Privacy

Disabled woman awarded £10,000 damages under human rights act

A disabled woman and her husband were awarded £10,000
damages under the Human Rights Act in a landmark case last week
after being forced to live in a “wholly unsuitable” home.

Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that, due to the “corporate
negligence” of Enfield Council, north London, Dulcie Bernard had
been almost totally confined to her home, unable to get upstairs,
and forced to sleep in the lounge with her husband and two youngest
children.

He said that the couple appeared to have “fallen into an
administrative void” between the council’s social services and
housing departments. The council had shown a “singular lack of
respect” for the couple’s private, family and home life, in
violation of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights,
he added.

He ruled that Bernard was entitled to £8,000 damages for
distress, discomfort and humiliation, while her husband who had
cared for her single-handedly in “deplorable conditions” was
awarded £2,000.

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