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Restraining order on elderly disabled man - anyone know what evidence required to grant ?

(10 Posts)
gingeroots Mon 01-Oct-12 19:06:59

Have posted recently about this but brief details are
lodger/carer in his eighties caring for woman ( platonic relationship ) in her ninties .
woman has relatives fairly nearby who offer little/no support but visit to borrow money .Little love lost between lodger and relatives .
during last 6 months old lady becoming confused
carer/lodger goes out and finds her missing on return
tracks down to relatives
relatives refuse to let her speak to him and physically pull her back when she reaches for him
he calls police
he and lady both confirm that fingerprint bruises on her arm caused by carer - he pulled her back from dangerous situation in kitchen
he is arrested ,put in a cell for 20 hours and now has restraining order which has rendered him homeless
old lady lasted a few weeks before she died ,something he was notified of a few days after the event by duty solicitor

So my question is - is this normal for a restraining order to be given so quickly and with what appears to be so little weighing of the circumstances ?

elderly man has no record or convictions ,no previous accusations of him assualting his friend .

monsterchild Tue 02-Oct-12 03:30:53

Restraining orders can be issued very quickly, as often the victim needs to be protected sooner rather than later. After the initial order is issued, another hearing can be held and then the evidence and all that can be weighed by the court. It could be that she passed before this hearing was presented?

gingeroots Tue 02-Oct-12 10:01:38

Yes ,a date has been set in Nov for him to "answer bail " which if I understand correctly is when he'll learn if charges are to be brought .

Do you know anything about how it's decided to grant a restraining order ?

I can't escape the feeling that not all the facts /background were considered and that only one description of events was considered and judged to be true .

Seems so harsh - his worst fears that she would give up ,become ill and die with no one telling him or allowing him to say goodbye ,have come true .

Plus he's homeless ,at his age and with his health and disabilities .
He's been told he has too much in the way of savings to warrant housing .
Which I guess I can understand ,but he is fearful of the lack of security that he thinks ( maybe incorrectly ) is inherent in privately rented accomodation .

It would be nice if he were to be told before November whether charges are to be brought ,dropped ,or more investigations made .

gingeroots Tue 02-Oct-12 17:30:02


monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 01:41:35

Ginger, I'm not sure I can be of much help as I don't live in the UK. Presumably he should be able to contact the prosecutor to find out if they are going to go ahead on this. typically there is an arraignment, where he can inform the court if he is planning on contesting the charges. they will have to read the charges at that time. After that, if he pleads no guilty and they go forward, he should be offered counsel if he can't afford his own(again, not sure how this is done in UK).

the best thing you may be able to do for him is to help him find another good roommate situation, where he feels safe and comfortable, and perhaps won't be put into the same position again, of being a caregiver with such a family.

Also, I don't know if it is available where you are, but if you are on only a pension, here you can have your money diverted to a trust account and thus qualify for housing. Again, this may not be an option for him.

gingeroots Wed 03-Oct-12 09:48:30

Any reply is a help but your mention of a trust account is particularly helpful .

The man in question is very astute when it come to money and investigating this possibilty will at least give his mind something else to dwell on other than the loss of his "landlady " whom he clearly loved and who filled his life .

He's very upset today ,the funeral was yesterday .
The main protagonists didn't attend ( there were only 3 people including him sad ) but he seems to have learnt from one of them that the woman was taken to her solicitors in an effort to get her to change her will and get POA .
But this failed - presumably the solicitor realised there was lack of mental capacity .

He's more upset to learn that the lady was in hospital for 5 days before she died and that the duty solicitor although knowing this ,only told him , days after the event , that she had died .

prh47bridge Wed 03-Oct-12 09:56:38

You may find the CPS guidance useful. You can find it here.

gingeroots Wed 03-Oct-12 10:26:54

Thank you prh47bridge - I have looked at this ( not to say I completely understand it ,in particular the distinction between proof for a civil case and ? criminal one ) .

I keep stumbling at this bit
The test to be applied by the court before making an order is whether an order is necessary to protect the persons named in it from harassment or conduct that will put them in fear of violence. This necessitates an evaluation by the court of the evidence before it. It will require the court to determine whether there is sufficient evidence in front of it to enable it to form a view that an order is necessary. Restraining orders are civil behaviour orders and therefore the standard of proof is a civil one

in particular the references to evidence because I can't see how this was done .

I can only assume that the fact that there were bruises ( 4 finger marks ) on an arm was deemed to be enough evidence .
And the fact that 92 year olds do tend to produce bruises at the least pressure was not deemed relevant .
And clearly that the "defendant"'s explanation was not believed or it was felt that it warranted further investigation .

And while I get the theory that restraining orders are not intended to be punitive ....the luxury of indulging in semantics was not one enjoyed by this defendant .

gingeroots Wed 03-Oct-12 10:44:13

OK - google informs me that lesser proof required for civil as opposed to criminal cases .
So a "preponderance of evidence " for civil and beyond reasonable doubt for criminal .

Sigh . Guess the legal process is a blunt instrument .

It's definitely bludgeoned this poor old chap .

prh47bridge Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:14

Yes, that's it. Beyond reasonable doubt for criminal cases and, to paraphrase what you found, balance of probabilities for civil cases.

Obviously in this situation the restraining order felt like a punishment regardless of the intent. Given the information posted my guess is that the fact there were bruises, she said he caused the bruises and he admitted causing them was regarded as sufficient to grant a restraining order. Unless she supported his explanation that he was pulling her back from a dangerous situation it was probably discounted. Even if she had supported his explanation it may have been discounted due to her mental state. However, that is just a guess. I obviously don't know exactly what evidence was presented.

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