Man is found in breach of court; Case over relative's care.
Byline: Report by David Banner firstname.lastname@example.org
A HOMELESS man with mental health issues has been given a jail sentence after breaching an order forbidding him to interfere with the care of an elderly relative. Unemployed Andrew Palmer, 52, was handed a six-month jail term at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Friday.
Mr Justice Keehan ruled that Palmer was in contempt of court. The former lorry driver, who, the judge heard, had been living in a tent, admitted wrongdoing and apologised.
He said he loved his relative, who lives near Stafford, and was not happy about the care being provided.
Mr Justice Keehan had made the order in February. The order barred Palmer from trying to coerce his relative into leaving home and from interfering with care staff.
In June, the judge had found that Palmer had breached the order and imposed a suspended sentence. He activated that sentence on Friday after concluding that Palmer had continued to breach the order. The judge said Palmer was in "blatant contempt" and must learn that court orders had to be complied with.
Social services bosses at Staffordshire County Council have responsibility for the care of Palmer's relative and had made contempt allegations.
Barrister Nageena Khalique QC, who represented the council, outlined detail of breaches of the order to the judge.
Barrister Paul Spencer, who represented Palmer for free, said Palmer had mental health issues and would "struggle to survive" in prison. He said Palmer was "isolated".