Woman wins battle over birthday visit to grown-up autistic son

Updated: 

A woman has won a fight with social services staff over a birthday visit to her grown-up autistic son during the latest stage of record-breaking litigation in a specialist court.

The man - who is in his twenties and has learning disabilities - was taken from his parents' care, with a judge's approval, and moved to a residential unit three years ago.

His father and adult sister have visited him regularly.

But his mother, who also has health difficulties, was barred from seeing him during the summer of 2016 after council social services staff raised concerns about her behaviour and said her visits were unsettling him.

In January, Mr Justice Baker said the woman should resume visits.

A fresh dispute arose earlier this month over arrangements for a visit, supervised by council staff, on the man's birthday.

The woman wanted to spend time with her son at an outdoor tourist attraction.

But social services staff said the birthday meeting should take place in a "contained" space such as a council office.

Mr Justice Baker has ruled in favour of the woman.

The judge has overseen the case at hearings in the Court of Protection, where rulings about people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are made, in London.

He says the case has occupied more than 10 weeks of court time in total - more than any other in Court of Protection history.

The judge has ruled that no-one involved can be identified.

Detail of the litigation emerged in a 70-page ruling by Mr Justice Baker in 2014.