The past few days has seen the Blogosphere, and much of the mainstream media, consumed with the outrage of an Australian citizen, locked up without charge, without evidence of madness, in Wandsworth Gaol. Julian Assange. Google returns a stunning 832,000,000 posts on the subject just in the last nine days.
Compare this with the interest shown in a British citizen, locked up without charge, without evidence of madness, for the past 355 days. Steven Neary. Google returns 23,800 results…..
Many of those are as a direct response to an article I wrote on the 6th December depicting the Kafkaesque plight of young Steven, an autistic man who went off to respite care for three days whilst his Father recovered from flu and has been kept behind a locked door, unable to return home for almost a year, ever since.
Steven has fallen foul of the DOL ‘safeguards’. The mechanism by which you may be deprived of your liberty under the Mental Capacity Act without being suspected of any criminal activity, or by virtue of two psychiatrists believing that you would benefit from treatment in a mental hospital.
At the time of writing my original post, I was not able to give an objective balanced report, for the Local Authority, who are responsible for Steven being behind a locked door, are ‘not able to discuss individual cases’, and the Court of Protection which is the only court to which Steven has the right of appeal, is one of the famed ‘secret courts’ of the Family Court System which reserves to itself the right to adjudicate in private.
Until a hearing date was set for the Court of Protection – tomorrow, Tuesday, the 21st December, at 10.30 am – there was no official explanation as to why the Local Authority was taking this action.
My original post, in greater depth than here, can be read HERE:
Now we learn that although the Local Authority have no precise complaint as to the past care given to Steven by his devoted single parent Father, Mark, they state that they do not think that Mr Neary will adhere to ‘Steven’s behaviour plan’, nor that he will keep precise ‘diet logs’, further they add, there is a ‘risk’ that Steven will hit his Father.
None of these things have happened in the past; it now appears that Steven is locked up to ensure that they do not happen in the future. Risk management. The new name of the game.
How many parents have to adhere to a State Issue ‘Behaviour Plan’, or a State Issue ‘Diet Log’? How many parents are separated from their child on the grounds that they ‘might not’ adhere to such a plan?
In the four months before he went into respite care, his father and support workers had recorded 12 occasions where Steven had, say, kicked out or pulled someone’s finger.
In care, ‘assault’ is an all-encompassing word. It’s an autistic trait but at home, if Steven wants to go from the sofa to the kitchen, he goes through a routine: He taps his DVD; he taps the arm of the sofa; he taps the shoulder of whoever is sitting on the other sofa; he taps the dining table; he taps the living room door handle. He also taps support workers on the shoulder when he wants to know ‘when he can go home’.
Steven has adopted a similar routine in care and his support workers were ordered to record the tap on the shoulder as ‘an assault’.
Resulting in an increase in ‘assaults’ recorded from 12 in four months to over 300 in eight months.
This is not seen as evidence of a confused young man who wants to go back to his Father, nor as evidence of Steven’s change in behaviour since being incarcerated. No, seen through the Orwellian prism of social care – this is evidence of Mr Neary’s ‘underreporting of assaults’ and a further reason as to why it is not safe to return Steven to his Father.
Please help Mark Neary’s fight to have his son returned to his home. There is a petition set up HERE: – and wish them the best of luck tomorrow – hopefully the High Court will display wisdom and Steven will be home for Christmas.