The court was required to make final capacity declarations on the P's residence, contact (with family and others), his care arrangements, his property and financial affairs, his capacity to consent to sexual relations, and his internet and social media use. This judgment in particular focused on the P's access to social media and the risks that posed to him and to others.
When unsupervised the P was known to search compulsively for pornography and had developed a considerable interest in sites showing paedophiliac and extreme, even illegal, sexual activity; he cannot read nor understand the warnings regarding content and safety. The first question on which the court was asked to rule was whether, in undertaking a capacity assessment, internet and social media use should form a sub-set of a person’s ability to make a decision about either ‘contact’ or ‘care’.
Having heard argument in this case, and in Re B , the court reached the clear view that the issue of whether someone has capacity to engage in social media for the purposes of online ‘contact’ is distinct (and should be treated as such) from general consideration of other forms of direct or indirect contact. The court was satisfied that wider internet use is different from general issues surrounding care. The court approved the local authority’s draft ‘internet access and safety’ care plan.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
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