. There is an equal need to ensure that she is not overborne or bullied and that she can lead her life as she wants…"

4. At the time, in February 2014, concerns had already been raised about the behaviour of C and F who had insinuated themselves into her home as carers, but at the time the local authority did not have an alternative plan to provide care for G in her home and so C and F remained in her home as her carers. Those concerns have continued to form a substantial part of the case and in June 2014 it fell to the court to decide where G's best interests lie, in particular whether C and F should continue to live in her home and provide her care or whether G should continue to live in her home with a 24 hour care package provided by the local authority, and C and F should be required to leave G's home. Before considering best interests the court has to decide whether the allegations made by the local authority about their behaviour are proved to the required standard of proof as those findings will provide part of the factual matrix and background for any best interest decision.

5. At the outset of this trial the Official Solicitor who acts on G's behalf proposed, with some misgivings, that G should remain in her home and that C and F should be allowed to continue to stay there to care for her; for it has been a feature of this case that the physical care of G and her home appears to be of a good standard, in addition to which G has said consistently that she wanted C and F to remain in her house as her carers. However at the conclusion of the trial on 13th June 2014 the Official Solicitor invited the Court to approve the Local Authority's proposals, which were in line with the recommendations of Stuart Williams, the jointly instructed Independent Social Worker ("ISW"), on the grounds that those arrangements would be in G's best interests within the statutory framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

6. C and F deny that they have behaved in the way alleged by the local authority and want to remain in G's home. It is their case that it is in G's best interests that they do so. However as observed by the ISW in his report of 28th April 2014 this arrangement essentially started out as commercial one and remains as one, even though they now describe themselves as "family". The court is not being asked to decide between residence in the care of family members with longstanding attachments and bonds of love, affection and kinship. C and F are not G's family. As counsel for the Official Solicitor observed, at best a continuation of the arrangement would be a "deal" of sorts, at worst G is being exploited for financial gain and immigration status.

7. In order to reach any decision I have had to decide the pertinent facts. The local authority had set out in a schedule of facts they sought to be found in support of their application to remove C and F from G's home. As the Applicant the burden of proving the facts is on the local authority and the standard of proof is, as it is in all civil proceedings, the balance of probabilities. The allegations largely concern the behaviour of C, and to a lesser extent F, towards G, which the local authority have said, undermines her ability to reach decisions and which amount to bullying, intimidation and manipulation. It is said that this abusive behaviour is motivated by their desire to remain housed by Ms G and to benefit materially and financially. The situation is complicated by the couple's immigration status as neither has the right to remain in the UK and each has applied for leave to remain based, it would seem, on C being put forward as G's full time carer.

8. The Court has had the opportunity to consider extensive oral and written evidence, in reaching its decision. I have read the documents filed in the case both for the purpose of this hearing and for the previous hearing in February 2014. In addition I heard oral evidence from the social worker, Ms Murray; from the previously instructed Independent Social Worker, Mr Gillman-Smith; from ML who was asked to draw up a will to leave the house and property of G to C and F and alerted the local authority to his concerns about the circumstances of G and his concerns about her; from NP a friend of G for many years and a member of her church; and from two neighbours RG and JP concerned about G's welfare. I heard the oral evidence of Inspector Fish, a police officer present as  an onlooker when C organised a public demonstration outside Ilford Town Hall in March 2014.On behalf of C I heard the oral evidence of SD and from C herself. I heard the oral evidence of F. Finally I heard from the jointly instructed Independent Social Worker, Stuart Williams.

Judgement of February 2014 and subsequent events
9. Before I turn to the fact finding I set out some of the conclusions that I had previously made following the hearing on 17th and 18th February 2014. Having heard the evidence of the expert witnesses as to what G had told them I reached some preliminary conclusions regarding the presence of C and F in her home and their ability to influence her which I shall set out here for ease of reference; at [55]

"That G is vulnerable is not in dispute; Dr Barker, Dr Lowenstein and Mr Gillman-Smith all agreed that she is vulnerable. Dr Barker said that she was vulnerable to influence and dependent on the live-in "carers". That latter is certainly true and, again, is not a matter of dispute between any of these witnesses. Dr Barker said that G did not have the capacity to make decisions regarding having contact with others for the same reasons as she could not decide about who she lived with and that this was harder for her because of the influence of C and F. He had found that G was unaware of her financial situation, income or expenditure and that her finances were controlled by C and F without her involvement; but that even if she were supported she could not do so because of impaired retention and an inability to weigh information due to mental disorder."

10. In respect of the evidence of Mr Gillman-Smith (ISW) I reached these conclusions at [58] to [60].

[58] "G had difficulties in remembering her relatives; she could not remember the name or her relationship to her relative in the Netherlands. She was quite forthcoming about C and F describing C as bossy and herself as like the fly in the spider's web, "and the spider eats you up." C she indicated to be the spider.

[59]G was at best ambivalent about C; as she said "she works well" but that she threatened to walk out and then F would look after her if G did not do what C was asking; she does house work "but what is in her mind?" G described her as a wolf in sheep's clothing. She also said this of church members. C would not let her sleep during the day; she said C physically shakes her sometimes; dresses her and then undresses her replacing her clothes with the same ones. She said she was rough with her; she repeated that she was shaken and like the fly in the spider's web.  She repeated the belief that the court proceedings had been brought by H.
[60] "Mr Gillman-Smith said that G was not "content" with C caring for her rather he saw G as passively accepting the current arrangements and feeling dependent on C. G is fearful that should it cease either F would undertake personal tasks which she does not want, or she would be made to leave her home. Mr Gillman-Smith was of the view that G was unduly influenced by C and had developed a dependency on her. Whilst I accept his evidence about that I do not share his view that G lacks capacity solely due to being unduly influenced by C. Although I am certain that the dependency and the influence inhibit G's ability to reach decisions and undermine her capacity to do so…"

11. The court heard further evidence from Mr Gillman-Smith during this trial to which I shall return when I review the evidence in respect of fact finding; however his evidence about what G told him remained unchallenged and what she told him remains concerning and indicates that she was at the very least ambivalent about C's presence.

12. Notwithstanding the decision of the court to restrict publicity and the agreement between C and F and the local authority C arranged a protest or demonstration outside Ilford Town Hall on March 2014 to which she took G. This action was so obviously contrary to G's well-being that members of the public became concerned for her physical welfare, particularly that she was cold and that her general health would be compromised by being outside for so long. It is a matter of fact that she was being made a spectacle of; as she was the focus of C's very public complaint. C had placed a scarf over her own face and over G's in what seems to have been an attempt to circumvent the reporting restrictions I had put in place to protect G's privacy as an old, vulnerable lady. A passer by, by chance a police-officer, felt it necessary to intervene. The court has now had the opportunity to hear his evidence. An ambulance was called to assist G.

13. The substantive proceedings regarding G's capacity and best interests were then interrupted by applications by the local authority for further injunctive relief and a novel application by a newspaper to take part in the proceedings as a party. There were two hearings; before Cobb J and the President respectively, the citations are set out above. The hearing before Cobb J on 26th March 2014 which arose largely as a result of the protest, continuing concerns about the behaviour of C and F towards G led to the local authority seeking to monitor the situation in G's home. An order was made that C and F would facilitate twice weekly visits to G's home by the applicant local authority, that the access to G would be full, unfettered and in the absence of C and F; this injunction was extended to the representatives of the Official Solicitor. I shall return to how this access was "facilitated" below, but note that the representation of G by the Official Solicitor was agreed by C and F at the hearing in February.

14. In May 2014, and following the decision of the President dismissing the applications of Associated Newspapers Ltd., there was a short hearing before me regarding the capacity of G to speak to the press or media. All parties agreed, on the basis of the unchallenged evidence of Dr Barker, who attended court to give evidence, that G lacked capacity to engage with the press or media. C and F gave undertakings to the court about their conduct while they remained living with G; specifically that the local authority's agents and those of the Official Solicitor would be facilitated, that the access to G would be "full and unfettered" and that neither C nor F would remain in G's home while such visits took place. As will be seen below the spirit if not the substance of undertakings given by C were not honoured.

15. The case was adjourned for the best interests hearing to take place before me on the 10th and 11th June 2014. Prior to the hearing the court was informed by the parties that the two days would not provide sufficient time to hear the evidence and that they had revised their estimate to four days. The court was able to accommodate the hearing and I decided that it should go ahead as planned and expected, rejecting an application by C to adjourn it to October which would have been inimical to the interests of G.  It took place over four days from the 10th to 13th June, all of which was taken up with hearing the evidence. Submissions were to be filed subsequently on the 21st June but C's were not filed with the court until the 26th June 2014.

G's background
16. This case is about G and it is important to set out something of her background before I consider the facts I am being asked to determine and her best interests. G is an old and frail lady of 94 who came to the UK from St Lucia. She has had a full and independent life which had two parts to it that were, and remain, very important to her. G is a trained nurse who worked in the NHS for a large part of her career in South Wales and in the London area. G had assisted at the birth of many children and has affectionately referred to them as "her" children. She retired to her own home in East London in 1983 and has remained there since. She has always been independent, in fact she was well known for her independence of mind, and she wishes to remain so by remaining in her own home. It is a very great fear of hers that she will be removed to a care home. Despite numerous attempts at reassuring her that the intention was, and is, that she should remain there G continues to believe that she may be moved against her will. This is a matter to which I shall return.

