Daughter breached order that ruled her father must stay in care
A woman, understood to be the first person imprisoned for contempt of court by the Court of Protection, has said the “judge would never have dared jail her” if the case had been made public, the Daily Mail has reported.
Wanda Maddocks, 50, was sent to Foston Hall prison for six weeks in September 2012 after trying to release her chronically ill father from a care home in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Court of Protection had ruled Alzheimer’s sufferer John Maddocks must remain in care because the plans his four children made were “considered inadequate”.
The jailing, which was not officially disclosed, has raised concerns among MPs around secrecy, the Daily Mail said, with former care minister Paul Burstow calling the decision an “extreme conclusion”.
Wanda Maddocks was reported to have believed her elderly father would be better in her care and took him to her home in Turkey. The pair returned after three months because they could not access his pension or savings.
She said social services agreed to release John from the care home if the family provided evidence of suitable arrangements. The court rejected four submissions.
Judge Martin Cardinal found that Wanda Maddocks “had helped take her father to a court hearing and had also taken him to see a solicitor” and “that she had tried to publicise the case”.
“In terms of managing people’s financial affairs and welfare, the Court of Protection can make orders that must be obeyed like the orders of any other court,” said Lynsey Colman, an associate dealing with power of attorneys at Barlow Robbins in Guildford.
“Contempt of court is a serious act and the court has to impose sanctions or its orders would carry very little weight.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson would not comment on the individual case but said: “The Court of Protection is a unique court dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“The government’s view is that court cases should be held in public and the judgments published, unless a judge concludes that the case should be kept private.”
SOURCE: Solicitors Journal