Judgment concerning whether a young man had capacity, in particular with regards to his contacts and sexual relationships.
P is a 24 year old man with autistic traits and a very difficult family history, including a history of sexual abuse. He enjoys using drugs and alcohol. He identifies as predominantly gay. Concerns grew in 2018 about his sexual contacts and behaviour in the community so plans to allow him to live independently were delayed as he regularly absconded and it was thought that older men could be taking advantage of him. At the time of these proceedings he was living with two other residents in a flat but resented the restrictions placed on him.
HHJ Williscroft notes at  that those assessing him confidently say that he has the capacity to engage in sexual relations but concludes that P is unable to make about who he has contact with
“he is often in a state it seems to me led by compulsion or obsessive behaviour, by the complex combination of age, sexual drive and diagnoses, driven too by trauma, when he is driven to meet people for sex. Their motivation and engagement with him he cannot understand or process and their communications he cannot interpret so that not just on a rare occasion but very regularly he is so uncomfortable that he calls police or carers to get him home.”
She goes on to note that it is
“rather odd that he can understand the basics of sex but not have the capacity to engage in a relationship that is based almost exclusively on the need for sexual activity but this is as a result of looking at domains of understanding separately and part of ensuring autonomy is only restricted where an analysis of lack of capacity is clear.”
In a letter to P appended to the judgment, she tells him that the Court is able to make decisions about where he lives, the care he receives and who he has contact with.
Read the judgment in full on Bailii.
Case summaries on every Court of Protection case & other relevant decisions with links to the full judgment where available.
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