17. The second feature of G's life which had been of great significance to her was her religious faith. G was a life-long member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and had played a full role in the local congregation until old age made it difficult for her to continue. G is quite frail and suffers from high blood pressure, a rectal prolapse (meaning she is doubly incontinent) and has had a single mastectomy in 2011. She  has become increasingly frail with various ailments associated with old age and has limited mobility, significant sight and hearing problems and carpal tunnel syndrome which limits her ability to grip with her right hand. She needs assistance with all her personal care and cannot carry out the tasks associated with basic living safely without assistance. However G continued to attend church until she became incontinent. As the lavatories were upstairs at the church it made the situation very difficult to deal with in a dignified and comfortable manner. Nonetheless members of the congregation continued to visit her and to assist G in her home. One of these was MH who was caring for G and who introduced C to G. The association with the church had continued for over 70 years before C took over G's care. Now G has very little if any contact with the church.

18. G had been present in court throughout the hearings that were before me, prior to the hearing in June 2014. As her mobility is limited she is in a wheelchair and was brought to court, in her wheelchair, by C and F. G sat in the well of the court and addressed the court several times; saying that she knew her own mind, that there was nothing wrong with her, she was in her "right mind" and that she wanted to be left alone. She repeated the latter frequently. G has always had a dignity and determination about her, which has been remarked on by others and it is clear that she is used to commanding some respect. G has always made it clear that she wishes to remain in her own home and does not want to lose it or the independence that it brings; the possibility of being removed from her home is something she greatly fears. 

19. It was apparent to me from her appearance in June 2014 that her health had deteriorated; she seemed to have diminished physically and seemed much less mentally resilient. G looked very tired and was less able and inclined to be vocal; she appeared to be asleep for some of the time. On the second morning of the trial the local authority had arranged for a carer to go to her home so she could have remained there with some one to look after her, but C and F brought her to court. It was apparent that she was uncomfortable, if not actually distressed, so G was taken home by a carer. Mr Williams, the Independent Social Worker (ISW), reported that she went willingly and that she developed a rapport with the carer almost immediately. She was not brought to court for the remainder of the trial, and of course she was represented, as she had been throughout, by the Official Solicitor.

Findings of fact: the local authority's evidence
20. The findings sought by the Applicant local authority (Redbridge) are set out in their revised schedule as follows: allegations of emotional and psychological abuse in the form of intimidating and /or controlling behaviour by C by  bullying G; disrupting and/or preventing meetings between G and professionals charged with her care and seeking to protect her welfare; socially isolating G by cancelling monitoring support by Age UK, preventing visits to G by members of her church and preventing friends and family from visiting; manipulating G by telling untruths regarding G being placed in a care home (something she greatly fears), threatening to leave so that G would be placed in a care home and attributing false motives to others as a way to get G to comply with her wish to remain in G's home. C and F have tried to manipulate G by making her change her will in their favour. It is alleged that this has had a deleterious effect on G by preventing monitoring, alienating G from friends and professionals charged with her care, which in turn prevents monitoring of G's situation. The local authority said it had caused G distress and engendered paranoia and distrust. More it is said that it had caused a change in G's personality so that she is no longer sociable, strong minded and independent; rather she is now subdued, distrustful and dependent. The dependence on C and F is said to be unhealthy and debilitating.

21. The local authority allege that C has caused G serious distress by shouting and screaming at her and that this amounts to emotional abuse and harm. The local authority sought a finding that C has physically abused G by shaking her by the shoulders. It is alleged that C caused G further physical harm and abuse and failed to meet her physical and emotional needs by allowing her to participate in a protest for 2 hours outside Ilford Town Hall on 13th March 2014; G was not wearing sufficient clothing or given refreshment and the concerns of professionals and members of the public concerned for G's welfare were dismissed by C.

22. These allegations, if proved would be highly relevant to the question of G's best interests generally.  The written evidence of Mr Gillman-Smith was set out in some detail in my previous judgement some of which I have already referred to; of particular relevance were the complaints made to him during his assessment interview in January 2014 during which G repeated on several occasions that she felt as if she were caught in a spider's web with C as the spider; saying "I am the fly in the spider's web". She had said that C had told her she would walk out and leave her if G did not do as she said, leaving F to provide her with intimate personal care, which she feared.   When Mr. Gillman-Smith was asked in oral evidence about what G had told him he said it was "clearly a theme of concern".  He said that G made the disclosure in "a matter of fact way; it was what she thought would happen". Mr. Gillman-Smith considered that G was "avoiding the question" when he asked G if she was free in her own home. G had told Mr. Gillman-Smith that she was sometimes shaken by C, and he said in his oral evidence, that having checked his contemporaneous handwritten notes, he had quoted her precise words to him in his report. His evidence was not challenged to any extent, and he was, as he had been in February, professional and measured in his oral evidence.

23. ML gave evidence about being called to G's home to change her will in favour of C and F. Again this is a matter that was referred to in my earlier judgement. He had a good recollection of the meeting which took place on 28th July 2013 and had made written notes at the time and typed up his notes in full during the weeks that followed after his meeting with G and C in August 2013. As a result of his concern about G being intimidated by C, ML reported the case to the local authority's social services department and subsequently spoke to the allocated social worker. His concerns about the influence of C and F were based on C's orchestration of phone calls and what he was told by G. In particular he said that C had done most of the talking to start with and complained about the behaviour of the members of G's church and said latterly G had been ostracised by them. The basis for this claim had come from C alone. He was asked to draw up a new will as the previous one had benefitted the church, and a power of attorney in favour of C.

24. When C left the room she reminded G to remember to give him the piece of paper,. G passed him a note which consisted of one sentence hand-written in what he believed to be C's handwriting, having seen it on other material. It said words to the effect that G wanted to leave her house, money and possessions to C and F. G told him that they had told her she had to leave everything to them. On being informed that the law only recognised legacies given freely and asked to whom she would like to leave her estate, G readily said she would want to leave it to her brother CG and his family. She also wanted to make specific bequests to Great Ormond Street Hospital and a personal friend. ML was asked by counsel for C if there really was a note, he was unequivocal in his positive response that there was, his regret that he had not taken a picture of it as he had with the note regarding C and F in G's address book came across as genuine frustration at his own lack of foresight. The note in the address book read "threatening behaviour" under the names of C and F; and on enquiry G told ML that C and F were being very bad to her, but did not elaborate. He said he did not ask her more as he did not want to upset G.

25. ML gave evidence that in early August 2013 he telephoned the local authority to tell G's social worker about his concerns, but Ms. Murray was on holiday. He typed up his note of the dealings he had had with G and C on 20th August 2013, at the social worker's request.  He said he was unable to go to a meeting arranged by the local authority on 3rd September 2013 because his wife was ill so he sent his report to the meeting.  He had not written the details of the note passed to him by G as he always kept the possibility of undue influence in his mind, although significant concerns about it were rare in his work. The meeting had been a memorable one for him so it was "easy to remember". In support of his evidence he had spoken to a social worker in early August, which would have been no more than a week after the meeting had taken place (as set out in the record of the safeguarding referral). He also informed Ms. Murray about the note on her return from holiday, which she confirmed in her evidence; he had typed up his report less than a month after meeting with G and C. I accept the evidence of ML as he was a careful witness without any perceptible reason to have concocted his recollections and repeated them in court.

26. The court heard from three people who had known G for some time. P, who was a member of G's church and whom G had known since she was born, JP who was a near neighbour for many years and SD who had known G for ten years and who, although he was called to give evidence by C, reinforced some of the concerns of the other witnesses. In addition the court heard from Z who lives next door and was concerned about the way G was treated by C. Z reported those concerns to the local authority.

27. P's mother had been friends with G, and so G had known her since she was a baby.  P said that she started taking notes because she was so concerned about C living with G. She described verbal and emotional abuse when G was loudly berated by C. P gave a vivid description of an occasion when C was angry with G for allowing a visit from MH (formerly a friend of C who had introduced C to G and from whom C had taken over as G's carer). C had then fallen out with MH.  P described C as "enraged" and "very intimidating"; C was shouting and screaming, and accused G of betraying her and crushing her spirit. She described how G felt the need to apologise to C. In cross-examination it was denied that C had said anything about betrayal, and said that P had been the one who had been "ranting and raving"; saying that C was wicked and God would deal with her.  

28. As with other witnesses both lay and professional throughout these proceedings  P spoke of a lack of privacy for G. P said she not been given the opportunity to see G alone, and felt worried that C might "take it out on G" if she had asked for privacy, saying "who knows what would happen?"  P believed that C was "drumming it into her" that people wanted to place G in a care home. This form of controlling threat and intimidation repeats the evidence given by Mr Gillman-Smith. P said she had stopped visiting G the way she used to and gave evidence about G's increasing isolation, which would add to the control C could exert over G. P described a church rota previously in place for visiting G as she was unable to attend church after becoming incontinent.  P said that G's birthday parties used to be large, happy events, with twenty to thirty people attending them.  But in January 2014 on G's birthday there were only three visitors, including P herself. P said that G used to be very chatty and liked visitors, and that sometimes you had to make an excuse to leave, or she would have talked all night; this was something that other people told me about too.  P was shocked that G had become "silent and subdued".  P said that all G's friends had been "banned" from G's home by C, and been told not to contact G.  P said that she was the "last link".  She said that G had been a "proud and dignified person", and she was very upset to see her involved in the "commotion" outside the town hall on 13th March 2014, stating "no-one would have believe it" of the previous G. I have seen G in court and have a clear sense of that proud and dignified lady.

