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The Court of Protection revokes Power of Attorney

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The Court of Protection revokes Power of Attorney P made in favour of her daughter and grandson after misuse of P’s online bank account

 

On 3 March 2010 P executed two Lasting Powers of Attorney, one for property and financial affairs and the other for health and welfare.  She appointed her daughter JT and grandson KT jointly and severally as her attorneys.

For quite some time Suffolk County Council ('the Council') had been concerned that JT and KT were abusing P both emotionally and financially.

Having received a complaint from the Council about the attorneys' conduct, on 21 May 2013 the Public Guardian applied to the court for an order under section 22(4)(b) of the Act revoking the LPA for health and welfare and directing him to cancel its registration.

The application was accompanied by a witness statement made by Sonya Hanson, an investigations officer at the OPG's headquarters in Birmingham, who said that:

(a) The Council's solicitor had raised concerns with the OPG in October 2012.

(b) Staff from the housing association which ran P's sheltered accommodation had witnessed the attorneys verbally berating, intimidating and harassing P.

(c) The Council had produced a 181 page chronology of incidents that had occurred from 11 May 2010 to 15 October 2012.

(d) On 15 February 2011 a judge at Lowestoft County Court issued an injunction requiring KT to vacate P's property and not to approach within 100 yards of it, and forbidding him from using violence or threatening words or behaviour or foul or abusive language towards P's carers.

(e) Christine Gaukroger, a Court of Protection General Visitor, visited P on 21 December 2012, and concluded her report by saying: "In my view KT is significantly and inappropriately over-involved in the donor's life and this impacts on her abilities to socialise with a peer group, participate in activities of her choice, be at ease with her surroundings, threatening her tenancy and possibly affecting her health."

(f) On 18 April 2013 JT had picked up and threw a waste paper bin at P and screamed, "You’re not my mother. My mother is dead."

(g) In a letter dated 8 December 2011 P's consultant psychiatrist, Dr Neil Ashford, expressed the opinion that she lacks the capacity to revoke the LPA.

KT was also found to be transferring money from P’s bank account to his company, his own account in payment of his own utility bills and online purchases.

Senior Judge Lush said that he was satisfied that JT and KT acted in a way that contravened their authority which was not in P's best interests. He said that it was in accordance with the law, and it was a necessary and proportionate response for the prevention of crime and for the protection of P’s right to have her financial affairs managed competently, honestly and for her benefit.

The police are currently contemplating future action against KT.

If you have any questions in relation to this area please do not hesitate to contact Natasha McKeever or Katie de Swarte.

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