Man with Prader-Willi to sue council

    A 31-stone man who was detained at an eating disorder unit against
    his will is planning to sue the council responsible, he said last
    week.

    Chris Leppard, 23, from Hastings, East Sussex, has Prader-Willi
    syndrome, which means that he cannot tell when his stomach is full
    and that he is in danger of eating so much that it could kill
    him.

    East Sussex social services detained Leppard at the Eastbourne
    clinic under powers in the Mental Health Act 1983. He was assessed
    and released last week after spending seven days at the
    clinic.

    “I am very angry and very upset and feeling very low. I feel it has
    been more of a disruption than a help. I am going to take social
    services to court for what they have done because I am not mentally
    ill and I have my own independent life,” he said.

    Leppard’s mother said that she had written a letter of complaint to
    social services and had consulted a solicitor.

    A council spokesperson said “proper procedures had been followed”.

    Martin Ball, head of public affairs at Maca, said that the widening
    of the definition of a mental disorder in the draft Mental Health
    Bill could lead to more people being inappropriately detained than
    happens under the current act.

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