29. The suggestion by C, through her counsel, that P had wanted G to give her her bank cards was not credible; I accept P's evidence that she had not said it; as she said "I don't want that responsibility at all".  Nor do I accept that P that she had told C she wanted her out of G's house as it was repeatedly suggested.  The suggestion which C claimed in her oral evidence that P's "evidence was a lie", as she did not want G to choose C over her, and that it was an "ego thing" was not put in cross- examination and is contrary to other evidence about P, which was accepted by C and F, such as that she had given C clothes as she needed them, and paid for F to have legal advice about his immigration status. 

30. P wrote her witness statement with the help of the notes which she had started writing because of her concerns about G. P was a credible witness and a generous woman, who gave clothes to C, and paid a sum in excess of £1,000 to F (who was a stranger to her) for his immigration application because "he needed help". P said that she had stayed overnight with G when G had operations, and that on another occasion her son had done so. G was "like a mum" to her. I consider from her evidence, her demeanour and the way in which she spoke about G and tried to help those who she thought were helping G that she was genuine in her love and regard for G, and that her sadness at no longer being a part of G's life was obvious. P spoke of G having taught her everything she knew, particularly about their shared religious belief and felt the rift between them deeply; it was "very sad". I found her a credible witness with genuine affection and respect for G and I accept her evidence.

31. JP lives next-door but one to G and has known her for 27 years, but became closer to G ten years ago after her neighbour and friend died. He would do odd jobs for G, only charging her for larger jobs.  After she moved in C said to him in G's presence, "We've got plans for this place!", but G did not say anything, although it was her home. JP said, on cross-examination, that C had said it in a way which suggested "personal plans". As with the evidence of ML, JP's concerns about church members financially abusing G when in charge of her money and that they had been siphoning off G's money, had only one source of information which was C.  He said that he had not been overly concerned, since "the social worker was on the case". JP described G as "very polite, god-fearing, very religious, chatty", "very nice and sociable", with "a large circle of friends".  JP clearly has admiration and respect for his neighbour, G. In cross-examination by counsel for C he agreed that G was a "strong-minded woman", and added that to survive that long alone, working in a demanding job, she needed to be. JP came across as feeling affection as well as admiration for G and spoke of the gentle banter they shared together.

32. JP said that he had observed G's increasing isolation. He said that he used to see a lot of people visiting G, before C become G's carer, but, to use his words "gradually the numbers were dwindling". When he enquired about G's cousin O, who used to visit, C reacted aggressively to the enquiry; again, to use his words C was "pouncing and stomping" round the room.  JP had clearly thought about G situation carefully for he said that he felt that the church members visiting G previously were a "guard" for her.  He told me about his own more recent visits to G, JP described a tiling job for G that he had undertaken for her during which he continued a running joke about divorcing his wife and marrying G, to which C responded by telling G that that JP was after her money.  Unsurprisingly JP was upset and he said that felt he was not welcome anymore.  He said if G called him he'd be round in 30 seconds flat but that at present if he knocked on G's door, someone other than G would answer and he did not feel he could go in.  He told me he had observed the social worker had been left standing outside a few times and he had asked her about the situation. 

33. JP told me when he had been visiting when C was there, that "What worried me was that C was answering questions for G". He described a particular occasion in the summer of 2013 when he had first became concerned about C's behaviour and treatment of G. G had come to see him, she  "stumbled" to his door, using her walking stick rather than her wheelchair.  JP had not met C before that time and G told him that she was being bullied by C, who was always shouting at her.  He tried to reassure G and decided to take her back home because he "wanted to see what kind of environment it was". He sat G down in her lounge, in her favourite chair and pulled up a chair to speak to her. JP said that he thought that C had gone upstairs, but in fact she was listening in, and then came into the room, demanding to know what G was saying. When JP told C about what G had said to him, he told me that she reacted by "stomping around … [saying] at the top of her voice 'I'm bullying you?  – when?' ". JP said that he asked C to lower her voice and he got the impression that C would not let G speak.  He said C was "loud and aggressive in her manner". 

34. JP said that it was his opinion that if C had been employed as a professional carer she would not have been considered suitable, because of her behaviour.   JP said that after that he would hear C shouting and screaming if the back door to the garden of G's house was open.  In answer to a question in cross-examination for C, he emphatically disagreed with the suggestion that C's tone of voice was normal, saying it was "101 decibels" and had such an effect that he used to "get an earache".  He went on to describe an argument he had with C where she raised her voice to him and used a West Indian swear word to abuse him; he accepted that he retorted by calling her "an ugly, ugly person".  I found JP to be a frank and open witness and I accept his evidence.

35. SD made a statement which was filed on behalf of C. He has known G for about ten years, and that they had a mother/son relationship; he used to see her every month or so and he had done some jobs around the house. She was "a kind, lovely lady".  At first he thought it was great that G was being looked after although he had been surprised to hear the "story" of how C moved into G's house.  When F moved in, SD was concerned and thought - "What's going on here?" and wondered if "something crooked" was going on.  The first time he met her C spoke well of MH but by the second time she was "talking bad of MH".  SD said that Brother A from the church cared about G, and had not spoken badly of C.  G told him that social services were trying to put her in a care home, but he had spoken to the social worker (Ms. Murray) who denied that was the case.  SD said that G thought C was "bossy", but he saw some improvements in G such as she stopped sniffing perpetually and seemed well looked after and the place was clean. 

36. But SD said that he visited less often and G called him less often after C and F moved in.  SD had spoken to G a few weeks before the trial; he found her sitting in the porch with C standing across the road. He asked G what she was doing sitting in the porch and she said that she thought she would have to sign a piece of paper and she was worried about her house being taken away; SD was able to tell her there was no intention of anyone taking her house away, going by what the social worker had told him.

37. SD felt that the current situation was really sad and it was too overwhelming for G. She needed to get back with her church friends, and to be left alone. In SD's view, G's family was the church, which was the most important thing to her; and the church is what she has known her life to be. SD told me that in the last two years she had "gone very quiet".  She was a very spiritual person, always chatting about friends and family and singing to God.  SD said that he was concerned that many of her old friends were no longer visiting her.  He said, "Leave her alone, let her get back with her church friends".  He suggested that G had her beliefs which she needed to be able to express, and which C "needs to understand" and to "allow G to be G" and do what she pleases. He said that this situation had come about since C had been there. I agree with the local authority's submission that SD was a credible witness, like P and JP he was obviously fond of G and cared about her well-being. He was somewhat ambivalent about C remaining weighing the positives with his concerns about G's alienation from her church and former friends, but his view that it was appropriate for C to remain living with G was based on his having seen her much less frequently and, of course he is not privy to the evidence before the court. Overall I found that his evidence, which I accepted, supported rather than undermined the local authority's case.

38. Z lives next door to G, although he does not know G, C or F personally.  I heard from Z because he had gone to the local authority about his concerns about the way C treated G. He said that F was "a very nice man" and that sometimes he felt sorry for him.  It is clear that he and C have not got on as next-door-neighbours.  It was Z's view that C was "not like a normal person" and gave as an example C knocking on his door at 11.30pm to ask him to turn off his light.  It was plain that he could not understand how a light in his house could disturb her and nor do I.  Z told me in cross-examination that C would knock on the adjoining wall because of noise at half past six in the evening if he had visitors or if his children were playing, and sometimes if the family was just watching the television.  Z said that C had used "filthy words" in front of his father, and would scream outside his door. C had reported him to the council three times.  Of course their dispute is not directly connected with C's treatment of G but it is indicative of her treating G's home as her own and setting the rules that are to be followed. It is clear that previously G always got on with her neighbours and enjoyed talking to them and I find it hard to believe that G, if she understood, would be happy about her next-door-neighbour being drawn into a dispute.

39. Of greater and more direct concern was Z's evidence that he had often heard C shouting and screaming at G. He described that after he had taken his son to school in the morning and returned at around 10 am he regularly heard shouting.   Z told me he had heard C say to G, "shut up".  He was quite adamant about this when it was suggested to him in cross-examination that he could have been mistaken and what had been said was "sit up", saying that the words had been "very clear", and that in addition he had heard "close your mouth".  Z said he was 90-95% certain he had heard "shut up" and "close your mouth". He said he could hear it through the wall.  Z said that C shouted at the new postman, who then asked Z, "how could you live with this neighbour?" When it was put to him in  cross-examination  that C would speak loudly to G because she was deaf and raised her voice to help G hear, Z protested to the court, "I am an adult, I know the difference between shouting and words like 'shut up' " and said that he understood "angry talk and screaming".  

40. Z said that in his view C's anger and her attitude was "very bad" and it was not good for what he called a "caretaker".  Z had seen people being denied access; on one occasion Z saw that the gas man was trying to get into G's house to carry out a meter reading, but C only spoke to him from a window and would not let him inside.  Z saw that the social worker was not be allowed inside, and asked with some prescience "the concern is why does she not allow people inside?" I accept Z's evidence as he was clear and consistent in what he said and spoke without rancour.

41. Police Inspector Fish gave oral evidence on what the local authority say is an instance where C failed to give any or sufficient attention to G's welfare and best interests in a situation that amounted to neglect. Inspector Fish was there, by chance, when C arranged the protest on 13th March 2014 outside Ilford Town Hall. He said he had an independent memory of the occasion and was very clearly troubled by what he had seen and concerned for the welfare of G. He described a woman, who he later found out was C and who had a strong accent, haranguing the local authority to seek the support of the people who were gathered there. She was "stumbling over" her words and was "very animated". He saw G in her wheelchair near by and was concerned for her. As described by Inspector Fish the two women made for a bizarre spectacle, both had brightly coloured scarves tied over their faces with holes cut out for their eyes and the holes were out of alignment. He said C was "aggressive and loud" and "very demonstrative"; she wasn't using a microphone but was shouting. When he approached her out of concern for G, she told him she was a family member. He said C gave "arm-wavy signal of aggression" and appeared confrontational; he considered that her behaviour was threatening, although he did not fear a punch or physical assault. He told me that he did not get a "sensible response" from C as she was impossible to interrupt to allow for a conversation to take place. 

