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The medical evidence was that woman was of unsound mind and incapable of managing her affairs, the judge said 
The High Court has brought into wardship an elderly woman with an acquired brain injury and dementia who has not seen anyone socially except her adult son for over two years. 
Ms Justice Niamh Hyland found the son was “unsuitable” to be appointed as part of the woman’s committee, which protects her best interests, as there were “very serious deficits” in his care for her and her estate. 
The woman, who is in her late 80s and cannot be identified, had been “completely isolated” from the rest of her adult children and has not even been allowed out into the garden of her own house, the judge said. The court had heard that the locks on her home had been changed twice, the doorbell disconnected, and a chain was placed around the gate. 
The application seeking to have the woman made a ward of the court was brought by three of her children, and was opposed by the son, Mr A, who lived with her. He submitted it was unnecessary for protecting her interests and preferred that an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), which deals with a person’s financial interests only, be registered instead. 
In her ruling, published on Thursday, the judge found that wardship was in the woman’s best interests due to the evidence pointing to “very serious concerns” about her health and welfare. 
The medical evidence was that she was of unsound mind and incapable of managing her affairs, the judge said. 
Setting out the background, Ms Justice Hyland noted Mr A moved in with his widowed mother about five years ago after she sustained a fractured skull in an accident, which caused her to require constant care. 
In a sworn statement, the woman’s adult daughter, who was among those bringing the application, claimed Mr A had often left their mother alone at home overnight. 
After she contacted the HSE safeguarding team, its workers noted the gates had been locked with a chain and the woman was very confused and unclean, said the judge. 
The daughter also alleged her mother’s bank card and statements had gone missing and that €87,000 had exited her account in the space of 15 months. She claimed Mr A had a judgment against him for a seven-figure sum. 
Mr A countered that his mother had instructed him to change the locks and that he had to leave the house on occasions at night to visit his child who has a medical condition. 
Addressing a neighbour’s complaint that she had not seen the woman, he said the neighbour’s child used to come very close when talking to his mother, and, therefore, he could not let her into the garden in case she contracted Covid-19. 
Ms Justice Hyland said she was satisfied he was not properly caring for her and there had been no attempt by him to have her medically treated for her continuing cognitive decline. She said the woman has not been brought for routine GP check-ups and has not had her pacemaker attended to at all. 
She said the woman’s financial affairs were not being properly managed by her son, who accepted he was taking money from her account without explaining how it was being used. 
It was appropriate, said the judge, to appoint a general solicitor to act as the woman’s committee to ensure she can see all her children and that her best interests are protected. 
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