The court approved the proposed settlement by the LA to the Patient following his successful claim for damages against them.
In this highly unusual case, the court was asked to approve a settlement by the LA to the Patient, who had Downs Syndrome. The claim for damages arose after the LA assessed the Patient as lacking capacity to consent to sexual relations with his wife and that such relations could only be continued once he had undertaken a course of sex education. This did happen but a second course was necessary, resulting in a period of abstinence for over 2 years. Whilst some delay was to be expected, the LA accepted that they were in breach of Section 6(1) of the HRA 1998. They offered to settle for £10,000 (plus paying his costs) and the settlement had to be agreed by the court.
The court agreed the settlement figure put forward by the LA. Sir Mark Hedley said that this case "raised some important questions both about liability and damages under the HRA 1998 but also about the risks or cost of protecting the vulnerable. Many would think that no couple should have had to undergo this highly intrusive move upon their personal privacy yet such move was in its essentials entirely lawful and properly motivated. ... [It was] part of the inevitable price that must be paid to have a regime of effective safeguarding."
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