42. As a result of C's behaviour and the agitation of some members of the public who had gathered there he decided it would be a "sensible precaution" to have a witness to his conversation with G. A young man acted as intermediary. Inspector Fish considered that he had to speak to G as there was a "serious welfare question", and on doing so, found she was shaking and wanted to go home. In cross-examination, the Inspector said that it was not a warm day. He said he was concerned it was not warm enough for G, and said that as a well fleshed 15 stone man he was "uncomfortable" after 40 minutes.  He said he spoke as a member of the public and not a police officer that if G had been a relative of his he would not have been satisfied for her to be out "like that". He was clear that she had been shaking, and had an image in his mind of her shaking the whole time.  He was not able to have a short conversation with G but only one that was "very brief, in between interruptions" by C.  As G was waiting for a vehicle, he noticed a spare coat and had to ask C to put it around G. I noted that during the Inspector's evidence C seemed either to find it amusing and was grinning and smiling broadly while shaking her head or seemed defiant sitting with her arms crossed, smiling. However I accept Inspector Fish's evidence, he obviously remembered the incident very clearly and had gone out of his way to help G.

43. Ms. Murray, the social worker who gave evidence which was interrupted by other witnesses, said that she had never had a case with so many safeguarding referrals. Many of these are set out in my first judgement and I shall not set them out again. Initially it was suggested by Mr Williams (ISW) that because the there was a complete breakdown of trust between G and the social worker, the social worker should have been replaced by a colleague who could undertake monitoring visits. He also expressed some scepticism that the level of support that G needed to remain in her home (24 hour care) being both funded and provided by the local authority, and said he had doubts about the management of arrangements for 24 live-in care and its cost. Ms Murray was able to set out in some detail the package which provided for two principal carers, with two others as respite carers for leave or illness; one of the main carers would cook Caribbean food for G. I was assured, without any caveats, that the local authority would fund this package with no cost to G. This plan seemed to be thoroughly considered and the financial commitment by the local authority is to be welcomed as a real commitment to G's welfare and to the assurance that she will remain in her own home for the duration.

44. I do not intend to go through Ms Murray's evidence in detail. Overall I found her to be an impressive witness who remained calm, courteous and measured throughout her time in the witness box. To focus on the facts that the local authority seeks to find, I start with the controlling behaviour which, if true, has an abusive edge to it, specifically that C has been deliberately using G's fear about the local authority being after her home and her money and placing her in a care home. Ms Murray said that she was concerned that G called D twice, worried about having to go into a care home.  She believes that G's persistent fear that she would have to move from her house is stoked by C.  Her view was that C had written or invented the letter G said she had read which stated that GA was having the ownership of her house transferred to him as there is no other source for it. Moreover, when C came to give evidence herself it was clear that her view of the local authority, in the person of Ms Murray, as predatory was one she held with such conviction that she must have told G about it frequently. Her motivation for doing so is a matter I shall return to.

45. The fear of being removed from her home was compounded in G by limiting her access to information which would have reassured her, to her own personal correspondence and by her increasing isolation and alienation from her former friends and help-mates. Ms. Murray gave evidence that early on in her involvement G told her that she did not get to see her post, including her bank statements. When cross-examined, the social worker described an occasion where C had apparently gone upstairs, but when Ms. Murray suggested to G that she could contact the bank for her in order to obtain copies of her bank statements, C immediately entered the room, telling G that Ms. Murray wanted G to sign all her money over to the local authority.  This pattern of  behaviour, of C's of lurking outside the room when G was with someone from outside the home and coming in to interrupt and undermine the purpose of the meeting, was repeated in the evidence of others.

46. G's isolation, again noted by several witnesses was something that gave the social worker great concern, not least that G's available support network had been depleted; this included the church elder A, G's GP of twenty years (Dr S) with whom she had a good relationship, and who described G as "a dear patient". He told Ms Murray he wished to be "kept abreast" of matters. Ms. Murray considered it unlikely that G had changed her GP herself, which would be something she would have difficulty arranging herself; I agree.

47. In cross examination when C was asked if she changed G's GP, she claimed that G had changed her GP herself and was quite capable of finding a new one in the phone book.  This is highly unlikely given the difficulties that G has in her sight, mobility and comprehension. Then C complained that Dr. S had not provided a medical letter about G swiftly enough (to support her immigration application), and complained that a lady had come to the house to undertake a mind (memory) assessment of G as if it were something sinister.  C said that G "felt that Dr. S was working along an agenda, and something was not right", but there is no evidence from G that that was ever the case. C denied that it was she herself who thought that something was not right; she denied that she had been annoyed about G's referral to the memory clinic because it could lead to G being assessed as lacking the capacity to make a new Will.  C said that Dr. S was unhappy with her, and when asked why, said "because he comes to the house and tells one thing, then in cahoots with Cindy Murray". This belief that professionals, church members and others are all in "cahoots" ran through the entirety of C's evidence.

48. When it was put to the social worker that she must have been unhappy about the fact that G did not want to engage with her, Ms. Murray's responded, reasonably, that this was expected because social workers are seen as an intrusion and she was used to such a reaction accepting it as part of the duties of a social worker. I found her to be convincing on this point as she was in others. Ms. Murray's evidence was that she had only been able to have one conversation of any substance with C early on in her involvement and she had explained that shouting at G was not acceptable to which C had responded that she "would try to improve".

49. In general when visiting G Ms. Murray agreed that she had not been physically barred by C from entering G's home, but that C's attitude were not conducive to the visits taking place as it was plain that C did not want her to be there.  She never felt that C would allow the opportunity to discuss the situation or to explain the reason she was there.  C was, she said, "totally dismissive", and there was no opportunity to resolve matters. In terms of the monitoring visits ordered by the court, Ms. Murray gave evidence that C only cooperated on one occasion.  On the first monitoring visit after the court order was made (that C had to cooperate with such visits) C loudly swore at her saying, "f******g social services". G was within earshot and Ms Murray observed G's anxiety heightened as she was affected by C's anger.  Ms Murray also described how a worker from the D Care Agency was unable to undertake a risk assessment prior to the trial, as C refused permission for her to enter G's home. Again this was an assessment to be undertaken for the court as part of these proceedings, and the worker had told Ms Murray that she found the behaviour of C threatening. 

Fact finding: evidence of C and F

50. I have observed before (se my previous judgement) and do so again; little of any substance or detail is known of C's and F's background, their past history, their employment history; of where they have been and of what they have done up until they moved in with G in late 2011. The court knows very little more now than it did when this case started. It seems that C was introduced to G by MH, with whom C worked in 2011; MH was a member of G's church then acting as her carer. C apparently moved in with G almost as soon as her first visit to G's home. F moved in shortly afterwards, although C did not tell G that she was married at the beginning of her stay. C continued to work outside G's home but at some point (possibly in early 2013) C took over as G's full time carer and MH fell from favour. It is not possible to divine with any certainty what happened; G has complained about MH in the past but she also wanted to see her after she had stopped caring for G. This meeting provoked anger in C which was witnessed by P. It is more than a little troubling that C taking up the role of carer and the alienation of G's friends and fellow church members coincided with C's pursuit of an application for leave to remain as G's full-time carer. 

51. I found C's evidence to be disturbing; she seemed to believe in a conspiracy of people, involving everyone from the church to the local authority to G's friends and neighbours, out to get her personally and that they were all in "cahoots". Her evidence lacked credibility as the case she had constructed came to pieces. She was by turns, defensive, dismissive and belligerent; her explanation of her past and her time in the UK was inconsistent and patchy. It is still far from clear how long she had been living in G's home and she gave several answers when asked the question; but I accept the evidence of F in contradiction to hers that she moved in about November 2011. C was unwilling or unable to say when she had first met G or moved in, claiming she was "not good with dates".  C also contradicted her husband's written evidence that she had initially come to the UK to work, saying that she came here on holiday and remained because she felt safe. Again I prefer the evidence of F as C's own evidence suggests that she worked from the outset, although it is not clear what employment she had as her description of it changed according to the circumstances. For example when asked why she had written in her witness statement that one of the jobs she had had in the UK was a "care worker", she said she had probably meant "babysitter". 

52. Of greater concern, as it goes to the reasons why C may have behaved the way she has done in moving into G's home and taking over G's care, is the evidence concerning her application for leave to remain in the UK based on her being G's full-time carer. In her immigration application C set out dates which indicated that she had been caring for G longer than she had in reality and C denied that she had done so deliberately saying it was "not a purposeful lie". There was a clear purpose to her lie. C would not give a straight answer, when asked when she first found out that she could get leave to remain if she was a full-time carer, saying it was "not like that", she was "not designing to do this" and that no-one had told her until her solicitor wrote the letter to the UKBA.  However she later said that it was just a coincidence that unless she was a full-time carer she would not be given leave to remain.  C denied that a doctor's letter requested from Dr. S was specifically for her immigration application and prevaricated saying first that would have been a different letter, then that it might have been the letter, then that she accepted she had given it to her solicitor and it was what she had at the time.  C tried to claim that letter had been requested because she and G thought it "wise" although it is highly unlikely that G could have reached such a decision. As C was annoyed that the doctor took so long to complete the letter it is clear that she had an interest in it and the use to which it would be put.

