Father of autistic man unlawfully deprived of his liberty speaks to Lords Committee

12 November 2013

Mark Neary, father of Steven Neary, will tell the House of Lords Committee charged with investigating the Mental Capacity Act 2005, how the London Borough of Hillingdon failed to comply with the Act, unlawfully depriving his son of his liberty for nearly a year


Tuesday 12 November 2013, Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

At 10.40 am

  • Alex Rook - Partner, Public Law Department, Irwin Mitchell LLP
  • Julia Lomas - Partner, National Head of Court Protection Department, Irwin Mitchell LLP
  • Alex Ruck Keene - Barrister, 39 Essex Street Chambers
  • Michael Mylonas QC - Barrister, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

At 11.40 am

  • Elmari Bishop - Mental Capacity Act/DOLS Lead at the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT)
  • Mark Neary – father of adult son found to be unlawfully deprived of his liberty by London Borough of Hillingdon in 2010

About this session

At 10.40 am the Committee will have the opportunity to quiz a legal panel and ask the witnesses if there are sufficient protections within the Mental Capacity Act, the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian against financial or other abuse of those who lack capacity; whether costs or lack of legal aid stop people from accessing the Court of Protection and if the reforms of the Court of Protection proposed by the President of the Family Division will have a positive impact on the experiences of individuals and families.

At 11.40 am the Committee will explore with Mr Neary why, even in light of his experience of very poor practice with regard to the Act and in particular the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS), he still supports it, and what lessons he believes can be learnt from his experience. He will be joined in his session by Elmari Bishop, Mental Capacity Act/DOLS Lead at the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT).

Steven Neary had been taken into care by Hillingdon Council in what his father believed to be a temporary measure. However, the council believed that Steven needed an extended stay in their care and, as ruled by the Court of Protection, unlawfully deprived him of his liberty from January 2010 until December the same year.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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