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Elderly woman blindfolded "like a prisoner" in raid by social workers and police

Elderly woman blindfolded "like a prisoner" in raid by social workers and police

An elderly woman suffering from dementia was blindfolded "like a prisoner" before being snatched from her daughter's home in a raid by social workers and police.

By Nick Britten

Last Updated: 6:07PM BST 22 Apr 2009

Betty Figg's daughter Rosalind had refused to take her mother back to a care home, claiming she was deeply unhappy there.

She and her husband spent thousands of pounds adapting their home so that Mrs Figg, 86, could live with them.

Yesterday Miss Figg, 55, said: "There were two social workers, four policeman and two police vans as well as a doctor all swarming around outside my house.

"One of the officers came towards the front door with a battering ram as though they had come to raid a drugs den.

"I let them in and I was shaking with fear as I did so.

"I was powerless to act and I felt like a criminal but all I'd try to do was to do the best for my mum and look after her as best I could.

"Mum was escorted out of my house in her wheelchair and had a towel thrown over her head as though she was some kind of prisoner."

Mrs Figg was put into the £2,200 a month Butts Croft House in Coventry last year after a spell in hospital, where she had fallen and broken a hip.

Her daughter gave up a thriving pottery business to look after her and her partner, Christopher Roberts, 41, a builder, converted an annexe of their house into a bedroom with an en-suite toilet and shower with wheelchair ramps ready to bring Mrs Figg home.

They even fitted the bed with sensors in the mattress so an alarm would wake them if she got up in the middle of the night.

Last November Miss Figg applied to take her mother home but social services ruled the renovations did not meet their requirements and turned the application down.

She said her mother had become increasingly unhappy at the home and that on one visit she found that her mouth was caked in dry blood and she was complaining of feeling hungry.

Miss Figg, who said Monday's raid had left her feeling "numb and intimidated", said: "On Saturday I picked mum up as I do every weekend but when I saw just how unhappy she had become I told the home I was not going to bring her back.

"They told me they were going to call the police, but I'd already contacted them and they told me that this was a civil matter and they wouldn't get involved."

She added: "I will fight tooth and nail to get my mum back, she is not happy there. She should back with her loving family - where she belongs."

A spokeswoman for Coventry City Council said: "Staff from a number of agencies are involved in safeguarding Mrs Figg, including using statutory powers to protect her against further moves and to provide a mental health assessment after she was removed from a residential care home by her daughter against advice from the Older People's Community Mental Health Team, which includes representatives from health agencies and Social Care.

"An advocate has been appointed through the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service to represent and support Mrs Figg.

"Police were asked to assist social care staff to move Mrs Figg from an address on Keresley Close Coventry to a place of safety earlier this week.

"Social care staff had visited the property earlier in the day and after being refused entry requested the help of police to gain access."

A police spokesman said: "Police were asked to assist social services to remove an elderly woman from an address on Keresley Close, Coventry, to a place of safety.

"The safety of the woman was of paramount importance.

"A warrant was granted and an enforcer was taken in order to gain access to the property if needed. The enforcer was not used."

To be fair, we don't know all the details of the case, but on the face of it, this would appear to be another instance of over-zealous state operatives applying regulations without any regard to common sense or compassion. Worse still, it is indicative of a bureaucracy with with too much power over those that it is supposed to serve.

I'm guessing that the renovations to the daughter's home didn't meet requirements for disabled status - probably in terms of floor area or some other triviality. But surely the mother is better off being cared for by her daughter than being dumped in a care home. The government should be encouraging such filial care, not punishing it.

The follow-up article in the link below has an amataeur video showing the annexe. It looks perfectly comfortable and habitable as far as one is able to tell.

Daughter considers legal action after social services force mother into care home

Police State, or what? And with our own S.S. troops.

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Nobodies, the good thing is that they'll be out of jobs soon and finding out what life is like when you don't have the power of the state behind you.

The people should have boarded it up, called the local rag round quick and held out. Plod would have been called off as soon as it got media-nasty.

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The follow-up article in the link below has an amataeur video showing the annexe. It looks perfectly comfortable and habitable as far as one is able to tell.

They had also received a £400 grant to fit it out (Daily Express.)

Her mother had owned her own house until last year so maybe they see money to pay the £2,000 - £2,220 pm care fees.

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Just another ase of the SS police taking orders from corrupt MP's and local council officals.

The little old lady will be placed in a nursing home to be milked untill all her money has gone and then allowed to die.

her today and you tomorrow unless we unite and stop this madness

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Guest AuntJess
2 social workers 4 coppers and a doctor!

Fanf*ckintastic use of my tax money!

Someone phone Darling up and tell him we have spotted a potential area of savings on his budget.

:lol::lol:

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Elderly woman blindfolded "like a prisoner" in raid by social workers and police

To be fair, we don't know all the details of the case, but on the face of it, this would appear to be another instance of over-zealous state operatives applying regulations without any regard to common sense or compassion. Worse still, it is indicative of a bureaucracy with with too much power over those that it is supposed to serve.

I'm guessing that the renovations to the daughter's home didn't meet requirements for disabled status - probably in terms of floor area or some other triviality. But surely the mother is better off being cared for by her daughter than being dumped in a care home. The government should be encouraging such filial care, not punishing it.

The follow-up article in the link below has an amataeur video showing the annexe. It looks perfectly comfortable and habitable as far as one is able to tell.

Daughter considers legal action after social services force mother into care home

Police State, or what? And with our own S.S. troops.

This country is starting to look like Zimbabwe more each day as the debts spiral out of control- the police are out of control-our leaders are unelected-Brown and Mandy. We need a complete revison of the political system seperating government from parliament where MP's might protect our rights.

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This country is starting to look like Zimbabwe more each day as the debts spiral out of control- the police are out of control-our leaders are unelected-Brown and Mandy. We need a complete revison of the political system seperating government from parliament where MP's might protect our rights.

I agree.

I don't like the direction in which this country is heading. What happened to personal freedom and individual and family rights and responsibilities that they are so easily set aside by government apparatchiks? Those busy-bodies who always think they know what's best for everyone, regardless of personal wishes.

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Probably some of the plod are a bit irate as they can't go killing demonstrators for a few weeks. Now it seems they can abduct old people instead.

Did it not occur to them that bashing the door in could well have finished the old dear off ? I assume not from the obvious lack of thinking involved in this high cost operation.

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