53.  C accepted that things "changed dramatically" in early 2013 when G's care package was discontinued and C took over care and GA stopped looking after G's finances. What she was less willing to accept was that she must have been intimately involved with these dramatic changes; for G would not have been able to bring them about on her own and although G made complaints about people including GA, on closer examination all the complaints originate from the time that C took over and have little or no basis in fact. I am driven to conclude that the complaints made by G were at the instigation of C who used fear (of losing her home and being put in residential care) and "family loyalty" to manipulate and control G.

54. On the evidence of what G has said and what C has said herself to many other people, C has assiduously promoted the idea of a family relationship or blood relationship between herself and G both in G's mind and presented the fiction to others as fact. There is no family or blood tie.  Her claim that she found out by accident that she was related to G some time after she moved in with her is simply not credible nor is the claim that "she didn't want to pursue" it with G and just "took her word for it". It is entirely at odds with her own evidence that she contacted her aunt in New York and found out that the family connection was "true" because her grandmother and G were both Seventh Day Adventist missionaries, who came from the same area of St Lucia. This aunt (AG) is someone who she invited over to stay in G's home after the fact-finding hearing concluded in a possibly in a further attempt to bolster her case. This action was not in keeping with the undertaking C had given to the court.

55. C's evidence in respect of the other witnesses was disparaging and dismissive. C said that that ML was contacted so that G could put a power of attorney in place in favour of C because she had "no-one to stand up for her".  As can be seen from my previous judgement this took place at a time when church elders and others were actively concerned about C's influence over G and of possible financial abuse. The role played by church members was being undermined by C who had convinced G that they were malign and trying to take away her money and home. C denied that she had reminded G to give ML the piece of paper; she said he had not taken a photo of the note because he was lying about it and that ML was a "calculated, fictitious person" who looked at C and F and decided that they had had an arranged marriage.  When asked why ML would make up his evidence like that, her response was that he did so because he resented the fact that G did not wish him to continue and so he had lost the money for drafting a power of attorney and a new Will.  I prefer the evidence of ML who was obviously motivated by his concern for G.

56.  In relation to G's neighbour JP, C said that he had a "vendetta" and that he was "looking for property", implying he wanted to get G's house; although she was not clear how he could achieve that aim.  C said that he was lying, that G had not walked to his house because G was incapable of walking there and that he had invented what G's was supposed to have told him. In her evidence C said JP had come to G's house at once because G had called him to say her life was being threatened by a carer called Elizabeth; but this was not put to JP in cross-examination. 

57. C said that she never shouted at G but spoke loudly so that G could hear her.  She said the neighbours were lying when they said they heard her shouting because Ms. Murray had told them to, to get C to leave G's home.  C said in her oral evidence "Cindy Murray is instigating the whole thing; she's got people to tell lies, encouraging them".  C said that the many people who had said she shouted were "all making it up" after meeting up together to concoct their evidence; she knew "for a fact" that they had all met up with Cindy Murray. She reluctantly accepted in cross-examination by counsel for F that she would sometimes shout at F if she was fed up with him, but denied shouting at G.  Her response to questions about the words "threatening behaviour" which G had written in her address book under C and F's names and what G had said about it ("they've been very bad to me") was that G "writes notes that Cindy Murray is bothering her". 

58. The complaint that C made in her oral evidence that G's church did not want her to be in G's life and that they did not want to get along with her was telling. C responded to questions in cross-examination by saying that she was being harassed by church members who asked if anyone had called immigration about her. On the evidence before the court C has stopped and discouraged any involvement of the church in G's life to the extent G is now cut off from the church which has been very important to her throughout her life. In cross-examination C said that the church had "abandoned" G and they stopped taking her to worship and visits stopped "after that thing with JP".  She denied telling people not to visit.   When asked about people saying things like 'G was not G anymore', she responded by saying that G had been "derailed by the attitude of church members … and the council" (local authority). C was asked about the position in the future, as everyone agreed G should be given the opportunity to be re-united with the church; she said that church friends "can come anytime".  But she went on to say, when asked if she would do anything differently, that it was "their attitude – they're concentrating on putting me out … it's for them to change", they had to stop arguing with her, and then they could work together. The fault according to C lay entirely with others and not with her, which provides little or no hope that she could modify or change her behaviour in the future. In addition C has taken G to Jehovah's Witnesses meetings; this is C's denomination even if it is not her congregation. This is a further step in the estrangement of G from her own church. C's statement that she would be happy to take G back to her own church "if she wanted to go" rings hollow when considered in the context of the evidence as a whole including the manipulation of G's wishes by C that has taken place over the past year and more. 

59. C's denial that she had stopped anyone from coming into the house saying that it was G who told people "you are not coming into this house to upset both of us" is disingenuous at best. C referred to P in a deliberately discourteous way referring to her by her surname alone: "I have not prevented P or anyone; I've never said, 'you're banned'".  Although she said it was untrue that she did not like G's friends it was clear from her manner and demeanour that she did complain not about "what they do to her in the house" and that they told G to get rid of C.  She denied disliking some of the Seventh Day Adventist rituals like foot-washing, saying that P had come to visit "with a bad attitude" and instead of asking for a bowl P should have got it herself. Her disdainfully dismissive attitude when speaking of P, a woman who had kindly paid her husband's legal fees and given her clothing, was indicative of her determination to find reasons for keeping everyone away from G and protecting her position as sole carer-giver.

60. Another example of this was C's relationship with MH who she had known before she knew G. It was put to her that she had been friendly with MH for some time but had then taken a dislike to her; C said she did not dislike MH, but that MH had become abusive to her.  Again the fault lies elsewhere and is used to justify estrangement. I am unconvinced by C's claim that she had encouraged new relationships between G and others as there is no evidence at all of such friendship having developed, nor can I accept her assurance she would encourage new people in the future has she as the proviso that they were "fresh people" and "as long as Cindy Murray is not in our lives, everything will be okay".  C said the social worker was definitely in cahoots with the church members.

61. C admitted that she had told G that the church was taking her to court saying, "it is a fact"; which, of course it is not.  C told me she had said to G that "Brother A and them wrote to the council". It was put to her that the local authority had issued the proceedings, and the church was not a party to the proceedings C said that the church had "a part to play" as they had written letters. When asked about talking to G about the church's 'involvement' in court proceedings, she said, "Why can't she know about it?  She read it herself.  The [court] bundle is in the house".  C admitted that she knew G was worried that she would be put in a care home and despite the fact that the court had pointedly said on several occasions that G would not be taken from her home, C would "tell G what is going on". C said that she had a letter which said the house could be signed over, which G had read herself and that C told her "you have seen it for yourself"… C would then answer when G asked questions about the letter and that sometimes she would tell her to read the letter so that she could "see what might happen". Therefore on her own evidence C's answers to G will have been calculated to unsettle and frighten her; and to undermine her relationships with professionals sent to support her. The letter regarding financial contributions was sent in error and despite the fact C was made aware of that by her own solicitor, she used as a way of unsettling and manipulating G.

62. C was further challenged about talking about the court proceedings in front of G and was given an example of what she had said to the ambulance staff who came to the house to carry out welfare check following the protest in March.  Their notes recorded that C told them while they were with G that the local authority and Carewatch were taking them to court.  When it was put to C that Carewatch was not taking her to court she justified this by saying that a Carewatch worker had said that C had cancelled the care package. Even when asked by her counsel in chief what she had said to reassure G, C's response was that she told G not to believe the local authority, and to tried to encourage her it would all be over and resolved in court.  She said that she told G that she "could hardly walk upstairs", and that "there would be many people in a care home".  When the question was repeated C said that she did not believe the local authority as "I don't see their motive that they want her to stay in the home". C said that because she would be unable to put G in a care home she had never said she would contrary to what G had told to Mr. Gillman-Smith.  C did not consider that the letter sent in error about G's contributions was sent by mistake "because a letter sent by immigration was sent on the same date".  Even though her solicitor had checked that the letter had been sent in error, C did not believe it - she agreed that in her mind, the two letters were linked.

63. C accepted that the allegation that she made G go to bed at 9pm had some basis in fact, but said it was not imposed on G, however her implication was that it helped G to sleep better, thus causing C less disturbance. C was asked about the allegation made by G's cousin O to Ms. Murray on the telephone that C would hide G's incontinence pads at night so that she would not get up in the night and disturb C, and so she made G go to bed at 9pm for her own convenience.  C denied this saying that insufficient pads were supplied by the agency and if they ran out, it would be difficult for her to get more from the pharmacy; but she did not explain why it would be difficult or why she did not simply keep a larger supply.  She then changed her evidence to say that G always had pads in her room, "night and day".  C complained about O; O had been "ruling her [G] and her whole life".  O is another person who has been told that she is no longer welcome in G's home.

64. C denied that she had ever physically shaken G but said she once lifted her by placing her hands under her arms. When C was asked why G had said to two different people that if she dressed herself, C would undress her and then dress her again in exactly the same clothes, C that G would look like a "ragamuffin" and claimed that G chose the clothes she wanted to wear. She said that it was not true that G was not adequately dressed during the protest. C denied that G had been shaking, saying that what Police Inspector Fish said was a lie and suggested that "maybe he knows one of them at the council" and had wanted to get C into trouble.

