Readers will be aware of the highly publicised case of London Borough of Hillingdon v Neary, where the Court of Protection determined that the council had breached the human rights of an autistic man and unlawfully deprived him of his liberty. Steven had been detained in a “positive behaviour unit” for nearly a year against his wishes and those of his father.

The High Court has now approved the payment of damages to Steven Neary in the sum £35,000, with the judge stating that he was “satisfied this is a proper order to make”. Hillingdon Council’s deputy director of social care, health and housing, Moira Wilson, stated: “The council is pleased a settlement has been reached, which is satisfactory to the judge and the Neary family.”  

This case highlights the importance of involving the courts early when disputes arise over deprivation of liberty matters.