65. C said that she still disagreed that G lacked capacity. C was asked why people had described G's personality as having changed from more talkative and happy to being quiet and it was her explanation that the social worker was "hassling and killing" G.  Paradoxically C accused Ms. Murray of influencing G and forcing her to do what she wanted. The evidence, not least what G herself says, all points the other way. C has not allowed the monitoring visits ordered by the court to go ahead unhindered, or to allow free access to G. She has placed G in her small porch which does not have sufficient room for the social worker and G to sit down comfortably, is visible to the road and passers-by, and is often cold or hot depending on the weather. No doubt the fact that those inside are visible from the road forms part of the reason C arranged for the visits to take place there as the evidence was she had then stood on the other side of the road watching, as was observed by SD. 

66. As to these monitoring visits ordered by the court C accepts the facts set out above and with some considerable disingenuousness said that although she had agreed she would permit them and not interfere, she had not said that she would "let the council in the house" or "stand by and let G be harmed" by the social worker who "stood over" G, implying some kind of threat. It is not C's house nor was it then or since been in C's gift to allow or bar visitors from any part of it, particularly when their visit was ordered by the court. C said that "a psycho was on the loose"; this was a reference to Ms. Murray. C was asked why she thought the social worker was involved in a conspiracy to which she responded "Cindy Murray is a liar.  Redbridge Council has created the problem".  Her claim that during monitoring visits G would sit in the porch rather than inside because she was terrified the social worker would pressure her into removing C and F speaks more of C's reasons for arranging the visits in this way than of anything to do with G's needs or her feelings. G must have been cold and uncomfortable and would not have chosen to be there.  C often tried to place the responsibility for her own actions on G, probably in an attempt to justify them. She was asked whether she had cancelled the Age UK telephone monitoring system after it had been in place for a month, C denied it saying that G had done so. But she complained and that all their questions had been about C, rather than G. 

67. On her own evidence C is unable or unwilling to work with others unless they are and remain in total agreement with her view of things. C said she had always wished G to have an advocate, and was reminded that she had organised an advocate for G and then become displeased with him.  She said D did not do what he had said he would do and that on one occasion he asked G to sign a letter and "G thought it was strange". There is little evidence to support her claim. When asked by her counsel what her response would be to an advocate C responded by asking "who would oversee that the baggage would not be moved along to the advocate?" C claimed to be "100% happy" to work with another social worker but immediately qualified that by saying she did not want "baggage" brought over from the social worker.  C told me she believed that anyone "related to" or who had spoken to the social worker had "baggage". When told the carer looking after G during the hearing had spoken to Ms. Murray, she considered that the carer would already be against her. 

68. C's evidence was contradictory, disingenuous and at times seemed to border on the paranoiac. She was not a credible witness and I do not accept her evidence. 


69. In many ways F is an enigma; he is quiet and polite and none of the witnesses complained about his behaviour. He seemed a more credible witness and was certainly more measured and capable of greater insight. However he has benefited from living in G's house just as much as C and has done little if anything at all to protect G from being manipulated and intimidated by C. I must presume that he remained passive because it suited him and because he did not want to lose his accommodation and situation. F contradicted his wife's evidence by saying that C intended to stay when she came to the UK, and I accept that is more likely than not the case. F said in his witness statement that he moved into G's house only a few weeks after his wife, who was already living there in November 2011; he was less definite in oral evidence but it is thought likely they were both living there by the end of 2011.  He said he contributed to G's household by way of "general maintenance around the house". F told me he believes that the local authority has been harassing both his wife and himself.  

70. F said he did not believe that his wife behaved badly towards G and claimed that he would intervene if she was not acting in G's best interests. There is no evidence to support this contention.  He said that C never shouted, but she did "speak very loud" and she would raise her voice "in relation to the [court] papers" but not in an aggressive way.  F said that if neighbours were loud she would shout and she might tell him to shut up but she would not shout at G.  F tried to explain away the allegations of C shouting at G by saying that when his wife was assisting G in the morning she would call loudly between the bathroom and bedroom. This does not explain the shouting heard by Z through the shared wall of the terrace. Of the incident described P when C "ranted and raved" F denied this and said that C had said that it seemed as if MH had wanted to betray them both; not that G had betrayed C.  F accepted that sometimes C would tell G that social services were out to get them and were taking them to court and this upset G. 

71. In respect of  G's increasing social isolation, which he did not deny, F said that to the best of his knowledge C did not prevent others from visiting, but accepted that C was so unhappy about church visits that the church members would not want to visit. F was not always in the house with G and therefore could not say that C had never abused G. While I found him to be a more credible witness I was not impressed by him passively divesting himself of all responsibility for the situation that G was in and what seemed to me to be an apparently calculated use of his wife's more abrasive personality as a shield for his inaction. 

Findings of fact

72. I found the evidence of the witnesses for the local authority and of SD (who was called to give evidence by C) to be credible and motivated by their concern for G. I have set out above my conclusions about the evidence of C and F. I am satisfied that C is not capable of acting in C's best interests and, not withstanding the high standard of physical care she has provided in G's home, it would seem that, in her determination to further her own interests C has and will reduce the quality of G's life to in an attempt to remain in G's home and in the UK. The facts as set out in the local authority's schedule are found on the evidence to be proved on the balance of probabilities, except one. While I think it is possible that C has physically shaken G there is very limited evidence on which to base such a finding and insufficient to prove it to the required standard. I do find that C's behaviour has been abusive, threatening and intimidating; she has been overheard shouting either directly at G, and generally in G's home, the former would be frightening and the latter distressing for a very old and very frail lady; C has intimidated G, emotionally manipulating her by quite deliberately playing on G's fears about losing her home and being placed in a care-home. The intimidation has been intensified and refined by the equally deliberate isolation of G and the alienation of her friends and neighbours. Viewed objectively these were calculated acts of some cruelty. It is my view that on the balance of probabilities the regime endured by G has caused some deterioration in G's physical and mental condition; as was remarked on in the evidence of people who had known G over the years.

73. The position taken by C was that she had some kind of claim on G through a relationship based on their shared St Lucian background. This position was advanced by her counsel in the early part of the proceedings and has no foundation. During her life G often affectionately referred to people as relatives; she spoke of a previous carer MH as her "niece" and both P and SD referred to having a mother/child relationship with G as daughter and son respectively. It was a habit of hers that obviously gave her some pleasure and reassurance and in that innocent sense was understandable and unremarkable. However C has used this ersatz relationship to provide a platform of some sort to try to justify her apparent belief of  some kind of entitlement to remain in G's home and in control of G's life. There is no basis to it; given the size of the population of St Lucia and narrow it to any specific area of the island and it would be surprising if some connection between G's family and C's family were not found. C has used this to her advantage in pressing her case with G and elsewhere. If G were capable of retaining and weighing the information as the capable and intelligent woman she was, it is certain that she would be deeply troubled by the risk of exploitation by C and F.

74. My conclusion that C is convinced by her own rhetoric and will attempt any ruse to achieve her goal was further illustrated between the end of the hearing and judgement being handed down. After the trial concluded she appeared to continue to try to manipulate the situation. It was brought to my attention in the form of attendance notes from the solicitor acting on behalf of the Official Solicitor that C apparently made it difficult for G to be seen and to see her legal representatives. C arranged for her aunt GA from the USA to come to stay in G's home; insinuating another stranger into the centre of the already diminished life of this elderly lady who has continually asked to be left in peace. The presence of C's aunt in G's house and the apparent attempts to curtail and frustrate the visits of the monitoring social worker and G's court appointed representatives led the local authority to bring the case back to court. I had it brought before me at 9:30 am on the 11th July 2014 and after I had read the documents filed and heard from counsel I made the following final order, with judgement to follow;


A. UPON hearing counsel for the Applicant, counsel for G, counsel for C, and counsel for F

B. AND UPON GA attending court but not being permitted to remain in court in view of the privacy of the proceedings

C. AND UPON reading the Application Notice of the Applicant dated 10th July 2014 seeking an urgent hearing and interim relief

D. AND UPON reading the Applicant's letter to the court dated 9th July 2014; the monitoring notes for G dated 5th July to 10th July 2014; the third and fourth witness statements and exhibited attendance notes of Ms. Anna Moore dated 23rd June 2014 and 10th July 2014; and the email to the court from C's solicitor Mr. Rod Campbell-Taylor dated 9th July 2014, and the unsigned witness statement of GA, and the witness statement of Mr. Rod Campbell-Taylor dated 10th July 2014

E. AND UPON the court being informed by the Applicant that Devere Care Agency are no longer able to provide a care package to G, having assigned the previously proposed carers elsewhere, and upon the Applicant nonetheless agreeing to make further enquiries, given the terms of this Order, as to the possibility of the carers who have already met G providing her with future care

F. AND UPON being informed by counsel for C that GA has already left G's property

G. AND UPON the solicitor for C agreeing to use his best endeavours to serve a copy of this Order upon GA by email, and to inform the parties whether or not an acknowledgement has been received

H. AND UPON F providing his keys to G's property to the Applicant at court, and upon counsel for C informing the Applicant that C's keys are at G's property


1. For the avoidance of doubt, the Reporting Order Restriction dated 21st February 2014 shall remain in place in the terms set out therein, save that paragraph 3(1) of that order shall be deleted.


2. G lacks capacity, because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, her mind or brain to make decisions concerning:

(a) her residence and the people who reside with her;

(b) contact with others, including the Press;

(c) financial matters; and

(d) litigation.

3. It is in the best interests of G

(a) for C and F to leave G's home at [an address]; and

(b) for G to receive a package of care from carers commissioned by the Applicant in accordance with G's care plan dated 24th March 2014.

4. It is not in the best interests of G for C, F or GA to return to G's home at [an address] to visit or to reside.


5. C and F may attend G's home at [an address] to retrieve sufficient personal effects for an interim stay elsewhere until 16th July 2014.

6. On Wednesday 16th July 2014, C and F shall visit G's home to remove the rest of their belongings. 

7. Neither C nor F nor GA shall return to G's home at [an address] to reside. 

8. Save for aforesaid in paragraphs 5 and 6 above, either C nor F nor GA shall return to G's home at [an address] to visit in the interim between the date of this Order and the handing down of the Judgment on 18th July 2014. 

9. The best interests of G in terms of future contact between G, C, F and GA shall be considered by the court at the handing down of the Judgment on 18th July 2014.

10. For the purposes of paragraph 5 above

(a) at 2.30pm on 11th July 2014, C and F may return to G's home at [an address] for no longer than one and a half hours in the absence of G in order to retrieve sufficient personal effects for an interim stay elsewhere;

(b) C and F shall not raise their voices, criticise anyone or verbally abuse anyone when attending G's home; and

(c) the Applicant's social workers shall attend G's home at 2.30pm on 11th July 2014 accompanied by police officers (who shall intervene only if necessary and proportionate).

11. For the purposes of paragraph 6 above

(a) at 2pm on Wednesday 16th July 2014, C and F shall visit G's home for no longer than three hours in the absence of G to remove the rest of their belongings;

(b) the Applicant's social workers shall attend G's home at 2pm on 16th July 2014 accompanied by G's property and affairs deputy and police officers (who shall intervene only if necessary and proportionate); and

(c) any belongings the ownership of which is in dispute shall remain in G's home and shall be listed by G's property and affairs deputy in order to settle the dispute on ownership.

Case management

12. This matter shall be adjourned until 2pm on 18th July 2014 for the handing down of the Judgment by Ms. Justice Russell following the final hearing, with a time estimate of one and a half hours.

13. By no later than 4pm on 17th July 2014, the Applicant shall file and serve upon the court and the parties full information as to the future care package which will be provided to G, including the identity of the carers, their ethnic background, and whether or not Caribbean food (and in particular, St. Lucian dishes) can be provided to G on a regular basis.

14. The Official Solicitor shall have permission to send a copy of this Order and the documents within the Application bundle to the independent social worker Stuart Williams forthwith.

15. Mr. Stuart Williams shall provide if possible by 4pm on 17th July 2014 a short supplementary report on whether or not his views on contact between C, F and G have altered on receipt of the additional information, and if so, shall set out his opinion on the same, in addition to his view on contact between G and GA prior to her return to the United States.

16. The costs of the supplementary report of the independent social worker on contact shall be shared equally between the Applicant, G, C, and F, and in the opinion of the court, the same shall be a reasonable expense for the purposes of any party's CLS public funding certificate. 

17. The Applicant shall serve a copy of this Order on

(a) the manager of the care agency commissioned by the Applicant to deliver the care package to G in her home in the interim and in the future; and

(b) the London Metropolitan Police; and

(c) G's property and affairs deputy.

18. The solicitor for C shall have permission to serve a copy of this Order by email upon GA.

19. There shall be liberty to apply to vary or discharge this Order on 24 hours' notice to the court and to the parties to

(a) any person served with this Order; and

(b) the parties in the event of any change of circumstance, or a breach of this Order.

20. Costs reserved.

21. This Order shall have immediate effect notwithstanding that it is not yet sealed.



Best Interests
75. In considering G's best interests in the light of the findings I have made I do so in accordance with the framework of Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 ("the MCA"). Given that G has been able to express her wishes throughout these proceedings I am particularly concerned with s 4 (6) and set out my analysis of that part in full below. Section 4 (2) requires the court to have regard to all the relevant circumstances and (s4 (3) (a) & (b)) whether G will at some time have capacity in relation to the matter in question and if so when that is likely to be. There is no evidence that G is likely to have capacity in the future at any time; but in keeping with s 4 (4) there have been assiduous attempts by the Official Solicitor's representatives to encourage G to participate as fully as possible in the decisions being taken by the court affecting her and the acts undertaken as a consequence of that decision. Unfortunately that participation has been actively hampered by the actions of C and F frustrating and interfering with the visits to G on behalf of the Official Solicitor.

76. Section 4(7) provides that the court consider the views of the carer. By their conduct C and F have abrogated any such consideration.

G's present wishes (s4 (6) (a) MCA
77. Throughout the currency of these proceedings G has consistently and firmly stated that she wishes that C and F should continue to reside with her and provide her care, and that the local authority and other professionals should leave her alone.  At the outset of the proceedings she got to her feet and said so, but as they wore on she still spoke but remained in her wheelchair, but by June she had seemingly shrunk in voice, stature and strength and remained uncomfortably bent over in her chair speaking in a hoarse whisper. I take up the Official Solicitor's suggestion that the court should consider the weight to be given to those expressed views with care in the circumstances of this case. G's expressed wishes must be weighed against the options she now believes to be available for her future residence and care. G has always had a particularly strong wish to remain in her own home and is determined that she is not placed in a care home. 
78. G believes, and has, for months, been encouraged to believe that if C and F do not continue to care for her, the local authority will take away her home and put her in residential care.  Indeed, C accepted, in oral evidence, that she had said nothing to disabuse G of the belief that a recent letter from the local authority (apparently sent in error which C knew) demonstrated their continuing intention to remove G from her home.  Thus, despite repeated assurances to the contrary from the local authority and the Official Solicitor though G's lawyers and, indeed, from the Court, the evidence suggests that G believes that the options available are limited to (a) remaining at home with C and F or (b) losing her home and going into residential care.

79. The Court has already concluded that G lacks capacity to make the relevant decisions because of impaired retention and an inability to weigh information due to mental disorder, namely dementia and short term memory loss. I have concluded, too, that G is unduly influenced by C and has developed a dependency upon her, and that the influence and controlling behaviour of C and F had  further compromised the ability of G to make decisions and understand what was happening to her. I am now even more convinced having heard the evidence and seen G over a period of some months that she is at times almost paralysed with fear by the threats regarding her removal to a care-home or to have F take over her personal and intimate care.

80. It these circumstances is very difficult for the court to ascertain G's true wishes and feelings as in the past she has asserted in a letter  in the clearest terms that she was happy with C as her full time live-in carer and wanted no more involvement with social services, only to say later, at a safeguarding meeting, that the letter had been dictated by C. I agree with the social worker's evidence that it is now even more difficult because G does not want to upset C.  I do not, as I should not, disregard G's currently expressed wishes, but as submitted on behalf of the Official Solicitor, I must exercise some caution as to the weight to be given to them in all the circumstances of this case.  I am reminded of the guidance provided by Munby J in ITW v. Z and M [2009] EWHC 2525:

a) First, P's wishes and feelings will always be a significant factor to which the court must pay close regard: see Re MM; Local Authority X v MM (by the Official Solicitor) and KM [2007] EWHC 2003 (Fam), [2009] 1 FLR 443, at paras [121]-[124].

b) Secondly, the weight to be attached to P's wishes and feelings will always be case-specific and fact-specific. In some cases, in some situations, they may carry much, even, on occasions, preponderant, weight. In other cases, in other situations, and even where the circumstances may have some superficial similarity, they may carry very little weight. One cannot, as it were, attribute any particular a priori weight or importance to P's wishes and feelings; it all depends, it must depend, upon the individual circumstances of the particular case. And even if one is dealing with a particular individual, the weight to be attached to their wishes and feelings must depend upon the particular context; in relation to one topic P's wishes and feelings may carry great weight whilst at the same time carrying much less weight in relation to another topic. Just as the test of incapacity under the 2005 Act is, as under the common law, 'issue specific', so in a similar way the weight to be attached to P's wishes and feelings will likewise be issue specific.

c) Thirdly, in considering the weight and importance to be attached to P's wishes and feelings the court must of course, and as required by section 4(2) of the 2005 Act, have regard to all the relevant circumstances. In this context the relevant circumstances will include, though I emphasise that they are by no means limited to, such matters as:

i. the degree of P's incapacity, for the nearer to the borderline the more weight must in principle be attached to P's wishes and feelings: Re MM; Local Authority X v MM (by the Official Solicitor) and KM [2007] EWHC 2003 (Fam), [2009] 1 FLR 443, at para [124];

ii. the strength and consistency of the views being expressed by P;

iii. the possible impact on P of knowledge that her wishes and feelings are not being given effect to: see again Re MM; Local Authority X v MM (by the Official Solicitor) and KM [2007] EWHC 2003 (Fam), [2009] 1 FLR 443, at para [124];
iv. the extent to which P's wishes and feelings are, or are not, rational, sensible, responsible and pragmatically capable of sensible implementation in the particular circumstances; and

v. crucially, the extent to which P's wishes and feelings, if given effect to, can properly be accommodated within the court's overall assessment of what is in her best interests.

G's past wishes (s6 (4) (a) MCA)
81. G's past wishes are a great deal easier to delineate as they are clearer and have been consistent over many, many years. G has always wanted to stay in her own home.  There is no evidence before me to suggest that it would not be in her best interests to do so, the proposals of the local authority and of C and F are consistent with G's wishes.

82. There is very substantial and compelling evidence before me that G's membership of the Seventh Day Adventist Church was of profound spiritual and social importance to her since she was an adolescent; almost 80 years of religious adherence and practice is very strong evidence indeed. Added to that is the oral evidence P and SD.  G continued to attend her church regularly until 2011 when she underwent surgery and became incontinent, after which church members arranged a rota to enable her to participate in religious practices such as taking Communion and foot-washing. They visited to socialize as well.

83. G's involvement with her church decreased and ceased completely after C took over G's care full time sometime in the spring of 2012.  C has a very difficult relationship with the members of G's church and has reacted in an increasingly defensive way whenever they have tried to visit G or express concern about G's situation. Instead G started attending a Jehovah's Witness congregation and there is no coincidence that this is a denomination to which C belongs.  C's stated intention of assisting G to resume her place within the Seventh Day Adventist Church was undermined by her oral evidence which amounted to a proposal that she would explain to church members that they were in the wrong and that they would be free to come to G's house provided they did not criticize C. G's long-standing past wishes as to her religious affiliation will be better served by the local authority's proposals, which include her re-integration and re-unification into her long-established religious community.

84. As well as her strong faith and religious adherence I heard evidence about how very much G enjoyed socializing with people of all ages and backgrounds, not just members of her church.  I heard this from witnesses who have known G over many years, P, JP and SD; I heard how well attended G's birthday parties were and throughout the year visitors would find it difficult to leave, so happy was she to talk and chat. JP painted a pleasant picture of G standing leaning on her garden gate and chatting with the world as it went by. She was interested in people and the will she executed in April 2011 testifies to this as it identifies several of the people who were important to her at that time. Cruelly she now has contact with few, if any, of them. For as with her church family, G's interaction with friends and with the world at large have been reduced to almost nothing since C took over. There is nothing to suggest that C would be either capable or willing to support G in rebuilding those relationships.

85. As with G's current wishes it is difficult to ascertain G's feelings with any great confidence from what she is able to say. I am concerned and saddened that the witnesses who have known G over many years (and to whom I have already referred) spoke in affectionate terms of a happy and out-going person, who appeared to enjoy life despite her increasing frailty and disabilities, and who seems to have disappeared. There is a reason for this and it is reflected in reports from numerous other sources contained in the court documents; the reports are all to social services since C took over and were not challenged and include G appearing scared of the lodger (C); of G saying that she does not feel comfortable or safe in her house any more; that she is living in fear; of G appearing "worn out, exhausted and frankly her countenance quite different from the [G] I have known"; of G appearing distressed and conveying "an overwhelming sense of helplessness".  This evidence is  the oral evidence of P, JP, and SD. It was SD, giving evidence on C's behalf who said that "[G] isn't [G] anymore". There is substantial evidence that G has grown increasingly unhappy, withdrawn and subdued since C took over her and that unhappiness is not attributable to these proceedings alone. As C feels very strongly about the proceedings and that is more likely than not to have had a deleterious effect on G who had been spending almost 24 hours a day with C. G has been distressed but outwardly not to the extent that may have been expected. The greatest distress observed was after C telephoned her on one occasion. When I have regard to G's feelings in the longer term, any suggestion that she would be happier with C and F than living at home with professional care is doubtful.

Beliefs and Values (s4 (6) (b) MCA)
86. G's religious beliefs have been considered above.

87. As to G's values, the evidence is that she has always been a proud, dignified and self-possessed person. The sort of person who would never have made a public spectacle of herself, such as that that was made of her by C in arranging G's participation in the protest in Ilford Town centre. P, in particular, who has known G for so long was incredulous and distressed on G's behalf.

Other Factors that G would be likely to consider if she were able to do so (s4 (6) (c) MCA)
88. There have been benefits to G from C and F's care, in the form of her home being clean and tidy, her garden is well cared for and she is provided with food she enjoys. I have said throughout that the state of G's immediate environment, her home of which she is proud and which is so important to her, and the provision of tasty food, one of the last pleasures left to someone who is very old and immobile, is important and must be taken into account. In addition the ISW has said G appears to believe that C and F are her family, and that God has ordained that they should care for her and those factors are also of importance and value to her. Were these the only factors I had to consider I would have no difficulty in deciding that C and F should remain in G's home. The local authority has assured me that the proposed care package would ensure a good standard of housekeeping. The local authority has also assured me they will make arrangements to provide G with the sort of food she enjoys, and have explained those arrangements are to be put in place.

89. If G were able to understand and retain the relevant information, I doubt that she would regard C and F as her family.  There has never been any clear explanation of why C took over as G's full time carer in March 2013. C has denied that her motivation was to provide some resolution to her long-standing immigration problems. The evidence is to the contrary; within weeks of assuming that role of carer C had obtained legal advice on immigration, gathered supporting evidence including the doctor's letter and a copy of G's passport, and instructed solicitors to make an immigration application on her behalf on the basis that she was a full time carer for her elderly aunt. The evidence of ML, which I have accepted, shows that by June 2013 C had convinced G she should alter her will in favour of C and F. Were G aware of all of this I very much doubt she would consider C and F her "family" in the pleasant and affectionate way she had in the past with P and SD.

90. G was an experienced and highly competent nurse and if she were able she would consider her need to engage with professionals and allow their involvement, which will be of increasing benefit as she gets older and even frailer. C's presence would hinder such involvement; it already has done so.

91. When I consider all of the above and turn to G's best interest I have to conclude that it is not in G's best interests to have C and F remaining in her home. I weigh against her expressed wishes and feelings the detrimental effect that C's manipulative and intimidating behaviour has already had on G's emotional well-being and mental capacity, the isolation, the fear and the fact that it is C's behaviour, assisted by F who has supported her throughout, that has caused these proceedings and the gross intrusion into G's life that this case and the additional media attention have brought. It is intended that G should now be allowed to be at peace in her own home as she wants.

92. I have already made an order that C and F are to leave the house. The couple have never had any right to reside there in any event there except as permitted by G. G lacks the capacity to decide who she has contact with so that permission is no longer a valid reason for C or F to remain. The court has power under ss 16 and 17 of the MCA: s17 provides

"(1) The powers under section 16 as respects P's personal welfare extend in particular to—

(a)deciding where P is to live;

(b)deciding what contact, if any, P is to have with any specified persons;

(c) making an order prohibiting a named person from having contact with P;

(d)giving or refusing consent to the carrying out or continuation of a treatment by a person providing health care for P;

(e)giving a direction that a person responsible for P's health care allow a different person to take over that responsibility.

(2)Subsection (1) is subject to section 20 (restrictions on deputies)."

93. Whether or not it is in G's best interests for C and F to continue to live with G is  "a matter concerning P's personal welfare"; s17(1) (c) expressly provides that the court can prohibit a named person from having contact with P. I intend to make an order regarding contact between C and F and G.  I consider that I have powers under s 17 to make the order I have that C and F vacate G's home, as I am making the decision on G's behalf in relation to a matter concerning her personal welfare as provided for in s 16(1) (a) and s 16(2) (a) and s 47 (1). The latter provides that the court has in connection with its jurisdiction the same powers, rights, privileges and authority as the High Court. I have considered the Court of Appeal case of DL v A Local Authority & Others [2012] EWCA Civ 253 and could under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, exercise the power under the inherent jurisdiction to make a mandatory injunction requiring C and F to leave the property. However I do not consider that to be necessary as the powers under the MCA are sufficient.

Lasting Power of Attorney
94. The lasting power of attorney appointing C as G's health and welfare attorney has been registered by the OPG as it concluded that it had no option but to do so; this was confirmed in a letter dated 9th October 2013. As I have concluded that it is not in G's best interests for C to remain in her home, then it follows that it is not in G's best interests for C to be her appointed health and welfare Attorney.  Dr. Barker did not opine in either of his reports his estimate as to when G lost capacity, but it would seem likely that G lacked capacity to grant a LPA at the time it was made, not long after the attempt to have G's will changed.   If this was the case it could be revoked on the basis that such capacity is required by s.9(2)(c) of the MCA. Unfortunately I do not have the requisite evidence from Dr Barker.

95. The local authority submits that the LPA should be revoked, and I agree. The argument is put forward that the court can revoke the instrument based on the provisions  of s.22(3) (a) (i) and (ii) and/or (b)(i) and revoke by virtue of s22 (4) (b). The need for a further hearing on this matter given the findings I have made in respect of C would seem to be disproportionate. On the findings I have made the provisions of s 22 (3) (a) (i) and/or (ii) are met; as it is more likely than not that C used undue pressure. It offends against logic to suggest that s22 (b) (i) can only refer to the behaviour of a donee when purporting to act under the authority of the instrument when the court has found that a donee has behaved in a way that is not in P's best interests, particularly when the behaviour relates directly to the specific LPA; in this case health and welfare.  In view of my decision regarding the evidence of ML (which I accepted) that he discussed drawing one up granting her brother that power instead, very shortly before the existing LPA was drawn,  therefore I revoke the LPA pursuant to s 22(4) (b).

96. I cannot find any benefit for G in having any direct or indirect contact with C or F either now or in the future. This includes telephone contact. There will be an order prohibiting contact as G has already been upset by C phoning her since C moved out of G's home. I have read with care the supplementary report of Mr Williams regarding contact and agree that on balance there would only be minimal benefit given the established risks identified in this judgement. It would have to be supervised as the phone call alone is an indication of C's continued attempts to manipulate G. I agree with Mr Williams that it is extremely unlikely that C would be able to cooperate with the necessary supervision and monitoring; it is highly likely any visit would become difficult very quickly and do G more harm than good. There will be no contact; an order will be drawn to that effect. C and F are forbidden to instruct, encourage or allow any other person to contact G on their behalf or to act or attempt to act on behalf of G. GA is not to visit; she is a stranger with no connection to G.

97. This is my judgement.